Today, on my Pastoral Sabbath, I spent considerable time reflecting on, praying about and reading about preaching and prayer. I always review the sermon and worship service on Sunday night or Monday, but this was more of a self-examination. How am I doing as preacher and pray-er? I spent considerable time reflecting on these areas of ministry via the pastoral review that we conducted in the spring. And I thought it was time to “continue the conversation.” Happily I wasn’t alone in my thoughts. I was guided by the late John Stott, who was a renowned preacher. I’ve been reading his book, “Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today” (William B. Eerdmans, 1982), and have found it exceedingly helpful. Today Pastor John reminded me that as a pastor, my primary callings are to preach and teach God’s Word, and to pray (see 1 Timothy 2, 4 and Acts 6). This may seem obvious to you, but I needed to hear that. He also reminded me that preaching requires preparation–lots of it! So I was challenged to study God’s Word diligently, meditate on it, pray over it, and to write the sermon in good faith. So, based on this conversation with Pastor John, and guided, of course, by the Holy Spirit, I look forward to spending more time in God’s Word and prayer in the future, as I seek to become the best preacher and pray-er that I can be, so the gospel will be heard, so that people will grow spiritually, and so the church grows. To God be the glory!