I taped this Puritan prayer in my preaching Bible a couple years ago and it continued to remind me of the proper mindset needed as I enter the pulpit each Lord’s Day. And although I’m now pastoring and preaching at a different local church to a different family of Christians, I find that I need to be reminded of the truths contained in this prayer more now than ever.
For those of you who have the awesome calling to preach God’s Word, I hope this serves an encouragement and reminder to you of the high calling, joy and responsibility that is yours. Also, for those who may not be called to preach, this prayer might be a help to you as you pray for the men who preach the Word to you.
A Minister’s Preaching (from The Valley of Vision)
My Master God,
I am desired to preach today, but go weak and needy to my task;
Yet I long that people might be edified with divine truth,
that an honest testimony might be born for Thee;
Give me assistance in preaching and prayer, with heart uplifted for grace and unction.
Present to my view things pertinent to my subject,
with fullness of matter and clarity of thought,
proper expressions, fluency, fervency,
a feeling sense of the things I preach,
and grace to apply them to men’s consciences.
Keep me conscious all the while of my defects,
and let me not gloat in pride over my performance.
Help me to offer a testimony for Thyself,
and to leave sinners inexcusable in neglecting Thy mercy.
Give me freedom to open the sorrows of Thy people,
and to set before them comforting considerations.
Attend with power the truth preached,
and awaken the attention of my slothful audience.
May Thy people be refreshed, melted, convicted, comforted,
and help me use the strongest arguments drawn from Christ’s incarnations and sufferings,
that men might be made holy.
I myself need Thy support, comfort, strength, holiness,
that I might be a pure channel of Thy grace,
and be able to do something for Thee;
Give me then refreshment among Thy people,
and help me not to treat excellent matter in a defective way,
or bear a broken testimony to so worthy a Redeemer,
or be harsh in treating of Christ’s death, its design and end, from lack of warmth and fervency.
And keep me in tune with Thee as I do this work.