The Great Cost of Preaching Without Prayer—Theology Without Fire by Shane Idleman
Throughout church history—from the reformation to revival—pivotal shifts have taken place to get us back on track. These critical moments are often centered around sound doctrine, but the catalyst is always prayer, brokenness, and humility.
Today we find ourselves in another dilemma. The drift of so-called “liberal” churches is apparent. It’s been estimated that nearly 72 percent of all churches don’t look to the Bible as their final source of authority and direction. No wonder America is crumbling from within—the foundation is deteriorating!
Although disheartening, my main concern is not necessarily with these numbers since God often uses a small remnant to fulfill His purposes. My main concern is with the remnant that needs to be awakened from their spiritual slumber. Conservative churches—this is our battle to lose.
Filled with Power from On High
Where are men with uncompromising power and authority in the pulpits today? Granted, there are some, and I appreciate their ministry, but as a whole, the church is lacking.
In these immensely trying times, we need more leaders filled and clothed with power from on high. Those who do the most for God are always people of prayer. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “Preaching is theology coming through a man who is on fire.” And Calvin Miller adds, “Preaching, in one sense, merely discharges the firearm that God has loaded in the silent place.” Your prayer closet is also your power closet.
“The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher” (E.M. Bounds). Who a preacher is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit.
No More Business as Usual
As I’ve shared before, a friend of mine recently attended a large gathering of “conservative” Christian leaders. When I mentioned how powerful it would be if they added times of prayer, fasting, and worship to the schedule, he responded, “That would be a game-changer. But many still have the ‘business-as-usual’ mentality.”
Even though the world is falling apart and our nation is sinking into a moral abyss, there is very little desperation for the things of God. “Business as usual” is not going to cut it! What’s it going to take to draw us back to the heart of God?