My heart resonates with the following statement by A. W. Tozer: "For myself, I would rather be among those who are unknown, unsung and unheralded doing something through the Spirit of God that will count even a tiny little bit in the kingdom of God, than to be involved in some highly-recognized expression of religious activity across which God will ultimately write the judgment: 'This too shall pass!'" (Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts, p. 40).
We would like to assume that much prayer goes into the preparation of sermons. How tragic it is when men stand in the pulpit to speak for God having briefly consulted Him during the week. However, it is possible that even less prayer comes from the lips of those who preach after they have delivered the sermon. We should be just as urgent in prayer after we have preached! Consider the following prayer focuses for praying following your preaching:
- Release all glory to the Father (Eph. 3:20-21).
- Praise the Father as the God of the Word (2 Tim. 3:16).
- Magnify His Word as the source of power in the pulpit (Eph. 6:17).
- Magnify His omniscience and providence in the lives of your hearers, rather than basking in your eloquence (Heb. 4:12).
- Rejoice in the presence of God that His Word does not return void or empty (Is. 55:11).
- Thank the Father for revealing His strength in your weakness (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
- Ask the Father to enable your people to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22); not forgetful hearers, but doers of the work (Jas. 1:25).
- Intercede intensely that the enemy will not snatch the Word away (Matt. 13:19).
- Pray that difficulties will not cause hearers to stumble and forget the Word (Matt. 13:20-21).
- Pray that the Word will not be choked out by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches (Matt. 13:22).
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will captivate the minds of hearers with the Scripture text from Sunday, guiding them into meditation and obedience (Ps. 1:1-3).
Our churches are the battlefields in which Satan will muster all his power to prevent us from becoming people of prayer. - Andrew Murray
How Will You Contribute to the Prayerfulness of Your Church Tomorrow?
In Scripture, times of testing were rarely known by those being tested and that is a sobering thought... There comes a time when we have heard enough truth and had sufficient opportunity and the Holy Spirit says, "Today this man is going to have a test." - A. W. Tozer
It's Monday, but Sunday is coming! I refer to Monday as the day for my "holy hangover" from Sunday. However, it has also become a special time for prayer. I begin each Monday by gathering for prayer with fellow pastors at 7:00 am. This gives me an opportunity to be still before the Lord and give Him glory for what He has done on Sunday. It also begins the journey toward entering the pulpit next week. The following quote from E. M. Bounds inspired me as I began that journey today: