Many times when preachers have a service or message coming up, it is expected that they spend their time praying and studying the Word of God.
But what I have found is that in most cases, they either spend more time preparing the sermon or they spend more time praying the wrong prayers.
More about those two points in a bit …
It’s Not Always About How You Preached Your Sermons
You see, you can be an amazing preacher for all I care but if the heart of the people is not open to receive the message that you bring, your preaching will fall to the ground. At best, you will be a great motivational preacher with little or no lasting results!
There is something about preaching to a prepared heart that makes a world of difference. Anything you say and anyhow you say it will just work. In fact, many times, you don’t even have to say a thing before people are hit by the presence of the Lord and convicted.
And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. (14) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (Acts 16:13-14)
Notice the way the apostle described this Lydia to us. She was one of the worshippers who heard them preach but what made the difference was that the Lord opened her heart and she attended to the things that were spoken of Paul!
Sermon Preparation Without Prayer Preparation Is A Waste
Dear preacher, you can’t bank on the power of the message you are bringing to the people alone. You have to take extra measures to make sure that powerful message is received. And prayer is the way to do that. It is praying passionately for those who would hear the message that opens their hearts to receive.
Since the Holy Ghost taught me this through my mentor, I have never dared to preach another message without it.
I remember one Easter service back in Lugansk, Ukraine. A certain young man was brought to me after service sobbing so profusely. Honestly, I thought he might have received news that a parent had died or something terrible had happened.
But when I asked the lady who brought him what happened, I heard the most unexpected.
They had been inviting him to church for 2 years now but he would not budge. But the group of friends kept praying for him all the while. Thankfully, without any special invitation this time, he walks into service a few minutes before I mounted the podium. In her words, from the moment I mounted the podium, something hit him and be began to cry.
So I turned to him to find out what the matter was and this guy who had been an ardent unbeliever told me “Jesus is real”. He went on to affirm he had given his heart to Christ right there when I started ministering but was now crying because of his family.
Coming from a long line of unbelievers, he feared for his family and what would become of them as he had no idea how they would get to hear the same message he has come to imbibe.
That day, I came to appreciate the importance of prayer in the communication of the gospel that we have received. Not only was he convicted of the Lordship of Jesus, but he was also already thinking about the salvation of his loved ones too.It is not as much about what you say as it is about the preparedness of the hearts of those you say it to. Click To Tweet
It wasn’t the eloquence of my preaching that hit that young man that day. It wasn’t the Greek and Hebrew connotation of the scriptures I shared from either. It was the touch of Almighty God. And that kind of touch is only birthed in the place of prayer.
Praying The Right Prayer In Sermon Preparation
Many ministers make the mistake of spending all their preparation time praying for themselves that they will preach the message right but this is wrong! Asking God to anoint you for this service you are going for is selfish, egocentric and unimportant. If you are a sent man, you are anointed for the job already!
It isn’t about you the preacher. It’s about the ones God has given you the opportunity to share the message with. If you will place their interests ahead, God will always back you up with the right message. After all, most preachers understand how God easily changes their messages at the point of delivery!
A Simple Rule Of Thumb!
Now to the fact that many preachers “either spend more time preparing the sermon or they spend more time praying the wrong prayers” here is what you do …
In preparing to share the word, meditate and study the word so you get a hang of the message but spend 90% of your prayer time praying for those who would be listening and not you who would be preaching.No matter how prepared you are, if their heart is not opened, it won't matter much that you were prepared. But when their hearts are opened, your smile, wave, gestures and just about anything out of the books could do the job! Click To Tweet
Have you ever had an experience in this light? Share with us in the comments below.