Sunday, January 23, 2005

Prayer, preparation, and preaching

Today I experienced God's empowering grace in preaching. Shortly before services I found myself (for reasons I won't go into this post) terribly agitated and upset--so much so that I wondered if I would be able to preach effectively.

So I went into my office and prayed---long, hard, desperately. I confessed my sin and prayed for peace and submission to God's will. I confessed my confusion to God and asked for courage to accept his will if and when he revealed it to me. I prayed for blessings on a few people I felt had wronged me and prayed to change my ways if it turned out they were the ones in God's will. I told God that if he would use my lips, my heart, my mouth to proclaim his Word, I would give him all the glory. I read 1 John out loud, and then went out to preach.

Although I had come there angry, hurt, and raw, I preached with power and confidence. A couple of people told me it was one of the best sermons I had ever preached. I think so, too. And it wasn't because of my strength or brains or charisma. It was because of my weakness before God, who gave me the power to proclaim his Word. To him be all glory.


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