A Minister’s Prayer

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  • 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 who hear me
        to behold thee here in the light of special faith,
        and hereafter in the blaze of endless glory;
    Make my 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 discouragements of my ministry
        and keep me from self-importance;
    I beg pardon for my many 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 masterly
           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.

    The Valley of Vision, pp. 338-39


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.