Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Pastor's Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Chief Shepherd and only Head of Thy Church, help me to minister unto this flock, to which Thou hast called me as a pastor.  And since I am a man of unclean lips and not worthy to proclaim Thy Word, I beseech Thee, send down Thy Holy Spirit to cleanse my lips, so that I may be bold to preach Thy Word in all its fullness, in season and out of season, ready to offer up the prayers and supplications of Thy people, and willing to serve as a faithful minister of the means of grace.

Help me, O Lord, to give myself wholly to my office by daily meditation and study of the Scriptures, that I may be able to make full proof of my ministry, to feed, to instruct, to build up, to warn, to watch over , and to guide the lambs and the sheep of this flock, which Thou hast purchased with Thy blood.  Let Thy Holy Spirit direct me that I may always speak the things which become sound doctrine and in all things show myself a pattern of good works, and example to the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity.

O Lord, make me daily more conscious of the great responsibilities of my high office as Thine ambassador and steward of Thy mysteries, to preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of the vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.  For Thy name and for Thy truth’s sake hear me, O Lord Jesus.  Amen.

from the The Lutheran Liturgy, Concordia Publishing House, circa 1942.

Prayed this every morning in my first parish.  Less frequently after, but it still seems to be a marvelous prayer with which to approach the ministry.

No comments: