Posted 1 years 139 days ago ago by Tom Kraeuter 0 Comments
Some time ago, I had the opportunity to preach in an ancient cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia. No one is quite sure just how old the church is. Historians believe it was built in the 1100s, but there don’t seem to be any records that can definitely verify that. As with many old cathedrals, the pulpit is high up on the front wall. The approach to this one is from directly behind it, a short walk up ten steps.
The assistant pastor, who was to be my translator, wanted me to see the pulpit beforehand. So, well before the first service began, he took me up the steps to check it out. However, as we started through the doorway to begin our ascent, he stopped me and said, “Later, when we go up these steps, stop on each step and pray for God’s anointing.”
I knew what he meant. It is something that has been a part of my ministry since day one. I know that if God doesn’t do the work, all my words are useless. Unless the Lord works in and through His Word to bring life and inspiration to the hearers, my words, regardless of how eloquent they may be, will not have the full effect they should.
So this man was telling me to pray that God’s anointing would rest on me and that the words would have their full effect in the minds and hearts of the people. I heard what he said and assured him that I would do that when we went up the steps later during the service.
When the time came for the sermon, though, I had forgotten his admonition. I was so focused on what I was about to say and how I was going to say it, that I neglected his encouragement to invite the Lord into the situation. In my usual take-charge, let’s-go attitude, I was ready to bound up the stairs two at a time. But as we approached the doorway to ascend the stairs, he grabbed my arm and gently said, “Pray for God’s anointing.”
I knew he was right. So we slowly went up the steps, stopping on each one just long enough to entrust ourselves, our words, our hearts, and our minds into the hands of the Holy Spirit, that He might accomplish His plans and purposes that morning. When we reached the top, I wasn’t the least bit anxious. I knew that God was in charge.
I have to wonder how many times I have ministered—either through preaching or through leading worship—out of my own strength and my own abilities. How many times, I wonder, have I completely neglected the Lord while I was doing His work? What a sad thought.
As you prepare to help lead God’s people in worship, I encourage you to rely on Him. Pray that He gives you the strength and abilities you need to accomplish His plans. Don’t just do what you do because it’s what you’ve always done. Ask the Lord to guide you and give you a newness and freshness in the ministry into which He has placed you. Trust Him to work through your efforts to bring about His purposes.
There is nothing magical about praying as you’re walking toward the place where you will minister. But that Sunday morning in Estonia, as I humbled my heart before God asking for His anointing, it made all the difference for me. Maybe you should give it a try.
When it comes to the topic of worship,Tom Kraeuter is one of the leading voices in the Church today. For more information on Tom, his books, his teaching, or his Worship Seminars, contact Training Resources, 65 Shepherd’s Way, Hillsboro, MO 63050, 636-789-4522, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.WorshipSeminar.com
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