Prayer for Ministers

Here is another poem by John Newton concerning the pastorate. It was included in the Olney Hymns- pretty good accountability for pastors to sing this song with their congregations! I came across this poem in Worthy is the Lamb: Puritan Poetry in Honor of the Savior (Soli Deo Gloria, 2004). May it encourage and challenge you as it has me.

“Prayer for Ministers”

Chief Shepherd of thy chosen sheep,
From death and sin set free;
May every under-shepherd keep
His eye, intent on thee!

With plenteous grace their hearts prepare,
To execute thy will
Compassion, patience, love and care,
And faithfulness and skill

Inflame their minds with holy zeal
Their flocks to feed and teach;
And let them live, and let them feel
The sacred truths they preach.

Oh, never let the sheep complain
That toys, which fools amuse;
Ambition, pleasure, praise or gain,
Debase the shepherd’s views.

He, that for these, forbears to feed
The souls whom JESUS loves;
Whate’er he may profess, or plead,
An idle shepherd proves.

The sword of God shall break his arm,
A blast shall blind his eye
His word shall have no pow’r to warm,
His gifts shall all grow dry.

O LORD, avert this heavy woe,
Let all thy shepherds say!
And grace, and strength, on each bestow,
To labor while ’tis day.

– John Newton

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