Having attended many worship services in my lifetime, I’ve come to appreciate the challenge of planning and leading meaningful worship. Combining elements of worship in a spiritually stimulating manner, week in and week out, is not as easy as some might think. Two specific elements of worship come to mind—preaching and praying.
Over the years, I’ve become increasingly sensitive to the awesome task of preaching. It’s not easy to find and to fashion a timely topic based on a biblical text that truly touches the hearts of the vastly diverse audience in most Christian congregations every Sunday.
Public prayers in worship bring to Almighty God the praises, thanksgivings, confessions, needs, thoughts, longings, hopes, doubts and fears of young and old alike. What a blessing it is for a pastor to pray for, with and on behalf of his people!
Most preachers and other people have a few pet peeves when it comes to preaching and praying. So do I. Here are a few bothersome matters and mannerisms that can be very distracting:
- Failing to translate theological concepts and truths into practical life application.
- Saying “Uh” and “Um” unnecessarily and habitually in sermons and prayers.
- Repeatedly and predictably using colloquial expressions when praying and preaching.
- Praying in a manner that sounds more like a speech than a conversation with God.
There are many more, but this short list is enough for now. Suffice it to say that the work of those who are called to preach and to pray is not only very important but also quite difficult. I have great respect for those called by God to this noble task!
To those on the pulpit side of the sanctuary I offer encouragement to continue to take seriously and endeavor faithfully to accomplish the monumental task to which you have been called.
To those on the pew side of the sanctuary I encourage praying for and supporting your pastor, freely and frequently offering positive encouragement for his most significant responsibilities.
The desired result is pastor and people working together to the glory of God in fulfilling his purpose of making known the love of Christ in our churches, communities and world!