Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity – Sunday
And for me. – Ephesians 6:19
“And for me” – what? The Apostle Paul desired that the Christians to whom he wrote should pray not only for one another but also for him in particular. Indeed, all true Christians should do this for their pastors; and all faithful pastors should earnestly desire their sheep to pray for them (I Thessalonians 5:25; II Thessalonians 3:1).
The devil hates faithful pastors, Christ’s ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:20), the nurturers of the Savior’s flocks (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2a) and the watchmen for their souls (I Peter 5:2b; Hebrews 13:17). How necessary, therefore, is the intercessory prayer of their sheep! Do pray for your pastor, my dear Christian. Pray that God would put on him the whole armor of God, that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). Pray that by the grace of God utterance may be given to your pastor, that he may open his mouth boldly, and that God would grant him grace to preach His true, pure, unadulterated Word, to make known the mystery of the Gospel whose messenger he is (vv. 19-20). For the Gospel is a mystery, wholly unknown to man by nature, but revealed and made manifest in and through the Word of God, and through it alone.
This Word your pastor must preach in all simplicity, in its truth and purity, unalloyed with any reflections of his own reason (Acts 20:27). To be able to do this is a gracious gift of God. Pray God to grant him this gift. Then the strength of God will be made perfect through his preaching. Pray God for this strength, and implore God to bestow this grace also on your pastor – that in all the requirements of his office he may cheerfully act and speak as he ought to act and speak according to the Word of God.
Your pastor has been given to you by God (Acts 20:28), and you, as a member of your local congregation, have helped to call him to that office among you. Ask the Lord to bestow His blessings upon him abundantly, that by the faithful ministration of the Gospel and the Sacraments you may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18).
PRAYER – Lord God, dear heavenly Father, I pray Thee to keep my pastor, whom Thou hast appointed to feed me and to watch for my soul, in true faith and in a Godly life. Also give him utterance boldly to open his mouth to preach Thy Word in its truth and purity and at all times to speak and to act as Thine own ambassador, as he that must give account, not as a lord over Thy heritage but as an example to the flock. Bless him, O God, and make him a source of blessing for me and for many others, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Lord of the Church, we humbly pray for those who guide us in Thy way and speak Thy holy Word. With love divine their hearts inspire and touch their lips with hallowed fire and needful strength afford.
Help them to preach the Truth of God, Redemption through the Savior’s blood, nor let the Spirit cease on all the Church His gifts to shower — to them a messenger of power, to us, of life and peace.
Hymn 489, 1-2