“Prayer” Exodus 32:7-14
Rev. Sean Weston Luke 11:1-13
Lyonsville Congregational UCC, Indian Head Park IL
July 8, 2018
The year was 1738, in England. A preacher named John Wesley was burned out. He was having trouble with his faith. He said to himself, “stop preaching. How can you preach to others if you don’t have faith yourself?” He asked a friend, another preacher named Peter Böhler [BOOh-lar] if that meant he should stop preaching and find a new line of work. After all, how can you preach to others if you’re not sure of your faith yourself?
In response, Böhler said no, absolutely not! Wesley responded, quite reasonably, “but what can I preach?” Böhler answered, “preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” John took his friend’s advice, and the next day he ministered to a man on death row. “My soul started back from the work,” he said, which is a 1738 way of saying “it was really, really hard for me. Something deep inside me resisted.” But he followed his friend’s advice. Preach faith till you have it. Wesley ended up being one of the most influential preachers in church history, co-founding the what is now the United Methodist Church. That’s good advice, I think. But the idea doesn’t just apply to those of us who preach. You might have heard similar advice in the phrase “fake it till you make it.” Maybe someone has reminded you that when you smile you are more likely to feel like smiling. Maybe you’ve discovered that during conflict with a loved one, saying “I love you” out loud softens your heart even when you don’t feel very loving. Preach faith till you have it. Fake it till you make it. Continue reading