Prayer for the Church

Our merciful Father, may Thy church be stripped of all that weakens and be clothed with all that strengthens. Cleanse us from a worldly mind-a mind that reaches eagerly for the things that perish and discerns but dimly, the values that are deathless- and purge from our souls the pettiness that quarrels over trifles, the pride that makes an idol out of titles and offices, the narrowness that has no understanding eye for churches and nations and races other than our own. Drive from our hearts the complacency, the prayerlessness, the heedlessness that form always so deadly a drag on our discipleship and witness.

We ask, amid the difficulties and vexations of these times, for a holy and heartening remembrance of the pioneers who have blazed the long trails by which the gospel has been carried to strange lands and distant peoples. May the mantle of their dauntless courage and their passionate love for the souls of men fall upon us.

Revive Thy church everywhere. Give us reality to our worship. Grant soundness to our teaching. Kindle brotherly love into a glowing ardor. Turn our formal attachments into fiery committments. Push back our horizons and bestow upon us the truly seeing eye. May we be baptized by Thy Holy Spirit into feeling a oneness with all sorts and conditions of people. And thus may we enter into partnership with Thee in making known to all people in all places the message and power of Thy saving mercy. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

-From Paul Reese: Portrait of a Preacher


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