Identifying a Possible Idol of Pastors

I’m reading The Power of Prayer and the Prayer of Power by R. A. Torrey. He has some words for pastors on an idol in our lives and how it prevents us from being effective in prayer. I thought it worth sharing.

“The temptation to make an idol of our reputation is especially real with ministers of the gospel. Many people today put an extraordinary and absurd value upon what is called advanced thought and original thinking. If a minister of the gospel is true to the old God-given doctrines, no matter how scholarly and how brilliant he may be, he will be rated as not scholarly and not up-to-date by many people.

“On the other hand, no matter how little a scholar or how poor a thinker a man may be, if he promotes views that are a little contrary to biblical teaching, he will at once be rated as a great thinker, fully abreast of the times, and a great scholar. So many ministers who are really perfectly sound at heart in their own views will throw out a little suggestion now and then in order to make people think that they are up-to-date and in tune with the culture, yet those suggestions will undermine the faith of the young men and women in their congregations. They have made idols of their reputations, and they have lost their power in prayer.

“Sometimes we ministers realize that if we use very ornate rhetoric and theatrical modes of address we will not win as many souls to Christ as we will by preaching the simple, straight gospel, but we will have a far greater reputation as pulpit orators. Many men in the pulpit today have sacrificed their real power for God by cultivating elaborate and highly polished rhetoric and oratorical methods of delivery that awaken the admiration and applause of shallow men and women, but has robbed them of real power for God. Such men have made idols of their reputations, and they are not on praying ground.

“Oh, men and women, if you covet power in prayer, get alone with God and let Him search you. Ask Him to show you if there is any idol in your heart, and when He shows it to you, do away with it today.”

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