Monday, February 21, 2011

Piper on M'Cheyne - On Prayer and Preaching

This is a bit old, as far as the internet goes, but I still can't help but recommend the following resource. It is John Piper's biographical message on Robert Murray M'Cheyne from this year's Desiring God Pastor's Conference.

Among the most helpful aspects of what Piper had to say were his parsing out of M'Cheyne's advice to those ministers who tend towards the more intellectual side of things:
Since the intellectual part of the discourse is not that which is most likely to be an arrow in the conscience, those pastors who are intellectual men must bestow tenfold more prayerfulness on their work, if they would have either their own or their people's souls affected under their word. If we are ever to preach with compassion for the perishing, we must ourselves be moved by those same views of sin and righteousness which moved the human soul of Jesus.
As I sense the time for seminary drawing nearer, I am more and more frequently made aware of my own prayerlessness and the lack of real faith that such prayerlessness manifests. Elsewhere, M'Cheyne says something else that causes this intellectual to pause:
We are often for preaching to awaken others; but we should be more upon praying for it. Prayer is more powerful than preaching. It is prayer that gives preaching all its power. . . .
As I see it, we need men like this - because I would never naturally come to conclusions like this - and yet I know that they are truths which are Biblical and which come from only a few short years of M'Cheyne's experience.

So anyway, as I say - definitely read/watch/listen to Piper's talk on M'Cheyne. It's absolutely worth it.

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