I suppose the methods ministers use to prepare a sermon are all as unique as the ministers themselves. But I thought I’d offer my own sermon prep method here, and encourage others to share their ideas, suggestions, and practices. Feel free to add a comment. Each Lord’s Day evening, even if it’s the last thing I do for the day, I select the text I hope to preach the following week. I will then spend the remainder of Sunday and all of Monday praying over and meditating over the selected passage. Usually by Tuesday I begin my study. I look for a main idea in the text in front of me - the primary thrust, if you will - for my message. I will probably have already established some notion of where I want to go with it from my prayer and meditation. But now I’m putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). The study also involves examining particular words or phrases, consulting the immediate context, and cross-referencing. Likewise at this point, I will consult no less than four major commentators (more if I don’t feel I’ve received sufficient counsel from my standard references). One important aspect of consulting commentary I like to follow is that the commentary compliments my own study - it doesn’t replace it. I need to do the work. Every pastor needs to dig into the Word himself first, and then let others inform him of their opinions, no matter how learned. I may work on this step through most of Wednesday. Finally, I try to have a final draft of my message done on Thursday. This leaves me enough time to not feel pressured on the weekend to “throw something together” - unfortunately something I’ve known some ministers have done. I do review and pray over the sermon on Saturday evenings, and again before services on the Lord’s Day. Typically, the entire process of sermon prep requires a commitment of between six and eight hours. It is my hope that through this process the Lord has grown me, that He has helped me prepare the message He wants for His people, and that He will get all the glory for what’s been done.