Something that we’ve been talking about as Elders lately is the need for a church, any church, and specifically OUR church, to pray for the preacher and his preaching. Every Sunday.
Now, there are many things to pray for when you are praying for the preacher and his preaching, so let me give you one in particular. From one of the best ever to craft a sermon, the apostle to the Gentiles said in Colossians 4:3–4 (ESV) – At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Pray for clarity!
Pray that the preacher would have a clear mind as he prepares. Preachers, being human, have lots of things vying for their attention. They are easily distracted. A preacher has personal issues he’s dealing with, family fights, financial worries, health concerns, political frustrations, stupid neighbors, and everything else everybody else deals with. It’s easy to be distracted. Pray for clarity as he prepares.
Pray that the preacher would have a clear mind as he preaches. We deal in the mysterious, as Paul says in this passage. The person of God is above and beyond us as much as he is above and beyond any other human being. We’re bound by the text like anybody else, a text that doesn’t say everything we wish it would say but that says everything it needs to say. We need clarity to understand the relationship between those things that have been revealed and those things that remain secret to God.
Pray that you would have a clear mind as you listen. The roast is burning. The kids are squirming. The climate is stuffy. The music is too loud. That shirt doesn’t match those pants. The curtains aren’t evenly distributed on either side of the center of the curtain rod. The fake trees look too fake. The Broncos are playing on the East coast this morning. You know what I mean. It could only help if you would acknowledge these things and pray that God would supernaturally give you ears to hear.
Pray that you would have a clear mind as you do it. This is when good ideas slowly but surely translate into good character. AS YOU DO IT! And because we lose clarity on what we’ve heard, we quite often don’t do it and end up a little more deceived about our own spirituality. That’s quite self-defeating: to go to church, hear good preaching, and end of more deceived than when you listened. Pray that you would have a clear mind, the kind grace of God to give you eyes to see how you might faithfully apply, by the aid of God’s Spirit, what you’ve heard in the preaching of the word.
So, please pray for preachers and preaching. Pray for clarity, for those who preach and those who listen. Each week. Before preaching, during preaching, and after preaching. This is what we ought to do! And as preachers, we would be eternally grateful for it!