Perhaps you have experienced it. Great times of prayer. Real passionate prayer and even a sense of spiritual breakthrough, all in the context of a forthcoming sermon. I remember times when I would preach through a message ahead of time, then pray for the people and the event at which it would be preached. I remember times of great excitement, great expectation. Maybe you’ve had those times too? Maybe you’ve also had that let down feeling when the real event happened and the sermon and the response and the atmosphere was all so normal.
It is easy to let the normal-ness of ministry diminish our sense of expectation. It is as if we don’t really expect people to be transformed or the Spirit of God to be at work. It is understandable, but it is wrong. As Haddon Robinson has put it, “we’re handling dynamite, and we didn’t expect it to explode!” The Spirit of God is at work, the Word of God is powerful, and whether we see it or not, we should prepare and pray with great expectation. (What about the disappointments and struggles that come internally after we preach? We pour them out to God and then press on, daring to dream again, daring to pray big and preach big for a big God!)