A prayer before preaching

In preaching the gospel I am not brought to a point in which I can blithely point to everyone else’s sin. I am brought traumatically to a point where I am confronted by the enormity of my own, set in juxtaposition against the super-abounding grace of God. Only a God of magnificent grace and unparalleled mercy would dare to employ the worst to proclaim his best. He displays his glory through broken lives. He echoes his praise from faltering lips. He proclaims his majesty with faulty tools and foolish men.
Thus when I ran across this today I resolved to use it in this coming Sunday’s service.

Lord take these fragments
And make them fragrant.

Lord, take the victories,
And devotion of this week
And work through my failing efforts.

Lord take the words from this page,
These thoughts and prayers,
This exposition and application
And fill our company
Fill our hearts and lives,
With the certainty of your Truth-speaking.

Lord take us,
A body of broken believers,
Beleaguered by the realities of a broken world,
Frustrated with ourselves,
With our sin
With our setting in a planet of terrible beauty,
And grant us life from Christ,
That we might live for Christ.

Lord bless me,
Bless your people,
Bless us,
In spite of us,
And magnify Your name,
For Your own sake,
In the worship of your people.