Sunday, June 17, 2007

A fitting prayer

From my evening devotional from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, Hilary of Poitiers* has the fitting prayer for the Pastor and his flock:

O Lord God Almighty, I know that I owe You the devotion of all my words and thoughts as my main duty. The greatest reward of speech You have given me is the opportunity to serve by preaching You and displaying You as You are to a blind and rebellious world. For You are our Father and Father of God the Only-begotten Son. But I am only expressing my own desires. I must also pray for Your help and compassion. Then Your Spirit's breath will fill the sails of faith and confession which I have spread out, and a favorable wind will move me forward on my voyage of instruction. We can trust the promise of Christ who said, "Ask, and it shall be given you, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you." In whatever we lack, we will pray for the things we need. We will be untiring and energetic as we study Your prophets and apostles. We will knock to enter every gate of hidden knowledge. But You are the One who answers these prayers, who gives us the things we seek, who opens the door we beat on.

Amen and Amen.

* Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315-367) is best known for his stands against the Arian sect in his two treatises, On the Trinity and On the Synods. His early years were devoted to the study of pagan philosophy and rhetoric before he was converted to the Christian faith. Around 350, he was appointed as bishop of Poitiers despite having a wife. His six years as bishop were spent refuting the Arians and upholding the teachings of Athanasius. Under the emperor Constantius he was banished to Phyrgia in Asia Minor, where he composed his treatises. Hilary returned to Poitiers and spent the rest of his life defending the Christian faith from heretical teachings. The passage in this blog post is from On the Trinity 1.37, from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, pg.169 & 374.

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