Tomorrow I will be setting aside my typical blue jeans and the popular "youth pastor button up plaid shirt" for actual dress clothes. Our senior pastor is out of town and as the only other member on our staff I've been asked to fill the pulpit.
I rehearsed my talk tonight infront of my wife and about 30 seconds into my talk she stopped me and asked, "Why do you do that with your voice?" I hasn't offended because I knew what she was talking about. It seems that every time I get up to do a talk that I get nervous and my vocal cords tighten up. I have a ton of experience at speaking and I'm not sure why it does it, but it does. She challenged me to imagine myself speaking to just one person in the audience. To carry a conversation on with them and to tune out the rest of the people in the room.
So in that moment I took a deep breath and prayed a silent prayer for help. In that silent prayer I prayed that God would speak through me. That God would use me in a way like He never has before. I prayed for His strength.
It is amazing how, even in practicing a talk, God can speak to you. Tomorrow I'm challenging myself to take the advice that my wife gave me. To step out of the "I'm giving a rehearsed speech" persona and into the "I am having a conversation with you" mentality.
Pray that God speaks through me. Pray that He doesn't allow any hiccups in the technology. Pray that He is given all of the credit.