An Impulse You Should Never Ignore

An Impulse You Should Never Ignore

Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes to preachers:

Above all — and this I regard as most important of all — always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with the text. I would make an absolute law of this — always obey such 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' (Philippians 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.

Always respond to it immediately, such a call to prayer must never be regarded as a distraction; and thank God if it happens to you frequently.

Preaching and Preachers, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 170-171, paragraphing mine.

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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.