Jesus was once asked by his disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11.1). It’s a great request, one we all should make. Another good request, particularly for preachers, is “Lord, teach us to preach!”
That was a request I found myself making in prayer earlier today. I thought, I don’t simply want to communicate nice, well-thought out messages that I’ve put together; I want to deliver messages from God. I want my messages to be inspired—God-breathed. I want my sermons to come out of the overflow of what God is doing in my life.
Those are pretty high expectations, but I think they’re expectations every preacher should have. As I wrote last week, it takes trust. It also takes being a disciple—student, learner, apprentice. Certainly, it involves learning from other preachers and communicators (see Developing the Preaching Gift and Honing My Craft). In fact, I’m beginning the most intense preaching development I’ve ever had through the new Preaching Rocket program. In recent months, I’ve been greatly impacted by Nancy Duarte’s Resonate, which I’ve blogged quite a bit about (start here).
But since preaching is a spiritual gift, it’s also something that God wants to develop, himself. As the old saying goes, “God doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called.” Praying “Lord, teach us to preach” is a way of asking God to qualify us for preaching.
Lord, teach us to preach!