Monday, February 29, 2016

Praying for the Preaching of the Word
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

The high point of every week for a Christian rests in the public proclamation of Holy Scripture. This comprises the full meal that God provides for His people to sustain them, encourage them, reprove them, and comfort their souls till the next gathering. The preaching of the Word may be likened to going to a market. When God’s people gather together and hear the Word expounded, it is like the market day for the soul when the supply of spiritual food is richly and amply provided and the shelves are full of goods to nourish the child of God till the next feast day. If the Word preached has such a high place of importance in the Christian life, we must pray for the preaching of the Word.

This essay serves to provide seven simple aids to your prayers for the preaching.

1. Pray for UNCTION.
Preaching accomplishes good only in so far as the Spirit of God attends the going forth of divine truth with supernatural power. This Spirit-endowed, glorious effectual, and desperately needed power is what every preacher needs. It makes the message God’s message. This unction makes the arrows of truth sharp to penetrate the heart of the listener. Pray for unction! Seek God tirelessly and hold God to His Word. Unction comes as God’s people desperately ask for it. Ceaselessly ask for this power!

2. Pray for FAITHFULNESS.
Your minister has studied this week and the Word has soaked deep into the fabric of his soul. He knows his message and he knows what he must say. Pray that everything he says is faithful to the text of Scripture. Spend much time praying throughout the week as your shepherd isolates himself alone with God and with His Word. Pray that He would cut the Word straight and herald God’s meaning to God’s people and call for God-graced change in life!

3. Pray for SANCTIFICATION.
Preaching serves to declare God’s message from God’s Word to God’s people so as to produce Godlike and God-empowered change in the hearts and lives. The declaration of Holy Scripture is God’s primary means of growing the people of God. Just as a man regularly eats to stay nourished and healthy so a child of God regularly feeds on God’s preached Word to stay nourished, healthy, strong, and vigilant.

4. Pray for CONVERSION.
One of the primary vehicles that God employs in the everlasting saving of souls is the heralding of the King’s message. Pray for the minister to come with urgency in his bones and passion in his heart to proclaim Christ and Him crucified. Pray that Christ would be preached and that God would draw His elect through His sovereign Spirit.

5. Pray for EDIFICATION.
The body of Christ gathered is to be built up, strengthened, and established in the faith. The faith once for all handed down to the saints must be guarded, preached, protected, and obeyed. Pray for God to build up His people so that they would serve one another sacrificially, comfort one another heartfully, and counsel one another biblically. The people of God grow till all are fully mature in Christ. Pray to this end.

6. Pray for REVIVAL.
True revival comes when the Spirit of God sovereignly and mercifully awakens His people to the beauty of Christ, the power of prayer, and the urgency of soul-winning. Revival comes to the people of God who ask for it. Revival cannot be planned nor can God be coerced to bring  it. It comes as the people of God take hold of God in prayer, commit to holiness of life, prioritize preaching, and compel nonbelievers to embrace Christ through repentance of sin and faith in Him. As God revives His people so a true working of God will then affect the society.

7. Pray for HUMILITY.
God tells His people to receive the Word with humility. During the week leading up to the Lord’s day, pray for humility in your own heart to receive the preached Word with a meek and willing spirit, eager to follow Christ regardless of the sacrifice. You pray for your pastor to be humble and diligent in his study so can can preach well. May God’s people listen well also. Pray to never criticize the message, or the preacher, or be distracted away from the sermon. But pray that God would enable you to focus, show you where you need to change, and then make those changes through specific implementation of the truths declared from Scripture. Humbly receive conviction and grow by it.

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