23 JUNE (PREACHED 23 JUNE 1776)
Pray for your ministers
‘Brethren, pray for us.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:25
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28
The Apostle, though eminent in grace and experience, often entreats the prayers of the Lord’s people. His dependence was upon the Lord himself, but he knew he who has promised to do great things has said, I will be enquired of to do them, and therefore expected success in proportion as prayer should be engaged. Good reason then have succeeding ministers to make the like request. If you pray for us, you will strengthen our hands and thereby draw down blessings upon yourselves. This entreaty can only be effectually complied with by those whose hearts are in some measure alive and earnest for gospel causes. To pray for ministers, the people must be able to love them principally and chiefly as his ministers. If they have a just sense of the importance of the gospel message, they will love and pray for the messengers. This kindness they owe to them all. Stated ministers, if they really value their people’s prayers, will endeavour to deserve a personal and special affection. Next to the supports and comforts they receive immediately from the Lord, they find their chief consolation in the affections of their people and the most interesting proof of this is their prayers. There are those who will sometimes plead and dispute and almost fight for their minister and labour to set him above others. But they are the best friends who strive most earnestly in prayer for them.
FOR MEDITATION: [for the New Year sermon 1778]
O Thou, at whose almighty word
As when of old, the water flowed
The glorious light from darkness sprung!
Forth from the rock at thy command;
Thy quickening influence afford,
Moses in vain had waved the rod,
And clothe with power the preacher’s tongue.
Without thy wonder-working hand.
Though ’tis thy truth he hopes to speak,
Now, while we hear thy word of grace,
He cannot give the hearing ear;
Let self and pride before it fall;
’Tis thine, the stubborn heart to break,
And rocky hearts dissolve apace,
And make the careless sinner fear.
In streams of sorrow at thy call.
SERMON: 1 THESSALONIANS 5:25 [1/6]