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Prayers and Litany

Prayer 1

In the name of the divine trinity, let us pray.

God, you have called through your love those who, for the cause of the gospel, have become your servants according to the gift of your grace that was given them by the working of your power. You have joined them together in unity to be one in love; so that they can see the plan of your mystery hidden for ages in You who created all things. We pray for our leaders their ministries, and those dear to them.

LORD in your mercy hear our prayer.

It is good and pleasant when all your people are united so that, through the church, your wisdom, in its rich variety, might be made known to the rulers and authorities that the church in all places on earth is one body, and that all its members are working together as a shining light so that all can see the glory of eternal life. We pray for our leaders and the communities they are assigned to spread out your peace, your love, and your justice.

LORD in your mercy hear our prayer!

God, you have an eternal purpose that has been carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, who gives us access to You in boldness and confidence through faith. We pray that all your servants may not lose heart over their sufferings for you, but let them be strengthened to carry out your love, your peace, your justice to all places until all the earth is covered in your blessing for all people everywhere. We pray for our leaders and the different situations they are dealing with today.

LORD in your mercy hear our prayer!

God, our lives are but a breath, we know that; but our breath is drawn from your Holy Spirit. We are created as walking paradoxes, specks of dust and bearers of your divine image; so that we are restless until we rest in your loving arms. We pray that all your servants find rest in you as they bow their knees before you for every family on earth including their own family. We pray that, according to the riches of your glory they may be strengthened in their inner being with power through your Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith, as they are being rooted and grounded in love with you and with one another. We pray that they have the power to comprehend you and each other wholly, to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine in the name of your Christ to whom be glory in the church in all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

— Written by Chimiste Doriscar (Disciples Home Mission Intern for Developing Haitian Ministries and Final-Year Student at Christian Theological Seminary)

Prayer 2

PRAYER: Sustaining our pastors in ministry

Gracious and loving God, we lift all pastors up to you in prayer. Pastoral life is filled with many challenges and demands. We ask that you will sustain them and provide them with powerful weapons to fight fatigue and burnout symptoms.

We pray for pastors who are so overloaded that they view ministry as work rather than a calling.

We pray for preachers whose lives are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted and are convinced they have nothing much left to give.

We pray for ministers who work hard and feel that they are getting little accomplished.

We pray for those shepherds who are drained that they may be refilled with energy and hope.

Let your blessing rest now on all pastors who need new strength to be effective servants in this new generation.

O God, grant them

passion to know your heart

love to forgive

compassion to serve

power to defeat the giants of this world

courage to face new challenges

wisdom to make the right choices

discernment to discover your will

patience to manage conflict

perseverance to finish the work

discipline to achieve goals

vision to develop new projects

determination to march forward and fearless to the promise land

strength to resist temptation

faith and hope to never give up.

Renew, refresh and sustain all pastors in their journey as they learn to depend on the God of unlimited resources, the Maker of heaven and earth, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Source of all kind of blessings and the One who strengthens those who are weak and gives fresh energy to the tired.

Amen.

Written by Rev. Jorge Cotto, Pastor at Central Christian Church (Coral Gables, FL)

Litany for Worship

L: God of all people, you called us in the Disciples of Christ to be a priesthood of all believers. Thank you for the chance to serve you by serving each other.

All: God, make us instruments of your peace.

L: The burden of priesthood might be too much for us, but you have given us people to help us live into that calling. In particular, you have called pastors to help us be better ministers.

All: God, thank you for our pastor(s), and thank you for calling us to pastor one another.

L: And while pastors lift us up so that we can lift up others, we know that they often carry the burden of ministry alone.

All: God, help us lift up the pastors who lift us up.

L: Over and over, God, you show us that your kingdom here on earth is made up of people caring for each other, and so we ask today that you would help us remember not to take our pastor(s) for granted but to find ways to care for him/her.

All: God, help us to care for the person(s) who care for us.

L: As our pastor loves us, may we love our pastor, remembering that their calling and ours, and their thriving and ours, are wrapped up together. Giving thanks to you, God, for the chance to minister together to one another,

All: We give you thanks for our minister and our ministry, asking that you strengthen both. In your eternal, pastoral name we pray, Amen.

— Written by Rev. Sandhya Jha, Pastor, Author and Director of the Oakland Peace Center

Sermon Resources

Verse: I Kings 19:3-6 

"Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. 'I have had enough, Lord,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.' Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, 'Get up and eat.' He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again."

"Ministry Still Matters" Sermon by Rev. David Shirey: CLICK HERE


Questions/Writing prompts:

Based on Rev. David Shirey's Ministry Still Matters sermon:

  • Do you identify with the prophet Elijah? Why or why not?

  • What leads us to believe ministry doesn't matter?

  • Have you ever had a ministry "moment" that just fell flat? What purpose did that lesson serve?

  • Consider the hurdles to ministry that David lists (criticism, comparison, "next shiny brochure syndrome," blaming congregations, isolation and depression). You've likely experienced at least one of these hurdles in your own ministry. How did you overcome them?

  • What "angel's bread" sustains you for the long haul? How do you care for your body, mind and soul?

  • Do you have an "affirmation file," mentors, companions and mentees? Who are your "paper mentors" and the people who inspire your ministry?

  • What can others do to encourage those in ministry?

  • How can we reach and inspire others to consider joining the ministry?

  • In your opinion, why does ministry still matter?


Visit this link to read call story examples and find more inspiration from fellow ministers, and look for daily updates during Week of Ministry (via our Facebook page).