In the classic work On Christian Doctrine, Augustine offers significant counsel for those who preach. One of his most important thoughts is on the significance of prayer in the life of the preacher. He writes:
“Our Christian teacher, even though he says what is just, holy, and good (and he ought never to say anything else), doing all he can to be heard with intelligence, pleasure and obedience, will succeed more by piety in prayer than by gifts of oratory. So he ought to pray for himself, and for those he is about to address, before he attempts to speak.
“When the hour comes to speak, he ought, before he opens his mouth, to lift up his thirsty soul to God, to drink in what he is about to put forth, and to be himself filled with what he is about to distribute.” (from Preaching to Convince)