Prayer for the Preacher
(That God’s Word may have Free Course, Run Swiftly, and be Glorified!)
E.M. Bounds (1835–1913) wrote nine classic books on prayer. In one book, he writes of the critical need for people in a church gathering to be in prayer for the preacher as he speaks God’s Word. He used these verses:
2 Thess 3:1 (KJV) – Finally, brethren, pray for us that the Word of the Lord may have FREE COURSE [“run swiftly” NKJV, “speed ahead” ESV], and be glorified, even as it is with you.
1 Thess 5:25 (NKJV) – Brethren, pray for us.
Ephesians 6:18-20 (NKJV) – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…and for me, that UTTERANCE may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel…that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
E.M. Bounds wrote that those people who are in prayer for the preacher are like Powerline Poles that hold up the electrical current wires. [Note: Electrical power lines were new thing in E.M. Bounds’ day. Their first use was for the telegraph in 1844.]
«Men in the pew given to praying for the preacher are like the poles which hold up the wires along which the electric current runs. They are not the power, neither are they the specific agents in making the Word of the Lord effective. But they hold up the wires, along which the divine power runs to the hearts of men…. Preachers, not a few, who know God, have had large experience and are aware of the truth of these statements. Yet how hard have they found it to preach in some places! This was because they had no “door of utterance,” and were hampered in their delivery, there appearing no response whatever to their appeals. On the other hand, at other times, thought flowed easily, words came freely, and there was no failure in utterance. The preacher “had liberty,” as the old men used to declare.»[“The Weapon of Prayer,” Ch. 10, “The Preacher’s Cry – Pray for Us!” by E.M. Bounds, published 1920.]
A Very Important Decision…
We all know the importance of prayer, but sometimes we just get occupied by the “things” of this life. One obvious sign that our “Powerline Pole” may be falling is that we begin criticizing the messenger God is using. There is a mighty big difference between intercession and accusation – they are as incompatible as darkness and light! In these End Times, as Satan, “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev 12:10), is furiously at work, intercessors are needed more than ever!
So, maybe our “Powerline Pole” has faltered a bit, but no worries; “for God is able to make [us] stand” (Rom 14:4). We simply need to repent of any criticism and turn back to the Cross and let the Blood of Jesus cleanse us (1 John 1:7,9) so that we can stand as intercessors and follow Jesus’ intercessor example (Heb 7:25).
Let’s make a decision to be an intercessor today! May the Lord empower us to stand tall as “Powerline Poles,” “holding forth the Word of Life” (Phil 2:16) so that God’s Word can have “free course” and “run swiftly” to bring the powerful “electricity” of revival wherever and by whomever God uses to speak it!
Psalms 68:11 (KJV) – The Lord gave the Word: great was the company of those that published it.
Acts 19:20 (NKJV) – So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
“Electric Powerline Pole” Prayer
Dear Father, thank You for the “living and abiding Word of God” (1 Peter 1:23) – the Word by which we were born again (Jam 1:17; John 1:12-13), the Word of our salvation, redemption, sanctification, and transformation from “glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18). You have declared that everything You change, design, and create in our lives is through Your Word:
John 1:3 (NKJV) – All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
Lord, we acknowledge the creative authority of Your Word and the power and majesty of Your voice that “…breaks the cedars…divides the flames of fire…shakes the wilderness…and makes the deer give birth…” (Psalm 29:4-9). Let Your voice roar through the servant You are using today!
Lord Jesus, You told us that “the flesh profits nothing,” but the Words You speak are “spirit and life” (John 6:63). Lord, it is Your Word that we need to hear. All other words are nothing more than “chaff.” Strengthen and energize Your messenger to speak Your Word faithfully:
Jeremiah 23:28-29 (NKJV) – “…he who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord. “Is not My Word like FIRE?” says the Lord, “and like a HAMMER that breaks the rock in pieces?”
Lord, we need the Holy “Fire” and Holy “Hammer” of Your Word so that hearts might be changed. Therefore, we ask that Your Word would be FIRE in the mouth of Your messenger, and let us be as WOOD! Revive us! Set us on fire with Your Word!
Jeremiah 5:14 (NKJV) – “…because you speak this Word, behold, I will make My Words in your mouth FIRE, and this people WOOD, and it shall devour them.”
For this gathering, oh Lord, grant us to be “noble-minded” (Acts 17:11) that we might receive the Word, not as from men, but as it truly is – from You! For only then can Your Word “effectually work” within us:
1 Thess 2:13 (NKJV) – For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also EFFECTIVELY WORKS in you who believe:
Not tickled ears (2 Tim 4:4), but transformed hearts – this is for which we long! Deliver us from the religious curse of being calloused-hearted, “forgetful hearers.” By Your great grace, convert us to be the “effectual doer” who “will be blessed in what he does” (Jam 1:25 NASB).
Holy Spirit, only Your anointing can “qualify” (Exo 40:15) someone:
Exodus 40:15 (NASB)
“…and their anointing will qualify them for a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”
It is Your anointing that makes the messenger of Your Word “sufficient ministers of the New Covenant” to speak God’s Word to bring “life” to His people:
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 (NKJV)
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,
Who also made us SUFFICIENT as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives LIFE.
O Spirit of God, continue to anoint with fresh oil this messenger whom God has sent. God’s covenant with Christ and with those (in Christ) whom He sends is that His Word will be in their mouth, and an immeasurable supply of Your Spirit will rest upon them:
John 3:34 (NKJV) – For He whom God has sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
Isaiah 59:21 (NKJV) – “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My Words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
Jesus, we are Your people. We are Your Church gathered here. We desperately desire tuned-in ears to “hear what the Spirit says to the churches” in these End Times (Rev 2:7,11,17,29; Rev 3:6,13,22). May we ever grow accustomed to hearing even Your soft whispers now so that we would not miss hearing the trumpet on that Day when You come in the clouds to rapture Your Bride.
Oh, dear Lord Jesus, stir up hunger, thirst, fresh passion, and love in our hearts for You as we hear the wonderful Words of Life You choose to speak with us here today:
As Peter did, we also confess:
John 6:68 – Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of Eternal Life.
As young Samuel prayed to hear God’s Voice:
1 Sam 3:9 (NKJV) – Speak, for Your servant hears.
As the Psalmist prayed:
Psalms 85:8 (NKJV) – I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints…
As Your Church and Your Bride gathered together here to hear Your Words of life, we know that our delightful testimony and praise to You, Jesus, will be:
Song of Songs 5:16 – His mouth is most sweet. Yes, He is altogether lovely…!
Come quickly, Jesus!
In Jesus’ Name.