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Ordination, Prayer of Dedication

It was my privilege yesterday to preach at the ordination of Corey Cummings, a former student of mine. As part of the service, a prayer of dedication was given which Corey had written. Because I thought this prayer expressed well the sort of things a pastor ought to desire to have prayed for him, I obtained Corey’s permission to post the prayer here. A church leader prayed the prayer with the ordinand responding with the words in parentheses.

Almighty Father, we have gathered to dedicate one of your own to your service.  We ask that you grant to your servant those gifts which will aid and sustain him in your ministry.

(I am the Lord’s servant)

Grant to this servant the gift of faith that you gave to your servant Abraham.  Give him a faith which holds nothing in reserve.  Give him the courage to pursue your calling on his life, even if that means leaving behind security, comfort, familiar surroundings and personal dreams.

(I am the Lord’s servant)

Grant to your servant the gift of abundant wisdom.  Guide him by right paths to right ends.  Let him offer personal counsel, spiritual guidance, and ecclesiastical leadership with the deep wisdom that comes only from you.

(I am the Lord’s servant)

Grant to this servant the blessing on his work that you gave your servant Joseph.  Grant that whatever he puts his hand to will be blessed, that his work will bear fruit to your glory, and that even those moments which appear to him and us to be setbacks will in fact be your preparations for greater service.

(I am the Lord’s servant)

Grant to your servant the gift of humility.  Let the gaze of his heart rest always on you, and never on himself.  In this way, shield him from the evils of pride and vanity in times of success, and from despair in times of adversity.  Let him say with your servant Job, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

(I am the Lord’s servant)

Finally, grant to your servant the gift of self-sacrifice that you gave to your servant Stephen, and to all your martyrs.  Give this servant the deep desire to honor and glorify you with his life, and if necessary, his death.  Let his heart say, “If by my life or my death I may give you glory, I am yours.”

(I am the Lord’s servant.  May it be to me as you have said.)

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