“Pray” and “Preach”

I awoke one morning with some inspired thoughts. Over the years I have learned to pay attention to these. Sometimes they are suggestions to do something. When I had to preach more often, there had been sermon ideas or outline alignments or fresh perspectives. This time it was to improve the menu at the top header of my blog. It is to make more resources more visible and available to readers.

One is a section of links to blogposts I will write about prayer helps. Most of us struggle with prayer, as I have. Over the years I have tried many things to freshen and deepen my fellowship with the Lord. Some helped a lot. Some didn’t. I want to write about these practical suggestions so that those who want can try them too. If the suggestion leads to life, continue in it. If it does not, stop and move on.

The other section is about preaching. I have read an average of at least two books on preaching per year. It was something I loved doing. I would invariably be excited by some insight I gained or some method or skill I would try out. So I have decided to revisit some of these books I have read, and reflect on what can be gleaned, and reproduce some useful extracts from them. I hope pastors, both experienced and newbies, will be blessed and inspired to freshen their preaching as they read the blogposts. Hopefully, they will go on to buy and read the whole book too.

Do have a look at them by clicking on the relevant buttons in the header banner.

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Ash Wednesday and Lent for a Pentecostal church

Ash Wednesday was on Wednesday 6 March 2019. It marked the beginning of Lent – a period of 40 days of preparation for Good Friday and Easter.
The church tradition is that this period of 40 days, similar to Jesus 40 days of fasting, is for soul care – taking time to slow down, reflect, pray, fast and repent. The period of seeking God would lead to personal revival and ascend with a church celebration of Christ’s resurrection power in Easter.

As a Pentecostal I am not used to observing Lent. It was Trinity Theological College that exposed me to this. It took a long time for me to appreciate the values of having a rhythm to the church year. Observing Lent, Good Friday and Easter, and Pentecost are good practices that embeds the centrality of Christ in the church’s worship and plans. May I encourage you to do some of the following as the Lord leads:

Give a half day to God in reflection and prayer.
Pray for unsaved family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
Pray in tongues for 15 minutes each day for a whole week.
Meditate on the passages of the last week of Jesus and use them as a springboard of prayer.
Skip a meal and use that time to humble yourself before God, acknowledging your shortcomings, powerlessness and need of Him.
Go vegetarian for a week and give up sweet stuff.
Fast from negative words and complaining and gossiping.
Fast from social media for a whole day.
Seek forgiveness and forgive where necessary.
Speak kind and appreciative words to family members.
Repent from worrying and entrust specifically your burdens to God.
Visit and honour your aged parents or grandparents.
Listen to someone’s story without judging, or interrupting or offering solutions.
Pay attention to those who may need your help.

Have a meaningful, reviving, enlightening Lent. How would you like to use Lent for your own soul-care?

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