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The Accompanying Presence

His voice is still small, but you'll preach better if you hear first from the Holy Spirit.

Pastors talk about preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit. Bill Hybels, who preaches to about 20,000 people most weekends, says he senses the Lord's presence when he's in the pulpit, but even more so in the study (or on the boat) when he's preparing the message.

Do you recall a time when you felt you preached in the power of the Spirit?


Bill Hybels: For me, being moved by the Holy Spirit in preaching is often more dramatic when I'm preparing a sermon than when I'm in the pulpit delivering it.

I can think of a time recently when I was anchored out on a boat and I had been praying and studying a text, and the ideas began to flow. I grabbed pen and paper, and I wrote as fast as my hand would allow me to write for probably an hour and a half.

In one setting I put an entire message together, got down on my knees on the deck of the boat, and said, The greatest miracle of this sermon has already taken place. This was a gift I didn't deserve—the spiritual gift of preaching and teaching deposited ...

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