Preparation for preaching requires a number of steps. Have you completed all of them? I fear that some preachers come into the preaching moment having done their checklist ...
1. Pray for God’s help ... check!
2. Exegete the text ... check!
3. Generate helpful and powerful points ... check!
4. Order the points for maximum impact ... check!
5. Practiced the sermon a few times ... check!
6. Plan to preach with power and rock the house ... check!
And then we go into the sermonic moment feeling prepared for battle. And we have done all we should have done. Right? have we?
I would ask if you have prayed, but you will say you have. And you have. But I am not really asking if you prayed in the beginning, I am asking if prayer has become a part of all of your preparation and presentation. I am not asking if you put in the time so you can start the “real” work of exegesis, but I am asking if prayer guided you every step of the way.
I am not asking if you invited God to help you and then you set God to the side while you did all the work of preparation. I am asking if you let God sit by you, lead you, touch you. Did you let God guide you to the text or did you simply go to a text you knew you had an ending for?
Did you let God change that sermonic point even though you thought you were finished with preparation. Did you let God?
Paul said to pray without ceasing. The only way to do that is to be in a prayerful state at all times. To the preachers, I encourage you to pray without ceasing. And when you ask God for help, listen when that help comes.