Saturday, April 02, 2011

A Prayer for Sermon Preparation

May my own heart be comforted by you, my Shepherd:
    That I may be still and know that you are God,
           and that your Name will be lifted up among the nations.
    That I may embrace this trustworthy statement:
          "Christ came into the world to save sinners--
          And I am the worst of them!"
    That I may believe and not doubt that nothing will separate
          me from the love of God in Christ Jesus:
          "No one can come to me unless the Father... draws him.
          And I will raise him up on the last day."
I beseech Thee for thy mercy and grace; O Lord, have mercy.

May my life reflect your words that I preach:
     Lest my example contradict my doctrine,
     Lest I lay such stumbling blocks before the blind,
        as may occasion their ruin;
     Lest I unsay with my life, what I say with my tongue;
     Lest I be the greatest hindrance to my labours.
I beseech Thee for thy mercy and grace; O Lord, have mercy.

May I point them to Christ and not a method, a tradition, a teacher, or myself:
     For when the King comes, who pays attention to the forerunner?
     For the Bride's thoughts should be on no one but her Groom,
     For the friend of the Bridegroom
          retires into the background
          and rejoices when he hears the Groom's voice.
I beseech Thee for thy mercy and grace; O Lord, have mercy.

May this benefit your sheep, O Lord,
whom you have bought with your precious blood:
     For the men and women
     Who keep a sacred appointment
          on Sunday morning.
     Bewildered by seductive voices,
     Nursing wounds life has inflicted upon them,
     Anxious about matters that do not matter.
     Yet they come to listen for a clear word from God
          that speaks to their condition.
I beseech Thee for thy mercy and grace; O Lord, have mercy.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
      be pleasing to You,
      O Lord, my Rock and Redeemer.
May I think and speak your thoughts and your words, not my own.
May I love your people with Christ's love; please give that love, O Lord.
May everything I do, whether in word or deed, be to the glory of your Name.
I beseech Thee for thy mercy and grace; O Lord, have mercy.
All this I ask, through Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep and our High Priest,
     who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
     One God, forever and ever. Amen.

* In addition to quotes from the Holy Scriptures, this prayer contains allusions to and quotations from the works of Richard Baxter, John Stott, and Haddon Robinson.



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