Good afternoon friends. It’s another beautiful Monday in northern Michigan. The snow fell almost all day yesterday and added a wonderful blanket of white to what we were already enjoying. I’ve added a snowy picture to the website if you’d like to see what it looked like this morning.
As I began preparing my heart in prayer this morning for the week ahead, on my mind was a special time my family and I will be participating in this weekend. We’ll be going to a preaching conference. While that may not seem like something fun to you, for me it’s an opportunity to focus on an important aspect of my duties as a pastor and allow the Lord to make me a better preacher. The goal being, of course, to transmit God’s Word to my listeners in a way that reveals God’s truth’s to them and spurs them on to obedience to those truths.
So as I began my week I prayed the Lord would work in my heart through this weekend’s conference and use it in my life to show me ways I can improve as a pastor-teacher. I prayed that the Lord would open my heart to His powerful hand in my life, to teach me, to stretch and grow me and to make me the man He wants me to be.
I often feel great anticipation over what the Lord will do in my life during these times of focused and intense teaching. In response I pray the Lord will do a powerful work in me. And I recall times I’ve gone to retreats and conferences and He answered my prayers, breaking my heart in areas I needed to be more obedient and encouraging me in other areas building me up for service to Him.
I also pray for our weekend services that people will come with expectant hearts. That folks will be encouraged with the Word and challenged to be obedient to the Lord’s direction. I pray that God will prepare people for the message He’s been preparing through me to deliver.
While I’m at it I want to encourage you to start praying about the services you attend. Prepare your heart prayerfully asking the Lord to direct your thinking during the services. Pray that the Lord will make clear to you areas that need change in your life. I’m certain as you practice this discipline in your life you’ll find the Lord answers your prayers. If you faithfully prepare yourself I think you’ll find your time under the teaching of the Word challenging, encouraging and fulfilling ? as God intends.