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PRAYERS WHICH MAY BE USED IN MISSIONARY MEETINGS, AND ON OTHER OCCASIONS.
A Prayer for the Church.
ADORABLE and everliving God, who hast built thy church upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone, and hast promised to be with its ministers to the end of the world, we beseech thee to behold it with thy favor and blessing, and keep it with thy perpetual mercy. Grant, we beseech thee, that, by the operation of thy Holy Spirit, all Christians, in their vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee. May they be so joined together in unity of spirit and in the bond of peace, that they may be a holy temple, acceptable unto thee. With one heart may they desire the prosperity of the Redeemer's kingdom, and with one mouth profess the faith once delivered to the saints. Defend them from heresy and schism. Bring into the way of truth all who have erred and are deceived. Strengthen such as do stand; comfort and help the weak-hearted; raise up those who fall; preserve us in the hour of temptation, and deliver us from evil.
Enlarge, we beseech thee, the borders of Zion, and add to thy church daily, and in vast numbers,
A Prayer for the Clergy.
such as should be saved. O may thy kingdom come with power, till all shall know thee, from the least to the greatest, and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
And grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy people, being hurt by no persecutions, may serve thee without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all their days; through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
A Prayer for the Clergy.
ALMIGHTY and everliving God, who, of thy infinite love to mankind, hast given thy Son Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer, and the Author of everlasting life; who, after he had died for our sins, and risen for our justification, sent forth his apostles and prophets and other ministers to preach his gospel and make disciples of all nations; for these, so great benefits of thy eternal goodness, and that thou art still sending laborers into thy vineyard, and calling men to the knowledge of thy salvation in Jesus Christ, we render thee most hearty thanks; we bless and praise thy holy name. We bless thee, O God, that thou didst so love the world, as to send into it thy blessed Son to be our Savior; and that thou hast commanded the good tidings of his gospel to be proclaimed to all the nations of the earth. Give us grace to manifest our thankfulness for this thy great goodness, by endeavoring, as thou shalt give us grace and means, to spread the knowledge of Christ, and to extend the ministrations his religion to all who need them.
Teach us, O Lord, to pray, and graciously hear our humble prayers for those who are ordained to
A Prayer for the Clergy.
preach the gospel of Christ, and to minister in holy things. Wilt thou, O God, who alone canst, make them sufficient for these things; rule their hearts, strengthen their hands and bless their labors. Endue them with wisdom from above; inspire them with a holy, heavenly zeal, and grant that thy word, spoken by their mouth, may have such free course and be so blest, that it may never be spoken in vain. Send down upon our bishops and other clergy, and upon the congregations committed to their charge, the healthful spirit of thy grace; and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Let all thy ministers be clothed with righteousness, and be wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ. Grant that they may, both by their life and doctrine, set forth thy true and lively word; that they may rightly and duly administer the sacraments and other ordinances of Jesus Christ, and be faithful to declare all the counsel of God. Make them, O Lord, we beseech thee, instruments of thy grace, in awakening sinners to righteousness; in turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, and extending the borders of the Redeemer's kingdom.
And wilt thou, O merciful God, behold with compassion the perishing souls of thy sinful creatures. Raise up, we beseech thee, and send into thy harvest, able ministers of thy word; pastors and teachers after thine own heart, who shall labor faithfully and successfully in word and doctrine; whose meat and drink it shall be to know and do thy will.
And may it please thee, O thou Lord of the harvest, to convince the people among whom thy ministers labor, of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Open their minds that they may understand the things of thy law: give them grace to hear
A Prayer suitable for Associations and other Meetings of the Clergy. meekly thy word, to receive, in an honest and good heart, the doctrines of eternal life, and bring forth the fruits of the spirit. May the light of thy truth and the power of thy grace be extended to the remotest regions of the earth, and all who do confess thy name live according to the precepts of thy holy word. Hear us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and grant our requests, for the sake of thy Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Prayer suitable for Associations, and other Meetings of the Clergy.
Most gracious Lord God, the Author of all blessedness and Giver of all good, who, by thy Son, Jesus Christ, hast appointed divers orders of ministers in thy church, and promised to be with them to the end of the world, look down, we beseech thee, with thy favor and blessings, upon us, thy unworthy servants, who are called to be thy mouth to the people, and to minister before thee in sacred things. Without thee nothing is strong, nothing holy, nothing good. Without the aid of thy Holy Spirit, and the wisdom which is from above, no man is sufficient for such a work. Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, and be thou our ruler and guide. Awaken in our minds a just estimate and lively sense of the nature and duties and importance of the office and ministry to which we are called; to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord Jesus Christ; to teach and feed and provide for his family; to seek for his sheep who are dispersed abroad, that they may be saved in him forever. Though unworthy to loose the latchet of his shoes, we are called to labor in his name, and to pray men, in Christ's stead, to be reconciled to God. Preserve us, O Lord, from being deceived