The Most Neglected Component of Research?February 13, 2008
Speaking at our first preaching seminar (Digging into the text pt 1) I suggested that there are three basic practices involved in research. Taking the risk of perhaps over-simplifying things, I said that biblical research involves the triad of praying, reading and questioning (the text).
Regarding prayer (perhaps the most neglected of the three?) I proposed that “the one who will speak for God in the pulpit, must firstly speak to God in the study.” In other words: prayer must permeate the whole preparation process. It should not merely be the emergency chord we pull for a few panicked moments in the pre-service vestry. Faris Whitesell explains such pervasive prayer better than I:
“The preacher must be a man of prayer. . . . He should pray for his messages . . . soak them in prayer, . . . pray as he goes into the pulpit, pray as he preaches insofar as that is possible, and follow up his sermons with prayer .” (from The Art of Biblical Preaching)