What can a pastor easily forget while preparing to preach?

 So much is happening in the life of a man who preaches week in and week out.  One climatic day (Sunday), he pours his heart out in preaching, only to wake up the next morning with 6 days to prepare to do it again.  The pastor’s preparation to preach gets affected by physical struggles, demands from his family, burdens in the church, and the daily struggle to put distractions aside to focus in such a way that a day’s study will be fruitful.  Yet, in the midst of so many challenges facing the weekly preacher, one seems to stand alone as the most constant and draining of them all.  Ironically, it is also the one we as weekly preachers most commonly forget is at work as we work.  It is…

The intense spiritual attack of the enemy that uniquely and deliberately targets the one preparing to preach for the upcoming Lord’s Day.

I was reminded of this recently in a conversation with one of our pastors who is not used to preaching every week.  As we sat and reflected on his excellent sermons the last 2 weeks and his prior preparation to do so, he affirmed above all else the abnormal presence and power of spiritual attack that loomed those weeks of preparation.  I was freshly jolted in 2 ways by his statement.  First, how true that really is for those of us who labor to proclaim God’s Word week in and week out.  Second, how easily I forget that battle fiercely wages every week because of the particular kingdom labor being done.

Pastors, make no mistake.  That battle wages even now.  We are on the front lines of it as the enemy wants our souls and the souls of those entrusted to our care.  Do not forget that battle wages without exception even as you labor in study today to preach.  Yet in the midst of that battle, also do not forget the enemy who seeks to devour us has been completely defeated in the life, death, and resurrection of our King Jesus.  Therefore, depend upon Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells in us as you prepare each week knowing He will strengthen you not only to study this week and fight the enemy’s attacks, but to proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ to your people in power and victory this Sunday.

Posted in Preaching, The Pastor's Soul
7 comments on “What can a pastor easily forget while preparing to preach?
  1. Dave says:

    I can relate to this so much. My pastor was away this past week and had asked me to preach in his absence. My normally clear mind was entirely clouded for most of the two weeks I had to prepare. My best attempts to cut through the fog and make strides in my preparations yielded almost no fruit. I prayed to God to provide a miracle and He delivered: Just two days before the sermon at 1am, at a time when my brain never works well, God woke me up, gave me crystal clarity and gave me the energy to write the majority of the sermon in about an hour.

    God delivered great fruit to me from His word and from the responses the congregation sent my way, He spoke exactly the message the flock needed. Praise God!

  2. Outstanding. Thank you.

  3. Preston G says:

    Thank you – Keep serving the Savior in this way. I read you posts often.

  4. I like the “leave a Relpy” logo.

    Let me see forty years of preaching every week. 22 years four time a week. If we are not careful we will begin to believe its normal to be fighting the battle to prepare to preach. websites “growbylearning.com

  5. We must stay with the preparation of the sermon each week.

  6. pdare says:

    Wow. This is fantastic and very timely. We’re going into day 2 of our VBS today and this year is the Armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18. The battle rages on! Thank you for the good reminder and encouragement to trust the King who has already crushed the serpent’s head!

  7. Chad says:

    Thanks for this Brian. Like Dave, I to am a lay pastor asked to fill in for our lead pastor in his absence. This week has been a tough one of not finding a focus for what I am to speak about on Sunday. That and the nagging distraction of old temptations. The words are not mine are they? No, they are His and I need only ask and listen and speak. Amen that the victory is won and I am not a slave to the flesh but am free in his name!

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