At the beginning of the New Year, it’s a good time to be reminded of the place of prayer in the work of those who proclaim the Word. The great British preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones emphasized the importance of prayer in the life of every preacher:
“Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this—always obey such an impulse. Where does it come from? It is the work of the Holy Spirit; it is a part of the meaning of ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Phil. 2:12-13).
“This often leads to some of the most remarkable experiences in the life of the minister. So never resist, never postpone it, never push it aside because you are busy. Give yourself to it, yield to it; and you will find not only that you have not been wasting time with respect to the matter with which you are dealing but that actually it has helped you greatly in that respect. You will experience an ease and a facility in understanding what you were reading, in thinking, in ordering matter for a sermon, in writing, in everything which is quite astonishing.
“Such a call to prayer must never be regarded as a distraction; always respond to it immediately, and thank God if it happens to you frequently.” (from Preaching and Preachers , Zondervan, 1972, p. 170-171)