Monday, January 19, 2009

Preaching as Prayer

As we draw near the Inauguration, filled with public prayers, it's important for a pastor to remember his calling. (This post is not intended to ask, "should you?" if given the opportunity to pray. You can go to pyromaniacs to see different takes on whether a pastor should pray at the inauguration and how he should pray.)

He has been called as a minister of the gospel. Would he pass on an opportunity to present the gospel in a public setting?

Now, some will protest, in this setting a pastor is not called to preach, but to pray. He shouldn't turn his praying into preaching.

So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. "I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."--John 11:41-42
Jesus shows that there is nothing insincere about praying to God while being totally conscious of your listening audience and praying for their benefit. We should learn from this model and do likewise.

I doubt I'll ever talk to someone who receives the fame required to pray at a presidential inauguration. However, pastors regularly get asked to pray for meetings, graduations or various ceremonies.

If you are a pastor, and you receive the opportunity to pray publicly, please do not shy away from your gospel calling and be bold for Christ.

If your not a pastor, please encourage your pastor to be bold. If you hear that he has an opportunity to pray publicly, pray for him and encourage him that you will celebrate the gospel we love being proclaimed.


Margaret said...

This seems like a perfect opportunity to share with you how much I appreciated a part (well, all of it actually )of your prayer Sunday at the end of service. In fact, I had to write it down in the middle of the prayer. *gasp* Yes, I had my eyes open! :) It had to do with not segregating the Gospel by having the OT one way of getting to God and the NT another way to salvation. That's not verbatim, but close. The message within a public prayer is VERY important.

danny2 said...

of course, you could have written it down AND kept your eyes closed! ;-)