Many of you are pastors or teachers who are putting finishing touches on your sermon or lesson for this weekend. In too many cases, we prepare hard and pray little over our sermons or lessons. For the rest of this week, I challenge you to spend more time praying before you preach or teach. Here’s why:
- What you do affects eternity. Few other people can say that, and everyone who can must be praying.
- You’re proclaiming the Word of the Creator, Redeemer, and Judge. You’re not teaching Shakespeare. The author of the book you teach rules over all, and you will answer to Him.
- You’re unworthy. All of us are.
- You’re a target of the enemy. Proclaimers of the Word carry Satan’s bullseye on our back. So does our family, by the way.
- You can fake it. If you’ve preached long, you probably know how to stand in the pulpit with no spiritual depth and little personal preparation.
- You can mess it up. None of us wants to, but we can – and we have. Prayer makes it easier to avoid that problem.
- Somebody will actually listen to you. Somebody will take you at your word and make lifestyle changes. We need to pray when we have that kind of influence.
- Only God can change hearts. No matter how well you preach or teach, you can’t transform the hearts of your listeners. Only God does that.
- Something’s just different when you know you’ve prayed well before you preach or teach. You stand before God’s people with integrity in your walk with Him, and that standing makes a difference in what you do.
- Your sermon or lesson is an act of worship. You present it to Him before you speak it to a congregation. Pray over it.
- You need His power to make a difference. Your eloquence may gain you a hearing, but it won’t transform lives.
- You’re privileged. Think about it. You get to announce God’s good news to a hurting and dying world. At least a prayer of thanksgiving is in order.
Pray. Prepare. And then pray some more.