A leader within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)'s mission arm has written a prayer for pastors as Holy Week reaches its most meaningful days, giving thanks to Jesus for pastors' service in sharing the faith with their congregations during the week and asking that they be blessed with energy, patience, joy and endurance.
With Good Friday and Easter approaching, The Rev. Dr. Charles Hardwick issued the prayer during a visit to Louisville, Kentucky as part of his work with the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Rev. Hardwick, who has previously served as a pastor in Bloomington, Illinois, is the director for theology, worship and education at the PMA. His work includes oversight of programs related to the formation of pastors.
Having held his current position for two years, he said he hasn't been able to lead a congregation through the activities related to the eight days of Holy Week, which includes "Palm Sunday's triumphal march into Jerusalem, Maundy Thursday's call to servanthood, Good Friday's scorn and sacrifice, and Easter's joyful victory."
"I miss deeply planning all of that worship—at the church where I served, over the course of this week we would have ten different services, with none offered more than once," he said.
He noted there were many details that needed to be taken care of along with the need to spend lots of time and energy related to activities.
"If you're a pastor, know that I'm praying for you, and pray along with me for your colleagues in ministry. If you're not a pastor, please pray with me for these servants during this joyful but often overwhelming week," he wrote.
Below is the prayer:
"Lord Jesus, we lift up Christian leaders to you. Pastors, priests, vicars, preachers, and teachers, as they faithfully serve you during this Holy Week. We thank you that you use them in such powerful ways. By the power of your Holy Spirit, they help us to shout Hosanna as you ride into Jerusalem…to feast at the table you set for us at the Last Supper…to remember that the depth of our sin brought out the heights of your love on the cross…to live in the resurrection hope that you brought so long ago, and that you bring today."
"We are grateful for them, and we pray for them. Give them energy, Lord Jesus. Give them a sense of peace in the midst of all the activity. Give them a smiling face for new friends and hugs and handshakes for every-week-worshipers. Give them patience and endurance and joy.
"Remind them that you speak through them; that their hard work on sermons and prayers and liturgies and dramas honors you and you honor it. Most of all, whisper in their ears again the story of your passion and resurrection…good news not just for their listeners, but also for them."