The Need for Prayer in Preaching

“Rather than lower the standard for preaching, we should lower ourselves to our knees before the Father. The Puritans saturated all their preaching in prayer. They were great preachers only because they were also great petitioners who wrestled with God for divine blessing on their preaching. Richard Baxter said, ‘Prayer must carry on our work as well as preaching; he preacheth not heartily to his people, that prayeth not earnestly for them. If we prevail not with God to give them faith and repentance, we shall never prevail with them to believe and repent.’ Robert Traill wrote, ‘Some ministers of meaner [fewer] gifts and parts are more successful than some that are far above them in abilities; not because they preach better, so much as because they pray more. Many good sermons are lost for lack of much prayer in study.’ And John Owen said, ‘He that is more frequent in his pulpit to his people than he is in his closet for his people is but a sorry watchman.’ Let us therefore bring ourselves and our preaching into the presence of God, and find grace in the time of our need (Heb. 4:16).” – Joel Beeke, A Puritan Theology.