During the pastor’s seminar, people often ask when I find time to prepare for sermons since they know that I am occupied with lectures all day long. Then, they add that the sermon was specially blessing when they feel that I don’t have time to prepare it. Such a compliment is a great encouragement to me and refreshes my spirit.
It is true that during the seminar I do not have enough time to prepare for the sermon. I have some time on Wednesday and Friday evening. However, those times I am typically too exhausted to prepare a sermon, so I normally have dinner and go to bed early. Then, how do I find time to prepare sermon?
There are several things to consider. First, it is the incredible help of God. I find that God is involved more when I have less time than when I have more time. When I have more time, I struggle with the lead of the story or what example I should use. When I am busy, I find answers and ideas about the sermon during the deacon’s meeting or evenina newspaper. God helps me like this. After many such experiences, I realized the importance of walking with God and tried to do things His way and not my way.
I prepare sermons during the early morning hours in church. During the seminar, I do not do the morning prayer. Instead, I get up at 5am and come to church at 6 am and spend 2 hours there. The concentration and efficiency during these hours are unbelievable. So much so, the sermon is ready when I spend three morning hours like this; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In other words, the morning hour is the most efficient time for me to prepare a sermon. Then, I realized that I have been spending the most productive hours for the morning prayer. With this insight, I was tempted to spend this time for other things rather than prayer to accomplish more.
That is why the morning prayer is a sacrifice, the understanding came to me. It is the most valuable time, the time when we can achieve the most.We give this most precious time to God and that is why it is a sacrifice and that is why the morning prayer has such power.
The Bible tells us to pray continuously. Therefore, it is important to pray while driving or doing dishes. However, one important element of prayer is whether there is sacrifice. The reason is uncertain, but in the Bible, there are so many stories about the tremendous power of sacrificial prayer which destroys the operation of Satan. I am convinced that we have to have such prayers with sacrifice in our lives to experience the power of our Lord.
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