Continuing in the theme of the last couple of days, I read something last night that hit me like a brick regarding preaching. You see, I have been reading a little book by Andrew Murray (1828-1917), Living a Prayerful Life. I should have read it years ago.
In one paragraph Murray sums up what is probably the single-most devastating reason why our/my preaching is not more powerful and effective than it is.
I pray that each minister of the gospel might understand that he has received this precious space of time from God in order to wait on Him! God must have for fellowship with himself the first and the best of our time. Without this, our preaching and our service will have little power. Here on earth I may expend my time in exchange for money or learning. The minister exchanges his time for divine power and the spiritual blessing to be obtained from heaven. That, and nothing else, makes him a man of God and ensures that his preaching will be in the demonstration of the Spirit and power.*
We are only given so much time. Like currency, we can use it to purchase for ourselves many things, like pleasure, satisfaction, wealth, knowledge, etc. But how much of it do we use to purchase power from the Holy Spirit? How much time to we spend in prayer?
Oh, this is so convicting, is it not? Why is there not more power from the pulpit? Because we are wasting time, flittering it away, spending too much of it on things which we, as ministers, need not. What we need MOST is a “demonstration of the Spirit and power!”
It’s past time we exchange our time in prayer. Pastors, the Church (in America, at least) is weak, and it’s our fault!
* Murray, Andrew. Living a Prayerful Life. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2002, p. 96.