Sunday, July 27, 2014

For the preacher & reader alike: "A Minister's Preaching" - From the Valley of Vision

1 Timothy 4:13 "Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching."

I love Sundays. Why? Because every Sunday God's word will be preached, taught and explained in pulpits and Sunday School classrooms across America and around the world. Whenever I stand up and read the scriptures at our church or when any pastor does the same, those words carry the power and conviction of the Spirit. The Spirit uses the scriptures to bring faith and repentance to sinners and to strengthen the saints. (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23) Today's post features a prayer entitled: "A Minister's Preaching". This prayer is part of a collection of prayers that were prayed by a group of Christians called the Puritans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. These prayers were collected and put into a book called "The Valley of Vision" that has become a devotional standard for decades. May the reader be blessed by the below prayer which like so many of the prayers in "The Valley of Vision" are anonymous. This prayer certainly expresses my heart and I'm sure many a preacher who approaches God's sacred desk to deliver His word to saints and sinners this Lord's Day.

A Minister's Preaching

"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 borne 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 fulness of matter and clarity of thought, proper expressions, fluency, fervency, a feeling 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 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 to use the strongest arguments drawn from Christ's incarnation 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 broekn testimony to so worthy a redeemer, or be harsh in treating 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."

With those thoughts from this prayer I bid every reader and pastor out there 
a blessed Lord's day.  May God's Holy Word ring forth. Amen.

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