A Preacher’s Prayer:
O God, break me just now; I feel pride in my heart. God forgive me, for I find myself more consumed with thoughts of how well I will do rather than trusting completely in what you alone can do. I repent of all prideful thoughts and impure motives that place the focus today on my own glory rather than your glory. Kill within me that part of me that pressures me to perform and do well when I preach because I have a desire to be liked, a reputation to uphold, or a title before my name to fulfill. Help me preach like a man who has been crucified with Christ so that the sheep see that it is not I but Christ who lives within me preaching today. Remind me constantly today that I am a sinner saved by grace – no more, no less.
O God, teach me afresh what it means to die to self – even in a pulpit! Remind me again today that preaching your Word is a gift and a grace. I did nothing to earn it, and I’ve done nothing to deserve it. Indeed, I am not worthy to proclaim the riches of your glory. As you humbled Isaiah in his day, humble me before I preach, before your throne of glory. As I prepare to step behind the pulpit today and break the bread of life, remind me that I am called to this family of faith to serve bread to your hungry people. Give me a love for my flock, and make me a blessing to them today. As your herald, help me to proclaim with boldness the truth. Remind me even now that I am not in this to make a name for myself; I am in this to make much of Jesus.
O God, save souls today as I lift up Jesus before the eyes of the lost. Burden me even now with their eternal state. Empty me now of all the vain things that charm me most; I sacrifice them to his blood. Fill me with the Holy Spirit, and empower me to preach your Word with conviction and power. And when the message is over and the people begin to leave, I pray none would leave saying, “What a great preacher we heard today.” Instead, I pray that all will leave in awe of you, saying, “What a mighty God we serve!”
(From: Greg Heisler, Spirit-Led Preaching [Nashville: B&H Academic, 2007], 113-114).