On Saturday night I preached at an inner-city mission. And praise the Lord a prostitute was saved!
After all these years of street-preaching and never being invited to preach anywhere, I have actually been invited to preach monthly at this inner city Mission for the homeless and disadvantaged.
The thing is I don’t know how to do “normal” preaching. I can’t get three points and then a conclusion and stand behind a pulpit.
As part of my Chaplaincy course I’ve just been reading an essay on how to be an “Effective Communicator” as a preacher. Even though this article does make some valid points, I find it rather sad that it is all about how to get your points across, how to make sure the audience remembers what you’ve said, how to be an effective communicator etc etc.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to come into it at all – it’s all fleshly business-speak. In these days of downloadable sermons and effective sound-bytes there is a need for anointed preaching again. For goodness sake let’s get back to the power of the Holy Spirit! So here’s my “how-to” list to preach in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Preaching in the Spirit
- Be in an intimate relationship with Jesus. If you’re not, then please don’t preach. Really.
- Be constantly in the Word. It just needs to be a part of you.
- Check your heart. If there’s anything between you and God deal with it immediately.
- Cry. Yes, weep. This is hugely important. Weeping is the key to the anointing. This is something that cannot be forced, so ask God to break you for the sins of the people you will be preaching to. Preaching should ALWAYS come from a place of brokenness but it usually never does, and that’s why power in preaching is so rare these days.
- Ask Him for His heart, for His burden, for what He wants to say. Even if you only get one scripture from Him it is enough. It is better to preach that one verse for 5 minutes if it’s from His heart than to preach for 30 minutes from your flesh.
- Yield yourself to Him and His will. Ask Him to have His way in you and for you to be a vessel for Him.
- Pray before you go: For Him to fill you with His Spirit; for the people’s hearts to be prepared; for the Spirit to preach through you right into the spiritual realm. You will need to resist the devil – all his methods, his agents, his interruptions, anything he would seek to do to disrupt or interfere with God’s message being delivered.
- Cry again.
- Thank God for the victory we have in Christ Jesus.
- Go in Holy Ghost boldness, knowing it’s not about you, but about Him.
I preached Isaiah 1:18 on Saturday night: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”
The Holy Spirit had impressed upon me that it was all about being honest with God, calling a sin a sin. So that’s what I preached. Afterwards there was a time of ministry and the prostitute came to me and we cried together and she was saved, praise the Lord. The pastor said at the end of the night that there had been a shift in the Spirit tonight, that there was a new honesty and people were being real.
And that’s the point: a shift in the spiritual realm. T Austin Sparks called it “preaching to the back of things.”
Preaching to the flesh is a waste of time. The flesh cannot receive the things of the Spirit. People may feel inspired in the emotional realm for a while, but nothing changes. No, we must preach to the back of things. We preach to the angels, the devils, to the spirit of man, to Christ Himself. And that’s when things happen.
I’m happy to answer any questions about this article!