I just recently finished reading “The Hidden Life of Prayer” by David McIntyre. Excellent book; I would highly recommend it to anyone who has a desire to push themselves deeper and closer to that mystery called prayer. The book is written in beautiful language that caused my soul to soar with each phrase. I was introduced to many great “pray-ers”, and allowed to see through their eyes their experience of earnest prayer.
Last night I turned to another book, which would probably be considered an odd choice for a single mom who will never “preach”. The title is “Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching” (You can see the book in my sidebar Widget titled “I’m Reading…”) Some of the contributors include John Piper, Al Mohler, John MacArthur, and several more. It’s currently on sale for Kindle at Amazon for only .99 cents, and wholly worth it.
Why am I reading this book? First off, I highly respect each of the authors and want to hear what they have to say about the importance; even the supremacy of preaching as worship. I think sometimes, in some churches, the sermon becomes an “add-on” after the experience of music, instead of the music worship set doing just that–“setting” our minds on Christ so that we will be ready to hear God’s word spoken.
I’m also reading it because I’ve been asked to speak at a ministry event in a couple of weeks. This will be a ladies ministry event to “kick” the summer off. I’m not interested in bringing to these ladies some sort of fluff, feel good devotional though. It’s important to me that I stick to scripture, that I stick to what God calls me to say, that I stick to truth that they can take home and slowly digest. Reading this book is helping me to prepare my heart for that speaking engagement, by teaching me the centrality of hearing God’s Word. (I may never get asked back again, lol 🙂 )
The third reason I’m reading this book sort of incorporates the first two reasons. We must hear God’s word, we must be fed God’s word on a regular basis, through those that God has called to preach to our churches, our congregations. Jesus is the Word, as we are told in John 1:1 :
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
Another passage that beckons me to read this book on preaching is the following, found in Romans 10:14:
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
This verse narrows down to the “passionate plea for preaching” which is the subtitle of this book, “Feed My Sheep”. It’s the Gospel. It’s the spoken word that proclaims the gospel that we each need to hear, whether we are believers or not.
So I read this book because of my respect for its authors, to understand preaching in and of itself, for my very own preparation to teach and speak, and because preaching is proclaimed and promoted in scripture as having the roll of primacy in sharing the Gospel. I also read it so that I will be able to better pray for my pastors as they study and prepare to share God’s word with their sheep.
4:00 AM Addition: I also want to be able to recognize good, solid Biblical teaching and preaching. Not preaching that is shallow or shies away from the gospel. Not preaching that is done in order to gain something something wrong or evil. Not preaching meant to entertain a crowd. No, I want to recognize and sit under preaching that is truth and will feed my soul and my family’s souls.