When Prayer is the Best Preparation
Welcome to October’s addition to Ladder to Rooftop.
If you Write it You can Speak It.
An essential part of any good speech is the preparation in prayer.
I remember the first time I set out to give a talk—it was in front of the women’s group from my church who were coming over to my house for a Christmas holiday get together dinner (a delicious captive audience).
I made my debut…
And it was a disaster. ?
But I did my due diligence and prayed before hand so I didn’t know what went wrong. Now looking back on that time I see how my motives were askew and my prayer was, well, all about me.
I had felt God calling me to speak a year and a half earlier and when He wasn’t moving on the calling (giving me any speaking events), I thought I’d help Him out by setting up my own speaking gig.
You see, God gave me this calling, yes but He wasn’t moving on it because my heart wasn’t ready for the responsibility and my prayers that particular night were the dead give away.
I was not only humbled, I was humiliated.
Speaking isn’t all about what we can do, it’s all about what God does through a humble heart, submissive to Him.
Slowly but surely in His timing God prepared my heart for this awesome task He had for me.
Today the prayers I lift up to heaven before a talk sound totally different and they feel totally different because they come from a different place—an empty space I ask God to fill with Him not me.
Weeks before an event up until I’m at the venue I pray:
For a heart submissive to the will of God.
For the Holy Spirit to speak His words not mine .
For each woman’s heart to perk up to the message God has for them.
That God would give me a love for each person present.
For God to help me deliver the message with accuracy.
And above all I pray for God to be glorified.
Recently my friend Kelly shared with me an article that was written about how author and pastor Francis Chan prepares for a talk. He asks himself 7 questions. These questions guide his pre-talk prayers. I thought these were so wise and on point that I wanted to share them with you.
He asks himself:
1. Am I worried about what people think of my message or what God thinks? (Teach with fear)
2. Do I genuinely love these people? (Teach with love)
3. Am I accurately presenting this passage? (Teach with accuracy)
4. Am I depending on the Holy Spirit’s power or my own cleverness? (Teach with power)
5. Have I applied this message to my own life? (Teach with integrity)
6. Will this message draw attention to me or to God? (Teach with humility)
7. Do the people really need this message? (Teach with urgency)
We can practice and prepare till the cows come home but if our hearts aren’t in the right place, subject to the will of God, we forfeit the best part of the experience—the power of the Holy Spirit at work.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Palm 51:7