In this week’s edition of our weekly newsletter, which fell on an Ember Day, Scott reflects on why it’s so important to pray for our clergy–and shares a prayer for readers.
Today in our church calendar, we observe an Ember Day. These come along four times each year, and they are set aside for us to pray for the bishops, priests, and deacons of our church, as well as those exploring a call to ordained ministry. People who are in the ordination process are required to write to their bishop during each Embertide. It used to be customary to ordain people on these days.
Before I was ordained, and before I began to answer the call to ordained ministry, I enjoyed praying for the clergy in the congregations I attended. While every person and every leader, lay or clergy, is important in the Body of Christ, our ordained leaders can make a huge difference in the health and vitality of congregations. While most jobs come with their share of stress, serving as a deacon, priest, or bishop brings its own unique combination of joy and challenge. Most clergy you speak with will say (I hope!) that they are grateful to be serving God as they are, but they will also tell you, I suspect, that they would be enormously grateful for your prayers.
Another time, I will encourage you to pray for lay leaders and all ministers. But today, I encourage you to pray for the clergy you know. The Ember Days for the fall are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week. If you are inclined, you might also send an encouraging note or even a small gift to your parish priest or deacon.
Please join me in prayer.
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your Church: Give your grace, we humbly pray, to all who are called to any office and ministry for your people; and so fill them with the truth of your doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great Name and for the benefit of your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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