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“Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.” 

~ Richard Baxter

Richard Baxter Colour.jpg

“Your preaching can’t possibly triumph without prayer”

~ David Eby, Power Preaching for Church Growth41.

by TREVIN WAX

Fill the Sails, Lord

St_Hilary_of_Poitiers_cassienThe chief service I owe you, O God,
is that every thought and word of mine should speak of You.
The power of speech which You have bestowed on me
can give me no greater pleasure
than to serve You by preaching Your gospel.

But in saying this,
I am merely expressing what I want to do.
If I am actually to use this gift,
I must ask You for Your help –
ask You to fill the sails I have hoisted for You
with the wind of Your Holy Spirit,
inspiring my mind and my voice.
I know that I am often heavy with stupor,
so that I am too lazy to speak of You.
And I do not spend sufficient time studying Your Scriptures,
to ensure that my words conform to Your Word.
Give me the energy and the courage to share the spirit of the apostles,
that like them I may truly be an ambassador of Your grace.

Hilary of Poitiers, 310-367

by Bob Hostetler

DesperatePastor.com

Date Published: 10/22/2013

If you’re not in the habit of praying before you preach, here’s a good place to start.
Dear Lord, you have sent me into this world to preach your word. So often the problems of the world seem so complex and intricate that your word strikes me as embarrassingly simple. Many times I feel tongue-tied in the company of people who are dealing with the world’s social and economic problems.

But you, O Lord, said, “Be clever as serpents and innocent as doves.” Let me retain innocence and simplicity in the midst of this complex world. I realize that I have to be informed, that I have to study the many aspects of the problems facing the world, and that I have to try to understand as well as possible the dynamics of contemporary society.

But what really counts is that all this information, knowledge and insight allow me to speak more clearly and unambiguously your truthful word.

For the rest of the prayer…

John Livingstone spent the whole night prior to June 21, 1630, in prayer and conference, being designated to preach next day. After he had been speaking for an hour and a half a few drops of rain disconcerted the people, but Livingstone asking them if they had any shelter from the storm of God’s wrath went on another hour. There were about 5oo converted on the spot. “

~ Livingstone of Shotts.

Richard Baxter

Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them. 

~ Richard Baxter, 1615 – 1691

by ROBERT STRIVENS

10 Lessons from Faithful Ministry Without Revival

On the whole, pastors in the West today minister without seeing revival on a large scale. Yet many of the role models we have adopted from history did labor in revival times: Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon, among them. They have a great deal to teach us, of course. But their very success, in terms of numbers converted, can have a discouraging effect on us who minister in leaner days.

It is worth examining, therefore, the lives of men and women who lived in more ordinary times, yet served the Lord faithfully and effectively. One such person was a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards. Like Edwards, he ministered in Northampton, but this was Northampton in England, not New England. He was Philip Doddridge (1702-51), who served for 20 years as pastor of a fairly large congregation in that town.

Doddridge also ran an academy that trained men for pastoral ministry, kept up a continual flow of publications, maintained a wide correspondence, and sustained a regular itinerant preaching ministry. Although he lived during the early years of the Evangelical Revival in Britain, his own ministry was largely unaffected by it, as he was confined to existing congregations of Independents and Presbyerians.

How then did he operate, and what can we learn from him? Here, briefly, are 10 lessons:

1. Doddridge’s priority was his own congregation. He pastored them faithfully, preaching to them every Lord’s Day and on weekday meetings, unless he was away from town. He admitted that he did not visit them as often as he would have liked. To compensate, he divided up the congregation with his elders, so that each individual did receive regular pastoral visits from a church officer, if not from the pastor himself.

2. He believed firmly in the importance of a well-ordered local church—church membership, properly appointed church officers, effective church discipline, reverent worship, a frequent Lord’s Supper, and regular biblical preaching.

3. He took great care to maintain his daily devotional life, with extended periods of private prayer and Bible reading, usually two or three times each day. He kept a journal that recorded his times of devotion as well as his reading and studies. He was attentive to the confession of personal sin, to intercession for his family and congregation, to pleading with the Lord for greater usefulness in his ministry, and to adoration of his triune God. He valued the Lord’s Supper highly indeed as an essential means of grace for the believer.

For the other seven lessons…

Before We Preach Tomorrow

“The true minister of Christ feels impelled to preach the whole truth, because it and it alone can meet the wants of man.  What evils has this world seen through a distorted, mangled, man-molded gospel!  What mischiefs have been done to the souls of men by men who have preached only one part and not all the counsel of God! . . .

I have seen the young believer, just saved from sin, happy in his early Christian career, and walking humbly with his God.  But evil has crept in, disguised in the mantle of truth.  The finger of partial blindness was laid upon their eyes, and but one doctrine could be seen.  Sovereignty was seen, but not responsibility. . . . I could point you to innumerable instances where harping upon any one peculiar doctrine has driven men to excess of bigotry and bitterness. . . . There is a necessity that the whole gospel should be preached, or else the spirits, even of Christians, will become marred and maimed. . . . The believer in Christ, if he is to be kept pure, simple, holy, charitable, Christlike, is only to be kept so by a preaching of the whole truth as it is in Jesus.

And as for the salvation of sinners, ah, my hearers, we can never expect God to bless our ministry for the conversion of sinners unless we preach the gospel as a whole.  Let me get but one part of the truth, and always dwell upon it, to the exclusion of every other, and I cannot expect my Master’s blessing.  If I preach as he would have me preach, he will certainly own the word; he will never leave it without his own living witness.  But let me imagine that I can improve the gospel, that I can make it consistent, that I can dress it up and make it look finer, I shall find that my Master is departed and that Ichabod is written on the walls of the sanctuary.  How many there are kept in bondage through neglect of gospel invitations.”

C. H. Spurgeon, quoted in Iain H. Murray, Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism (Edinburgh, 1995), pages 155-157.

Prayer must carry on our work as much as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people that will not pray for them.

~ Richard Baxter, 1615 – 1691

Ray Ortlund|4:04 pm CT

Son of man, can these bones live?

“We may preach, but it is Thine to apply.  Lord, apply it.  Come forth, great Spirit.  Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, O Spirit of God, come forth!”

C. H. Spurgeon, quoted in Erroll Hulse, The Great Invitation (Welwyn, 1986), page 179.

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