Before I get up to preach, I pray and ask the Lord what He wants to say. I pray the Ephesians prayers. I pray them a lot. I tell the Lord that I want to do what He wants me to do. I tell him that I want His plan, and His word. They taught me how to put together a message at that Bible school I went to. You have an introduction, a main body, and a conclusion. I know how to prepare a sermon. I know how to prepare a book report.
Now I don’t want to be mean or criticize, but most churches today have book reports. Anybody today with any kind of training can read any book, including the Bible, and give a book report. And a lot of messages today are nothing more than book reports on the Bible. There is a difference between information on the Bible, which is a book report, and revelation of the Bible. Revelation penetrates the human spirit. All permanent change begins in the human spirit, not the mental realm. Yes when we need to renew our mind to the Word of God; we meditate on the Word of God. But all permanent, lasting change begins in the human spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells. It starts on the inside and works its way out.
Most churches today teach motivational messages, psychology and socialism along with book reports on the Bible. There is no anointing, from the Lord on this, and it produces no lasting change in a person’s life. Those messages deal with the mind, will, emotions or soul of a person. Social interaction, with one another, has become much more important than spiritual interaction with the Lord. Humanism has replaced the Holy Ghost in many churches. Pleasing people is more important.
What Is Missing
Prayer is the missing link between the Lord, His Glory and the church. The Spirit of God said to me, “The first thing that should be taught to new Christians is how to pray. Without prayer, Christians will not know Me or have the ability to live according to My Word.” Motivational messages come from spending time in the natural putting together a message, rather than spending time in prayer, getting in the spirit, and getting revelation from God.
There is a spiritual assault on prayer, right now, from the kingdom of darkness. Christians desire to pray, but don’t because the oppression of satan is on them.
The missing link of prayer has caused the church, as a whole, to be revelation deficient. I admire ministers who are able to put together talks, speeches and videos that mesh together, at just the right time, to amaze and emotionally move the audience. In fact, that has been trending in the church for many years now. It takes a lot of effort to pull it off successfully. Many times, those things replace praying and seeking God until He gives the message for the minister to preach. Then those things are simply book reports on the Bible, which anyone with a little knowledge can do. I am not against illustrations, but if the illustration/message doesn’t come from revelation, by the Spirit of God, it is a waste of time.
Jesus said, “My house shall be called the house of prayer.” He got angry and turned over tables and chairs because the House of God was being used for other purposes than prayer and worship of The Lord. What would He do in the progressive church today? His original intent for the church has been mostly forgotten today.
Prayer has taken a backseat to other things in a Christian’s life. Today, many Christians and ministers are distracted with all types of things and do not sit at the feet of Jesus as they should. They are too distracted by entertainment, relaxation, and things of the world to spend time in prayer with God. Therefore, there is a great lack of revelation and anointing in the church. Revelation of His Word and His anointing only comes from spending time with Jesus. This, sadly, causes many ministers to give book reports on the Bible that are called sermons. Many don’t know the difference.
Remember the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the good part of desiring to be with Jesus and He would not tell her to stop and serve others. He was telling Martha that she had become overly distracted with serving and she should stop and sit at His feet also. There is a time to serve, work and do other things, but there is a time to focus only on Jesus Christ.
We should be spending more time in prayer and less time with the distractions of the world. Messages that come from the pulpit should originate not as a book report on something that was read, but as an outflow of revelation from spending time with God.
Don’t let distractions pull you away from your first duty as a Christian – prayer. Take the time to sit at the feet of Jesus in prayer. It will not cost. It pays.