Pray for Me as I Prepare to Preach

It is the solemn obligation of those called to preach God’s Word, to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). Those who have been made to be ministers in Christ’s church have a stewardship bestowed upon them for the benefit of God’s chosen people (Col 1:25). Therefore, they must preach the Word of God when it is well-received and when it is resisted (2 Tim 4:2).

Gospel ministers receive the gift of God’s grace, which comes as a working of God’s power (Eph 3:7). As with all the men of God in the Bible, boldly bearing witness to the truth requires the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the mission of God for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed in all creation under heaven (Mk 16:15; Col 1:23).

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Eph 6:19–20). Moses was bold before Pharaoh. David was bold before Goliath. Nathan was bold before David. Elijah was bold before the priests of Baal. Amos was bold before Israel. Stephen was bold before the Sanhedrin. Paul was bold before the Jews at Jerusalem. The man of God must be bold.

Paul suffered for the sake of God’s elect (2 Tim 2:10), and his resume of suffering was notable, as he joined in the sufferings of Christ (Col 1:24). His purpose was to make Christ known, especially where Christ was not already named (Rom 15:20).

Paul knew that the Gospel of grace was the power of God unto salvation for those who believed (Rom 1:16). He also knew that faith comes by hearing and hearing by wisdom of the Holy Spirit (Rom 10:15–17). For this reason, it was a woeful burden to the great apostle if he did not preach the Gospel for whatever reason (1 Cor 9:16).

Knowing the Gospel of salvation was foolishness to many who heard him preach, simply did not deter him (1 Cor 1:18). He preached Christ crucified to the Jews and to the Gentiles, alike (Acts 13:46; 14:27; 15:7, 12; 18:6; 26:20; 28:28). This truth produced great angst and much resistance from the Jews (Acts 22:21–22). But God is not just the God of the Jews (Rom 3:29).

Resistance to Gospel preaching, therefore, comes from Jews and Gentiles who are void of the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9), whom the world cannot receive (Jn 14:17). In not having the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for those who do not belong to Christ to believe in Him (Jn 10:26). They have no room for God’s Word (Jn 8:47), nor do they have any love for God in their hearts (Jn 5:42). It is not the will of God for them to receive Jesus Christ so to be saved (Jn 1:12–13). Simply put, they are not His sheep.

The sheep of God’s pasture hear the voice of their Good Shepherd who calls them to come to Him (Mt 11:28; Jn 10:3–4). These respond to Gospel preaching because the Holy Spirit opens their hearts to respond in faith (Acts 16:14). Here is the Gospel minister’s compelling reason to press on with his high calling in Christ Jesus. Knowing there are God’s people out there in whatever city the preacher finds himself, he ministers in the hope of his calling to that place (Acts 18).

The preacher therefore needs prayer from God’s faithful ones. He has a calling to preach and a very great burden to do so. With fear and trembling before God and before hostile humanity, the man of God himself prays (Acts 6:4; 1 Thess 5:17–18). He is to be anxious for nothing, but just as Elijah lost his gumption before Queen Jezebel and Jeremiah tried to resign himself from preaching to obstinate Judah, so today’s preacher can lose his spiritual stamina under certain circumstances.

By way of personal confession, there is nothing I would rather do than to faithfully prepare and to preach sermons from God’s Word to God’s people. Because the preaching event, with me as the preacher, is rare — I pour my whole being into the task when I am called to do so. Lord willing it will be my great privilege to once again stand before the congregation at Discovery Alliance — Missoula, Montana, tomorrow (October 23, 2022). Pray on my behalf, dear brethren.

My text will be the whole book of Obadiah from the Old Testament. In this prophetic Word directed at Edom, I must take an ancient text an bring it to life and proper application for Christ’s beloved in Northwest Montana.

The Word of God is timeless truth because our God is eternal, and He has spoken. It will be my job to tell the truth about God’s judgment against the arrogant. It must be relevant to the people God’s Spirit will gather in the morning on the Lord’s Day. So, pray for my final preparations — that I might personally feel the weight of the message from God.

Pray that God’s Spirit will fill me with both wisdom and power that I might boldly proclaim the mystery now revealed to Christ’s church.

Pray that I would discern the truth from the text that God intends for His people at this time.

Pray that the congregation of believers there along with anyone who has not yet been born again would receive the Word from me — not as a Word from a man — but as the Word of God heralded in the Spirit of truth, in order to respond appropriately before God.

Finally, pray that I would do all of this to the glory of God and that God would truly be glorified in the worship and service of His people in both preaching and hearing.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

October 22, 2022

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Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher