>By God’s grace, I finished a very full week yesterday (interestingly, I find that my week culminates in Sunday rather than begins on it). A friend asked me at the end of the day how I felt the week went. All I could respond was that I felt that I had really served the church well. It was a strange feeling – not one of pride or arrogance – but a humble gratitude to God that He had equipped and allowed me to serve the church that He loves so dearly. I am truly grateful!
The highlight of my Sunday was being able to preach at CF because it was a very unusual experience for me. The night before, I was on a date with Sarah, and I kept feeling this nervous anxiety in my chest and stomach. It was like the feeling you get when you know you have to have a difficult conversation with someone. The uncertainty, the nervousness, and the reluctance to do what you know you must was building up inside of me, and I felt like I was running a lap after eating a large Italian meal.
The following morning I stood up to preach and felt a loss of words (more about this later). I wasn’t sure how to begin or how to broach the topic, but I gave it my all. In the middle of the sermon, as I was talking about prayer, something strange came over me. It was an urgency and passion for the topic of prayer that I hadn’t planned nor included into my outline. The phrase, “It’s just prayer…” kept echoing over and over again in my soul as with each mention from my lips, I was offering a sort of repentance for my own lack of belief in prayer. I felt my voice rise, my passion intensify because I felt the burden and heart of God that his church should pray. Like a confluence of two mighty rivers, I also felt the burden of so many hard situations that our people are in, so many trying circumstances, and how tragic it was that we were not praying more. I struggled to contain my emotions and to hold back the tears – how desperate our circumstances, yet how indolent our praying!
After the sermon, I sat down, and I was spent. In fact, I was so spent that I didn’t want to get up for the second service. I felt like I had given it my all. Still, as I came to talk about prayer again, the Spirit’s power consumed me. Interestingly enough, my prayer in the morning was out of 1 Cor 2:1-5
“And I, when I came to you, brothers,did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
God, grant me through the power of your Holy Spirit to preach and work with unction!!!