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There are, of course, two sides to preaching. It is like a dance where the preacher and the people come together in the music of the Scripture and stirring of the Holy Spirit. 

Up to now in this series on preaching, I have only addressed the preacher. But I would like to write several blogs in the next few weeks on receiving what God has for you in a sermon. A pastor needs to teach and encourage some, if not all of what I write.

It is crucial for preachers to understand that they are joining God in a work that is beyond them. It is also important for members of the congregation to understand that God is at work in the entire gathered body when your pastor preaches. This begins and ends with prayer.

Even before you leave home, pray for God to remove the distractions and barriers in your heart and life. If you are part of a family pray for God to prepare the hearts of your spouse and children. When you arrive at the place of worship pray that you will not miss what God is doing in the entire service.

For many years as a pastor, I encouraged people to pray something like, "God, let me hear your voice today." I would also tell them, "It will not offend God for you to pray, 'God, if you are real, let me hear your voice,' or 'God, if you are really here, open my heart to you.'"

I did not just encourage guests to pray such a prayer. I asked everyone to do it. And I always prayed something similar for myself.

http://thinkinginthespirit.blogspot.com/

http://theanchorofthesoul.blogspot.com/

http://watchinginprayer.blogspot.com/

http://writingprayerfully.blogspot.com/

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