Pray First, Then Preach

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, not only is this a week of prayer for our church, but I have also declared 2011 to be The Year Of Answered Prayer. As a result, I’m reading and studying more about prayer, and praying more too.

This post is mostly for my fellow pastors.

Pastors, I came across two quotes this morning to which we should pay careful attention. The first is from Augustine’s On Christian Teaching, and the second is from E.M. Bounds’ Power Through Prayer.

“He should be in no doubt that any ability he has and however much he has derives more from his devotion to prayer than his dedication to oratory; and so, by praying for himself and for those he is about to address, he must become a man of prayer before becoming a man of words. As the hour of his address approaches, before he opens his thrusting lips he should lift his thirsting soul to God so that he may utter what he has drunk in and pour out what has filled him.” —Augustine

The character of our praying will determine the character of our preaching. Light praying will make light preaching. … The preacher must be preeminently a man of prayer. His heart must graduate in the school of prayer. In the school of prayer only can the heart learn to preach.” —E.M. Bounds

Before you prepare it, pray it.

Before you preach it, pray it.

After you preach it, pray it some more.

Pastors, let’s be men and women of prayer before we’re men and women of words.

Thursdays With Oswald—A Passion For Christ, Not Souls

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

A Passion For Christ, Not Souls

       The reason some of us have no power in our preaching, no sense of awe, is that we have no passion for God, but only a passion for Humanity….

       It is not a passion for men that saves men; a passion for men breaks human hearts. The passion for Christ inwrought by the Holy Spirit goes deeper down than the deepest agony the world, the flesh and the devil can produce. It goes straight down to where Our Lord went, and the Holy Spirit works out, not in thinking, but in living, this passion for Christ.

From Approved Unto God

Wow, tough word. But it’s true: If I love Christ more than my loved ones, I will love my loved ones even better. A passion for Christ will win others to Christ; a passion for souls will only lead to building my ministry.

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