Thursday, November 05, 2009

Preaching and Prayer

Today I begin sermon preparation for Gen. 28:10-29:30. What a joy it is to look long into God's word with the privilege of then sharing it with His people! As I do so, I'm reminded of a couple of quotes from a short article we read in yesterday's staff meeting.

On one occasion, Spurgeon was asked the secret to his ministry. He replied without hesitation, "My people pray for me." Elsewhere he writes:

The sinew of the minister's strength under God is the supplication of his church. We can do anything and everything if we have a praying people around us. But when our dear friends and fellow helpers cease to pray, the Holy Ghost hastens to depart, and "Ichabod" is written on the place of the assembly.

What can we do without your prayers? They link us with the omnipotence of God. Like the lightning rod, they pierce the clouds and bring down the mighty and mysterious power from on high.... The Lord give me a dozen importunate pleaders and lovers of souls, and by his grace we ill shake all London from end-to-end. (C.H. Spurgeon, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (repr. Ed. Pasadena: Pilgrim Publications, 1980), vol. 24, p. 445).

A second quote came from Pierre C. Marcel in The Relevance of Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1963), pp. 101-102:

When, then, will the believers en masse understand that they are primarily responsible for the preaching which they hear, yes, more than their preachers? If every pastor knew and felt that the congregation was praying and that each member had prayed, that the congregation was supporting him, interceding for him... what preacher would not feel himself a new man and whose preaching would not be transformed? Once again, preaching the word is a function and activity of the Church, not the function and specialty of a man.

Finally, a familiar saying among Dutch pastors translated (by Joel Beeke) as follows:

"If you pray me full, I'll preach you full."

Enjoy praying and preparing for the word on Sunday!

No comments: