The truth about how to live the Christian life is found in the Bible. For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Dad Hagin, used to say that anything you use in the natural world to help prop you up, will hinder you spiritually. He taught that we were to live from within, by the Holy Spirit. He told us that we were to be led by the Holy Spirit and not the natural world. Dad Hagin said using an alarm clock to wake you in the morning would hinder your faith. He said, I always tell the Holy Spirit what time I want to wake up and he always woke up at that time. Of course, some considered Dad Hagin to have been washed up and out of touch with reality. Jesus never did! He appeared to him more times than anyone else I know of on planet earth. Kenneth E. Hagin told me personally that there were many things that he knew that he could not share with the church because they were not ready for them.
The Bible is clear that we should live by faith and not by sight. I believe that we should be relevant and have good, powerful illustrations when we preach. However, this should not come at the expense of your prayer time. You must have time to pray and seek the Lord. This goes not just for preaching a message, but for life in general. If you do not pray, you cannot obey what the Lord wants you to do.
I personally go before the Lord in prayer and wait in His presence until He tells me what to preach on. Of course, I pray and meditate on the Word and fast during this time as well. Many times I don’t hear anything. But I keep on worshipping Him and thanking Him for what He wants to do. The closer it gets to service time, the more concerned my flesh gets. My flesh starts to get antsy and concerned that I haven’t heard anything from the Lord yet. But this is a great opportunity to crucify your flesh and walk by faith. So I keep waiting on the Lord and worshipping Him. My flesh and mind don’t like that, but I’m not here to please my flesh and my mind, I’m here to please the Lord.
Many times I don’t even get the message during this prayer time. But I keep on worshipping God and thanking Him. But when I get up to preach and pray the opening prayer, I get the message. There’s no time to get illustrations, to plan on how to be relevant, to get props or a powerpoint, or anything else! But my preaching is always filled with power and results when I yield to the Lord. The key here is yielding to the Lord and walking in faith. If you have no prayer life there will be no power in your life to help you or others. I always ask the Lord for revelation and illustration of His word so that I can communicate it clearly to others. He never fails me. And He will never fail you, if you will ask Him. Praise God and thank Him for it!