I’m going to be leaving after work this evening for Charlotte,NC, where my parents live. Dad turns 92 on Monday and I am grateful that my parents are alive, healthy, and willing to have me visit for a few days.
Because preparation for the trip is cutting into my time a bit, I thought that I’d post the following prayer from the Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett and published by Banner of Truth. I appreciate this book of Puritan prayers, and commend it to you. You can get it from either Amazon or Westminster books.
Earlier in the summer I walked through one of the prayers called “The Minister’s Preaching” that meant a great deal to me when I was preaching. This one is simply titled “The Minister’s Prayer” and covers not only our preaching, but the way we conduct ourselves in ministry. It’s worth meditating on it as you consider your ministries this weekend.
O my Lord,
Let not my ministry be approved only by men,
or merely win the esteem and affections of people;
But do the work of grace in their hearts,
call in thy elect,
seal and edify the regenerate ones,
and command eternal blessings on their souls.
Save me from self-opinion and self-seeking;
Water the hearts of those who hear thy Word.
that seed sown in weakness may be raised in power;
Cause me and those that hear me
to behold thee here in the light of special faith,
and hereafter in the blaze of endless glory;
Make every sermon a means of grace to myself,
and help me to experience the power of thy dying love,
for thy blood is balm,
thy presence bliss,
thy smile heaven,
thy cross the place where truth and mercy meet.
Look upon the doubts and discouragement of my ministry
and keep me from self-importance;
I beg pardon for my man sins, omissions, infirmities,
as a man, as a minister;
Command thy blessing on my weak, unworthy labors,
and on the message of salvation given;
Stay with thy people,
and may thy presence be their portion and mine.
When I preach to others, let not my words be merely elegant and
my reasoning polished and refined,
my performance powerless and tasteless,
but may I exalt thee and humble sinners.
O Lord of power and grace,
all hearts are in thy hands, all events at thy disposal,
set the seal of thy almighty will upon my ministry.
God bless you as you serve him this weekend!