2. Pray for those who didn’t hear the word.
Every pastor understands this. There are some (plenty?) people who don’t hear at all. It turns out that after the sermon is a great time to pray for them, too. If we stay in a pastorate for any length of time we recognize those individuals who seem to have hearts of stone. We might even wonder by they bother coming to church—but they do! And we are their shepherds as well. But every pastor also knows that God is in the business of bringing dead things to life. Why not use the evening after the sermon to lift them up?
3. Pray that you might live into the message.
Finally we, too, are those standing in the need of prayer! One of the great risks of being a “religious professional” is the deception that we do not need God’s grace for growth as well. I’ve heard preachers say (more times than I can count!) something like, “. . . And I’m preaching to myself, here, too . . .” So let’s be real: God used flawed people like you and me to bring his word. Let’s not presume that we will automatically walk out the very word we have delivered. I’ve learned that by praying for myself I am reminded that I am a member of the church as well. I am one who needs grace to hear, grace to repent, and grace to fulfill the very message I’ve brought. How ‘bout you?
I believe these three simple prayer emphases after the sermon can help plant the word deep into the hearts of those we care for—and ourselves.