Convicted Before I Ever Said A Word


I was asked to come back and preach at Pinecrest Community Church this past weekend. Pinecrest was where we served before we came to Western Hills. Their new pastor is David Baumgartner who has preached at Western Hills AND was an elder when I was there before.

I was humbled and honored to do this. I was also excited about it.

I walk into church at 7:48 am. First service starts at 8:45. Tech team is buzzing, getting stuff ready. Coffee is brewing. Worship team is practicing.

I notice people walking up and down the aisles of chairs. They are touching every chair. Just a handful of people – but they are praying for every person who will sit in these chairs.

Holy Spirit Nudges: Grant, do you do this at Western Hills?

Grant: No.

Holy Spirit: Why not?


As I’m finishing up with tech guys about slides, one of the prayer walkers grabs me. Her name is Linda. She says – ‘you have 30 seconds to tell me what the message is about this morning.’

I tell her forgiveness. Could be a great, rough morning for some people.

She listens and pauses. She grabs my arm and starts praying for the message and me. Specifically for me.

Holy Spirit Shoves: Grant, do you have someone specifically praying for the message and the speaker every week?

Grant: No.

Holy Spirit: Why not?


She finishes praying. She says to me – it is going to be a great morning.

I catch up with a few people. David grabs me at 8:30. Every musician, singer, tech person, speaker, and anyone on the stage or leading service meets in back room. Every. Single. One.

David and Toby – the worship leader – goes thru service one more time. Then they pray – all of them.

Holy Spirit Hits: Grant, do you do this at Western Hills?

Grant: (Doesn’t even answer)

Holy Spirit: Why not?


David says something in his prayer:

“We’ve done all we can do. It’s up to Your Spirit now. If You aren’t in this, then all we’ve done is meaningless.”

As the team leaves the room to start the service, I can’t stand up. I’m completely convicted. Exposed. Embarrassed. Humiliated.

I wish I was alone. He’s there. Just waiting.

I ask Him – why are you even trusting me with this message this morning? I’m in no position to teach. We haven’t even played one worship song and I’m already needing an altar to repent. I’m the guy that’s supposed to be teaching in just a few minutes.

He whispers – you’ve heard what I needed you to hear. Go teach. I’m with you.

The service was great. Many responded. Now it’s my turn.

I have led poorly in the area of prayer, particularly on Sunday morning. It’s inexcusable. If we aren’t praying – it’s pointless. It’s meaningless.

This Sunday starts a new era. The worship auditorium will be opened at 8:00 am for people to pray over every seat in the room. This will happen every single Sunday. Consider this your invitation.

We need a team of folks to pray specifically with the speaker and for the message that particular morning.

I know for many of you, the time before the service is a great time to connect with me or others who are leading worship. I hope you will understand that from now on, those involved in the service will be in a back room 15 minutes before the service praying.

One last thought…

How do you prepare for worship? Not just on Sunday, but every day? How much prayer and forethought do you invest in your worship? Do you spend more time planning your next meal than your worship? How many Sundays do you pause before you worship and ask Him – ‘How can I bless you today? What worship do You want right now?’

Because this is not just about getting ready to worship. It is the essence of what Romans 12:1-2 is about every single day of our lives.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Romans 12:1 NIV



One thought on “Convicted Before I Ever Said A Word

  1. Grant, so sorry that I missed you preaching at Pinecrest as I was out of town :0( Had to comment as this post spoke to me. I’m part of the worship team now and while I also see these same things each week, I think I’ve let this become a “routine”. There’s nothing routine about praying and speaking with God!! This is a great example of why we need to get out of our “home” churches periodically and experience worship and teaching in other areas/churches/ministries. Helps us to keep things fresh! Thank you for being so open and honest about your experience this past Sunday. This was something I needed to hear as well.


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