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Bathe the Process in Prayer (VIDEO)

It should be obvious, but the sermon prep process is not merely a human endeavor.

We believe that the Holy Spirit is actively working in and through us as we craft our messages and deliver them.

Or do we?

I have a confession.

When I was a young preacher, I cried out to the Father for the grace of wisdom, insight, and understanding when crafting every sermon.

But then I gained experience and more education.

What do you think happened?

Yep. The more experienced I became and the more advanced education I received, the less I prayed over my sermon prep process.

Experience and education are good and valuable.

However, leaning on human intellect and experience is a huge mistake.

One side effect is that if I am relying on my ability and insight to prepare and present a message, I will begin to take idolatrous pride in my preaching.

I also will begin to stress more, not less, in crafting sermons because my identity rests on how I perform in the pulpit.

You may not struggle with that. But I did. And still do.

The issue is this. We need the Holy Spirit to guide our sermon preparation and empower us when presenting the message.

Just reminding ourselves and affirming that truth puts us in a good place of self-awareness.

It's that self-awareness of our human weakness and limitations that motivates us to pray for the grace of the Spirit in the sermon prep process.

Consider just a few passages of Scripture.

  • “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need.” –Hebrews 4:16
  • “You do not have because you do not ask.” –James 4:8
  • “Ask and it will be given to you.” –Matthew 7:7
  • “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run and be glorified” –2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “Pray also for me, that the utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” –Ephesians 6:19

I'm not telling you anything you don't know.

I'm just reminding us, lest we think that a sermon prep process can take the place of the presence and power of the Spirit–which it can't, or at least shouldn't.

Remember, just as our salvation is totally dependent on the saving grace of God in Jesus, everything we do is dependent upon the enabling grace of the Spirit. Even preaching.

So, consider yourself reminded. 🙂

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