Prayer before sermon

Prayer Before a Sermon II

The first “prayer before a sermon” I posted some time ago has become one of the most-read posts on this blog.  IMO it’s a great prayer but not necessarily for contemporary worship use!

But because so many have checked it out, I wanted to post a prayer I *do* think is good for worship use.    It’s one my pastor uses regularly.  I know it pre-dates him, and I believe it is of British origin but I’m not certain.  If any of my readers know who wrote it please post and tell me!

The prayer is:

“Now, O Lord, take my lips and speak through them;
Take our minds and think through them;
Take our hearts and set them on fire with love for Yourself, Lord Jesus.  Amen.”


Prayer Before Battle

By Keith J. Andrews

All Scriptures marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001.Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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Most mornings out here, sometimes late at night, I meet with a convoy traveling outside the wire, to offer a prayer of safety and a blessing on their mission. It is a time of great importance for me—to be able to place my hand on these Soldiers going out and ask God to protect them. I pray for them anyway—but it is especially nice to be able to go out, look them in the eye, and prove that I truly am praying for them and that God will be with them.

We have recently begun our stay here in Iraq. During our deployment, it is critical that we stay attached to the vine, like we mentioned last week, and focused on our prayer life that is why over the last several weeks, we have been talking about prayer.

So as I wrap up this series and we begin to think about different aspects of our Christian walk, I want to take time to focus on prayer once more as it relates to our deployment here.

As we are beginning our time here, I want you to ask the question “How do you pray?”

How do you pray as you prepare yourself, your soldiers, and your families for the battles ahead?

As we face the struggles and the battles that lie ahead, we turn our attention to how Jesus faced his challenge.

He faced it in prayer—as should we. He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. He knew full well what would be happening.

For centuries, prophets had foretold of the sacrifice he would pay. Throughout his life, he knew that this moment would come. He was hours from being betrayed by a friend. Hours from being brought before Pilot and falsely accused. Hours before being beaten. Hours before being hung from a cross to pay the penalty for the sin of the world.

Jesus was about to do battle with the devil; literally.

As we look at Jesus, see that he prayed before this battle. How do you pray as you prepare yourself, your soldiers, and your families for battle?

Luke 22 gives us a glimpse of how Christ prayed during this time of struggle and preparation. We are looking at Luke 22:39-46.

Look at this passage as a whole, Luke 22:39-46

39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.7 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Lk 22:39-46, ESV)

We use his example not to compare the acts of what Christ was about to do with our situation, but to use his example to teach us how to face struggle and hardship.

Jesus prayed in a certain way and he sets the example for us to pray.

We first see in this passage that

1. Jesus prayed alone.

Luke 22: 41

41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, (Lk. 22:41, ESV)

This is something Jesus did frequently. He took time to be alone, to pray.

Luke 21 tells us that he went to the same place every night when we was in Jerusalem.

Jesus sets the example that we are to go by ourselves to pray.

In our busy world many times we complain that we can not get away, we can not be alone.

Recently, in the Tennessean newspaper, there was an article that showed how some men do get away. They convert their garages, bonus rooms, and game rooms of their houses to find time to get away.

Greg Van-Dette of Columbia, Tennessee has such a place. He says;

“(My wife) goes to bed pretty early. I can stay up a little later and get my personal time where I’m not a husband, father, or employee.”

He goes inside his room and plays his guitar.

When you preached on earth, Lord, you found the divine words that were able to reach the hearts of your hearers. Your truth moved them deeply and prompted them to follow you and to live for you.

Lord, bless now the words of the preacher. Allow him to forget himself, his mediocrity, the effect he would like to produce, so that he can speak solely and in all truth of you and your doctrine.

So that he can say the things that all his listeners await, something that truly comes from you, laden with your love, filled with your wisdom, which is not the wisdom of this world.

Grant, Lord, that the Holy Spirit may pervade him, so that he may become a true mediator of your word. But give to us, his hearers, a good spirit, so that we may really hear your word and not simply indulge our mania for criticism–in our irritation at the mediocrity of what he has said and at the faulty manner in which he expressed it–to the point where we see only the preacher and his weakness, and nothing more of your word and Spirit.

Instead, let this hour become a holy hour in which the mediator and the hearer are united in your Spirit.

Helps us to welcome your word as the living word of God and allow it to work in us, so that we may take it home with us; so that a bit of the Church may spring up wherever we are; so that our week may be filled with the gift your grace gives us today.

Let us not forget what we have heard but rather build on it; give us the love it takes to build, let this love work in us.

Remain the light of our days, become the goal of our love, and bestow on us through this homily a new life in your faith, a life that is both prayer and work in your love. Amen.

  • Adrienne von Speyr, With God and With Men: Prayers, 15-17.

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