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The last two mornings I have woken up humming these words:

 

 

With the Spirit’s gifts empower us for the work of ministry.

Those words form the ending couplet of the verses to the hymn “Lord you give the great commission”  

 

 

Lord, you give the great commission:
“Heal the sick and preach the word.”
Lest the Church neglect its mission
and the Gospel go unheard,
help us witness to your purpose
with renewed integrity;
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you call us to your service:
“In my name baptize and teach.”
That the world may trust your promise,
life abundant meant for each,
give us all new fervor,
draw us closer in community; 
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you make the common holy:
“This my body, this my blood.” 
Let your priests, for earth’s true glory,
daily lift life heavenward,
asking that world around us
share your children’s liberty; 
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you show us love’s true measure:
“Father, what they do, forgive.”
Yet we hoard as private treasure
all that you so freely give.
May your care and mercy lead us
to a just society; 
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Lord, you bless with words assuring:
“I am with you to the end.”
Faith and hope and love restoring,
may we serve as you intend,
and, amid the cares that claim us,
hold in mind eternity; 
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Words: Jeffery Rowthorn

Words © 1978 by Hope Publishing Co,, Carol Stream, IL 60188. 

 

This has been among my favorite hymns for a long time, but we have not sung it in worship in a very long time, so there is no reason for the tune to be stuck in my head and come forth from my dreams.  No reason, that is, other than the Holy Spirit is working in me and through me.

Yesterday and today I pondered what this wake-up music could mean and concluded that it was meant as a call to prayer.  So these past two mornings I have been praying for whatever new gifts I need to fulfill my calling to ministry as well as a fresh outpouring of gifts that I may be renewed and prepared in all aspects of ministry.

My prayer:

Lord, you bless with words assuring:
“I am with you to the end.”
Faith and hope and love restoring,
may we serve as you intend,
and, amid the cares that claim us,
hold in mind eternity; 
with the Spirit’s gifts empower us
for the work of ministry.

Fulfill that calling in my by giving me the new gifts you desire me to have and with a fresh outpouring of your Spirit on me, that I may always serve you as you intend.  Amen.

 

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