How To Preach A Sermon: Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China. Howard Taylor was Hudson Taylor’s son and Howard said this of his father: “For forty years the sun never rose on China that God didn’t find my dad on his knees.”
Prayer was an important part of Hudson Taylor’s life. In fact, when you read the biographies of the great Christians of the past, we see that they all saw prayer as an important part of their life and ministry.
We all realize that prayer is an important part of the Christian life. But also, it is an important part of our church life.
When we read the letters of the apostle Paul in the Bible, we see that Paul saw prayer as an important part of his life and ministry.
In fact, when we examine his prayers, we begin to realize this importance.
Three steps in realizing the importance of prayer.
The first step in realizing the importance of prayer involves…
1. Understanding the Reasons for Prayer (3:14-15)
Why did Paul bow his knee? Why did Paul get on his knees and pray for the believers at Ephesus?
A. Paul was overwhelmed by God’s grace and God’s plan for man.
When the apostle Paul reflected upon God’s grace and God’s plan for man, it led him to prayer.
B. Paul realized the source of all grace.
Look at verses 14 and 15 and the beginning of verse 16, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of his glory…”
The apostle Paul realized that all this had nothing to do with him but everything to do with God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the source of all grace. God is the source of every spiritual blessing in Christ. That’s why Paul bowed his knees to God the Father.
The second step in realizing the importance of prayer involves…
2. Understanding the Request in Prayer (3:16)
Look at verse 25, “Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbour, for we are members of one another.”
When Paul reflected upon God’s grace and plan for man, he bowed his knees to God the Father and made a request. In other words, he asked God for something.
Let me ask you a question. What are the most pressing issues in your life? What are the things for which you pray?
A. We often prioritize self and the physical.
That’s not wrong within itself! But I want you to notice that…
B. Paul prioritzed others and the spiritual.
Look at verse 16, “That He (God) would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might (power) through His Spirit (referring to the Holy Spirit) in the inner man.”
Paul didn’t pray for himself but for others…he didn’t pray for the physical but the spiritual well-being of others.
The third step in realizing the importance of prayer involves…
3. Understanding the Results of Prayer (3:17-21)
When Paul prayed for spiritual strengthening, he knew the results would be far reaching.
- Greater Fellowship (3:17a)
- Greater Love (3:17b)
- Greater Comprehension (3:18)
- Greater Knowledge (3:19a)
- Greater Filling (3:19b)
- Greater Power (3:20)
- Greater Praise (3:21)
What makes prayer importance? When we understand why we should pray, we will ask God for spiritual strengthening that leads to greater fellowship, love, understanding, knowledge, filling, power and praise.
God can accomplish more than we could possibly imagine if only we would ask! (3:20).
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Resources For How To Preach A Sermon
Sermon structure is an important part of preaching a sermon well. Understanding sermon structure will help you with How To Preach a Sermon!
Further Resources For How To Preach A Sermon
Chapell Bryan, 1994, Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Koller Charles W, 1995, How To Preach Without Notes, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids Michigan.
Braga James, 1981, How To Prepare Bible Messages, Multnomah Press, Portland, Oregon.