Preaching v. Prayer
Most of us would rather preach than pray. Preaching is more glamorous. Preaching is more public and thus receives the greater appreciation and accommodation. Prayer, on the other hand is more pedestrian. It tends toward the monotonous and leaves one often feeling unappreciated for the service and even under used. Rarely does prayer lend itself to public recognition and praise. And yet, not only is preaching weak without prayer, but prayer may be more needed in our day than preaching.
Obviously, we dare not replace preaching with prayer. Nevertheless, we do need to see prayer just as important (even as indispensable) as preaching. In fact, when we see that we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1Thes. 5:17), and we see no like command for preaching, we might want to argue that of the two prayer is of first importance.
Nevertheless, such categorizations are not necessary. We are not to set preaching and prayer against each other. The Bible does not do this, and neither should we. The point is simply that we take care to desire and pursue prayer with the same resolve (and in some cases even more) as we do preaching.
In fact, try this. The next time a brother or sister is in a tough spot or going through a hard time (whether due to their sin or the sin of others), rather than preach to them, pray for and with them. I am confident at the time your prayer will mean more to them than your preaching. Your prayer will penetrate further and give more courage and produce more faith than will your preaching. In fact, if at some later date the Lord should will that you would have an opportunity to preach to them, your voice will be more welcomed because it had been heard in prayer.