God our Father, you intend us to be the body of Jesus Christ, your Son.
You expect us to be
a voice to speak for him,
hands to work for him,
feet to go for him.
Without your help the church can never be
what you mean it to be.
Cleanse the church
from all bitterness that would disturb fellowship;
from all divisions that would destroy unity;
from all coldness that would lessen devotion;
from all lethargy that would paralyze purpose.
Defend the church
from all persecution and attack from without;
from all heresy and false doctrine from within;
from enemies who would do it harm;
from the failure of members to do it good.
Assist and strengthen your church
with courage in its pronouncements;
with faithfulness in its witness;
with conviction in its purpose.
whose minds are always learning;
whose lips speak truth in love;
whose hearts are full of devotion;
whose words provide wise counsel;
whose spirits are caring and brave.
Equip us to be
generous in giving; faithful in prayer;
diligent in worship; Christlike in witness;
patient in disagreement; forbearing and forgiving.
Preserved by your help and goodness, grant that the church
may indeed be the body of Jesus Christ
here on earth until he returns. Amen.
–William Barclay, Prayers For the Christian Year (London: SCM Press, 1964), 120