After I preached last Sunday, I was freshly aware of how much I needed to trust the prayers of others as I climbed into the pulpit. I told my friend, the rector, that I would be praying for him, Sunday after Sunday. I was reminded of the many preachers I know by virtue of my professional years of service, and how even though I no longer preach regularly, I can still contribute to that avenue of being good news in God’s world by praying for them each week. This is my gift to all of them:
O Word of Grace and Challenge, I pray for each one who preaches this morning:
For the preacher who gets up full of inspiration and energy, give her grace and humility.
For the one who enters the pulpit with pain in body and spirit that must be overcome, give him healing and courage.
For the preacher who faces the challenge of a congregation that is splintered and fractious, give her peace from her own anxiety and from theirs.
For the preacher whose faithful presence is still met with mistrust and judgement, give him trust and confidence in Your power in him.For the preacher to a community that is devastated by trauma–flood, tornado, government closure, violence– give her hope and give her strength.
For the preacher who longs to cast a vision of justice and mercy for the city, the nation, the world, give him imagination and passion.
For the preacher whose own well of Spirit is dry and dusty, give her life giving streams of love and energy.
For the one who is weary is well doing, give him fresh grace and bread for this day.
For those who long to preach, but have no place to do so formally, may they find that along with St. Francis that there are many ways to preach, even without words.
And for all hearers of the Word this day, provide them with eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive good news, hidden things that they have not known.
By your Spirit, I commend these all to you, Amen