Charles Haddon Spurgeon was quite the preacher during the nineteenth century. (If you don't mind hip-hop, Shai Linne provides a short bibliography here: http://a.sctxt.org/OGv46N.) He attributed his success in the pulpit not to his education, not to his oratory skills, not to his knowledge of the Scripture, but to the power of God working in & through the PRAYER-life of his people!
Consider the following from a brief blog article by Skip Heitzig:
After preaching on the Doctrine of The Holy Spirit last Sunday, I invited the church family to join me in the billiard room every Sunday morning before Proclaim for prayer. May the Lord be pleased to work powerfully through the prayers of His twenty-first century saints offered in our billiard (nearly 'boiler') room. The curtain will be pulled about 9:30a. Join us as early & stay as late as you'd like, even throughout the service if you want.
In Luke 11, Jesus stressed the confidence we should have in asking God for His very best: Himself! Consider His words in v13:
Blind from birth, the gift of God's Spirit is a prerequisite in order for anyone to believe, to receive faith, to trust & love Jesus. So it's not as though some believers do & others don't have God's Spirit. But, as we saw in a few passages this last Sunday, the Scripture also teaches us that God will often "fall on" or "clothe in power" His Son's witnesses as they proclaim the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. As God pleases, He manifests the power of His Spirit through the Church in ways that even the commoner can't help but conclude as they did in Acts 4.13:
O Church, isn't that our desire? Don't you long for the power of the Word & Spirit to draw men & women by the hundreds--perhaps thousands--to call on Christ as their Lord & Savior? Our nation has experienced such revival before. May God in His mercy bring such glory to His Son yet again. In the interim--as was my call to respond this last Sunday--may we do as the first century Church did while they waited:
Don't for a second discount the great work God is doing in your life through His Spirit & Word now, in preparation. We're not to wonder around aimlessly. One thing is certain, if God so desires to visit us with revival, it will be through the very hands, feet, hearts, minds, mouths and PRAYERS of those who are diligently seeking, loving & obeying Him today. He is--right now!--tilling the ground, preparing the soil, fertilizing, watering, pruning His Church, making her fit for His kingdom. So...
Please come and pray. Pray for our nation, for our state, for our city. Pray for the lost, and for the elect to faithfully proclaim hope in the grace of God through Jesus Christ. Pray for me as I preach the Word. Pray that I would be faithful to exposit the Scripture in such a way that the Spirit would be pleased to work mightily among us. Consider the following 5 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor from Ligoner Ministries:
Pray for other pastors in our communities & church plants: for pastor Eric in Austin, pastor Joseph in Lytle and pastor Matt in Kerrville.
Each Sunday before Proclaim, please focus your prayers vertically, asking the Lord to reign & work in power through our worship & the ministry of His Word. Should you have specific personal prayer needs, know that someone will be available in the billiard room to pray with you after the service.
I'm so very grateful for the Lord's goodness toward our church families. It is a joy to serve as your pastor, and to pray & minister alongside you in our community.