Pastors Who Don’t Pray Lack the Cutting Edge of Ministry, Pastor Gregg T. Johnson

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The term today for effective, state of the art, fashionable ministry is “cutting edge.” It describes the up-to-the-minute modern media we use to penetrate cultural resistance and communicate the gospel in a way that connects to the sensory paradigms of sight, sound and emotion. In a world where visual imagery is king and attention spans are declining, cutting edge ministry can be anything from music and drama to video and fancy lights creating the right feel of a room. While these may certainly be effective modes of outreach and relevant tools of communication, they should in no way be misconstrued as ministry’s “cutting edge.” There is only one cutting edge of ministry that penetrates cultures, pierces paradigms and converts resistant people. Prayer is our “cutting edge.” Scripture tells us, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength.” (Eccl. 10:10) Have you ever tried to chop wood with a dull ax blade? Every swing requires more and more effort and yields smaller and smaller results. You must rely more on brute, physical strength to force the ax through the wood. How different it is when the blade has been sharpened in advance—prepared for its task on the sharpening stone. It almost glides through the tree without exerting any physical effort. It is prayer that makes ministry sharp, living and powerful—like a two edged sword piercing the soul and discerning the intents of the heart. Without prayer, gospel ministry is reduced to mere entertainment competing with the world for carnal attention. Each “show” must be more dynamic and amusing then the last if the masses are to return for more. Pastors lacking in prayer may have the look of effective ministry, but there are much deeper, more essential dynamics that will be lacking. There may be crowds, but there won’t be converts. There may be hype, but there won’t be holiness. There may be entertainment, but there won’t be an anointing that breaks the yoke and sets souls free. As Paul warned Timothy, there may be the appearance of godliness, but it will definitely lack the power.


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