For the efforts we make (a prayer for preachers)

God of our Work, God of our World,
we commit ourselves to You
in every word we write
and every word we speak.

Our idea of fun.
Study, planning, discussion, more prayer.

The efforts we make come after
study
planning
prayer
contemplation
discussion
more prayer,
and only then
the final effort.

Whether sermon or liturgy,
bedside prayer or graveside comfort,
wedding celebration or grief counseling,
we make these efforts for You.

Framed in a chart or spreadsheet,
on note cards or Kindle,
the words and images we use
sum up our work for you.

Some weeks there are plaudits.
Sometimes there are crickets.
When will they give us credit?

We do.

With appropriate attribution, of course.
With appropriate attribution, of course.

We footnote or asterisk,
quote or refer, to “a colleague”
or “well-known professor”
or “my childhood friend.

We give credit to the efforts of others,
their stories, their lives,
their wisdom shared with us.

We give credit and thanks to them.

How much more, then, should
we give credit and thanks to You.
For all the efforts we make
and all the words we speak
and all the images we craft
come from the efforts You made:
to call creation out of chaos,
to call humankind into being,
to call each of us into Your service.

For the efforts You make with us,
steadfast and never-ending,
we give thanks, Holy One.
Work through us, we pray,
this Sunday and every day.

Amen.

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