Prayers for Pastors

Performance reviews (a prayer for pastors)

Lord,
he sits in the pew every week,
faithfully,
and every week,
faithfully,
he criticizes.

Lord,
she never fails to do the work,
faithfully,
but all the time,
faithfully,
she criticizes.

Whether they can’t hear us
(or won’t listen)
or don’t like the way we pastor
(or don’t understand)
or wish things were the old way
(however bad it may have been),
they review our performance
with their words, or their glances,
or the way they refuse to meet our eyes.

Help us, O God!
Help us.
Help us to give better than we get,
not to get our own back
but rather
to take the long view
on parking lot complaints
or kitchen cabals
or staff rebellions,
to be gracious when it’s hard,
and merciful even
-especially-
when it’s unreasonable.

Help us to follow you,
remembering that the vows we took
did not promise it would be easy.

You only promise to love us.

May that be enough.
May that be enough
on the days there is no more. Amen.

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