Friday, July 21, 2017

A prayer towards the end of a clergy sabbatical

I wrote this prayer towards the beginning of my sabbatical.

Here's something of what I've been praying this final week of my sabbatical:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this sabbatical:

For the financial assistance I’ve received;

For time and space and freedom;

For the privilege of worshiping with your people in a variety of different places without being responsible for leading.

Thank you for all who have ministered to me and who have helped me;

For those who have given of their time and expertise;

For those I’ve met who have been a blessing to me;

For all that I’ve been able to do and to think about;

For the rest, refreshment and challenges;

For the opportunity to experience new places and different things.

Thank you for every encouragement.

Thank you for the ways in which I’ve been stretched and stimulated.

And for the ways I’ve been able to minister and study.

Thank you for all that has been achieved.

Thank you for those who have looked after my responsibilities in my absence.

Help me not to be preoccupied by what has not been done.

I continue to pray that the study I have done might bear fruit for me and for the church.

Help me as I consider my return to my normal ministries.

Help me to listen as I seek to discover what has happened in my absence and how things have been.

Give me grace where I might have done things differently.

Help me particularly as I return to the busyness of perhaps a number of things that are over-due my attention.

Give me wisdom as I consider priorities for the immediate and longer-term future.

Help me to say “no” to things appropriately where that’s the right thing to do.

In particular, help me to give myself to prayer the ministry of the Word.

Help me to be a faithful pastor to those you’ve entrusted to my care and to do the work of an evangelist.

Make me willing to serve whole-heartedly and self-sacrificially in all the roles to which you’ve called me.

Again, I pray that you would help me to have in place patterns that will help to sustain a healthy long-term ministry.

Bless and guard our family-life.   

Give me those who will partner with me faithfully in prayer and ministry and help me to be a good friend and fellow-worker to others.

Help me as I share ideas for future ministry with others.

Give me grace to encourage others.

Give us grace to consider what we should pursue and what good things we should leave undone.

Forgive my sins and failures.

Grant me your grace and empower me with your Spirit.
In your mercy, may I play my part in your purposes faithfully and to your glory. Amen

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