I publicly pray before I start my sermons. I also privately pray as I preach.
Multiple things go through the preacher's mind during a sermon. The mind quickly and constantly shifts from one thing to another. They might be passing impressions, valuable insights, or thoughts that can sidetrack or discourage us.
This is why I pray as I preach.
Over the years I've realized there are three fundamental things I need God to do for as I preach.
1. I need God to guide my thoughts.
Have you ever tried to pray, only to have your mind flooded with distractions? The same thing can happen in preaching.
Parishioners walk out to use the bathroom. Babies cry. Children pass notes. Deacons sleep. Some people seem more interested in their cell phones than what you're saying. You spot guests. You notice a faithful member is missing from her regular spot.
There are moments of distraction in preaching when I openly ask God to hold my mind. This petition is secretly and repeatedly uttered ...