But John also gave a similar pattern for the prayer AFTER a sermon. Never one for slavish consistency, (I am a strong advocate of Emerson’s words: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”) while I have a problem with consistently praying a public prayer before a sermon, I don’t really have a problem with consistently praying a public prayer after a sermon.
I know that there is the danger of just using it either as a ritualistic or manipulative way of ending the sermon (“It lets the musicians get up on stage while everyone’s eyes are closed”) and there is the danger of simply using the prayer to repreach/rehash the sermon.
I still think, however, that it is important for a couple of reasons:
- It is a reminder that this is not a speech. It is a message from God’s Word. God should have spoken to us through the sermon. (I know that sometimes He has a difficult time doing that because of the words of the preacher…) The focus should be on him, not on the preacher and that concluding prayer helps to do that.
- Most sermons should have a call to action and we all need the help of the Holy Spirit to put into practice what we have been called to do in the words of the text and the sermon.
So…John has a similar acrostic to help remember things to include in the prayer AFTER the sermon. As you can see, they spell lout “END”.
- Exalt God in relation to the Biblical truths that were just taught
- Name the Biblical principles preached & ask God to help the local Church body to obey these truths in the weeks to come
- Draw people to the Cross of Christ by proclaiming hope in the Person and work of Christ for salvation & sanctification.
Thoughts on either ending your sermon with a prayer, or of John’s acrostic?