Spiritual Preparation for Preaching your Sermon

Spiritual Preparation for Preaching your Sermon is an article on how to spiritually prepare for a sermon.

A Sermon is a Product of your Spirit and Soul

When considering the Spiritual Preparation for Preaching your Sermon, we need to begin with two key elements.

First, a sermon is a message from God to a specific group of people. These messages are very similar to people all over the world and across time, but it needs to be tailored to the specific needs and personalities of the people before the preacher at the time. This preparation for the audience has a tremendous amount to do with its preparation.

In other words, the people before the preacher need to understand that message, and the preacher has to set it into a context and language that they would understand. If you read Spurgeon’s sermons, they are very poor in my estimation in comparison with many modern day preachers. Moody the same. But we cannot judge them this way. In their day, with their people, they were great successes. We judge them by comparison of preachers that have a great many religious reference works at their fingertips. This is unfair, and it is unnecessary. They were great preachers in their time and with their own congregations. You cannot change that fact.

Secondly, a sermon is a product of the preacher. Anybody can stand before a group of people and talk for an hour. Today’s comedians do it at large, lots of times, and they seem to do it fairly well. They entertain people.

Preachers do not do that exactly. We are not before these people to entertain them, despite what some preachers actually do. We have a mission from God, and things really boil down to what the spiritual character of the preacher is, and that is what determines the essence of the sermon.

While we are examining these, neither have an absolute effect on the effectiveness of the sermon. For a sermon to be effective, God has to send His Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit has to be working within the people’s hearts. The preacher affects the coming of the Holy Spirit basically through prayer. The preacher’s prayers for the people and that sermon as well as other people in the church’s prayers for the event is what determines how effective a sermon is, and of course, the will of God in the case of this group of people.


The best sermons come from the bottom of the soul of the preacher. A sermon is always better and more effective if in some way the issues and message of the sermon has already moved the heart, soul, and life of the preacher. He is preaching from his own personal experience. Here, I clarify this a bit. Having been a preacher myself for many years, pastors deal with counseling of people. What I consider “my experience” includes these situations, problems, and solutions that we have labored over in these counseling sessions. So although I have never been divorced or had sexual relations with some other woman than my wife, these are common counseling themes with the people I talk to and counsel.

So as a preacher, I need to constantly be reflective and meditative on the issues of life, specifically my own life, and that of my family, and that of my church family. As I reflect on these issues, God send me messages about these life issues, and I make sermons on them, and that is very  beneficial to the people who hear with open hearts these messages from God.

I also need to keep my heart clean before God so that God can work through me.

Confession and abandonment of your sin

Preaching is about a transferring of morality from one person to another. Usually, this is from an elderly person with many experiences and lessons learned in life to people who are younger than he, or people who have less learning in the Lord than the preacher. But really anybody at any specific stage of spiritual growth can be edified by a good sermon, whether they are struggling with the specific issues or not.

So as the heart of the preacher goes, so goes his sermons, and so goes his church. A corrupt, sinful preacher either gives them bad advice, or good advice with the bad example of hypocrisy in his own life.

Prayer and Seeking the support of the Holy Spirit

As I mentioned above, a preacher can do nothing without God’s help, and specifically, without the Holy Spirit coming into the servant, using him, and moving the people in the congregation. All of this comes from an active prayer life. Preachers are not perfect, and we have sin as anyone else does. But we must be examples here as in other areas of our life. We must fight against sin, and repentance is very important even in the preacher’s life.

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Pastor David Cox is a missionary. See my ministry updates here.