Our soul waits for the LORD;
He isour help and our shield.
For our heart shall rejoice in Him,
Because we have trusted in His holy name.
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You. Psalm 33.20-22
The Christian Ministry: Part VI, chapter II
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“The highest style of a preacher there is – that he gives himself to prayer. On this account some inferior preachers are more honoured than others of their more talented brethren. For sermons obtained chiefly by meditation and prayer, ‘are weighty and powerful;’ while those of a far higher intellectual character, by the neglect of prayer, are unblest. It is therefore upon good grounds, that the most eminent servants of God have given the pre-eminence to this part of pulpit preparation
The Word and Spirit of God are the power of preaching, and prayer is the vehicle by which we capture that power for God’s purposes with His people. Think of Paul’s many prayers for the people he served: Should not such an attitude, and such labors, characterize us as well, as we prepare to serve God’s people out of the treasury of His Word? Yet precisely here is where so many ministers stumble. Their prayer lives are not nearly as vibrant or constant as they should be. We cannot be effective in the ministry of the Word if we are not diligent and instant in the ministry of prayer. Milosz described prayer as a “bridge that leads to the shore of the great Reversal.” In prayer, we discover ourselves, those we serve, our church, our community, and our world as it ought to be, not as these things are at present. And through the ministry of the Word, we work to turn the latter into the former.
What is your practice of prayer with respect to sermon preparation and delivery? Can you think of ways you might improve this?
T. M. Moore
Need some help in prayer?
Our book, The Poetry of Prayer, provides a series of meditations and exercises for prayer, based on George Herbert’s great poem, “Prayer (1).” Working through these brief chapters can put your prayer life on a whole new tack. Order your copy by clicking here.
Do your men pray?
Besides your own prayers, the prayers of the men of your church can be a powerful resource in furthering the ministry of God’s Word. Download our free PDF Men of the Church, and make copies for the men of your church, to call them to greater diligence and consistency in prayer (click here).
Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.
Help us build up the community of readers who are learning from great pastors of the past. Pass along this copy of Pastor to Pastor to a friend in ministry, and encourage him to sign-up at our website, www.ailbe.org, to receive it every day.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.