Monthly Archives: January 2010
By Ligon Duncan
1. That [your pastor] would know and love the living God, would have a saving interest in Christ, being purchased by His blood, and thus would be bound to the Lord by the indissoluble bond of the Holy Spirit.
2. That [your pastor] would know, embrace and ever more deeply understand the Gospel and be shaped by it in life and ministry.
3. That [your pastor] would be useful servant of the Lord, that he would know and love God’s word, God’s people, and God’s kingdom; that he would be used to build it up and so that it prevails even against Hell’s gates.
4. That [your pastor] would study, practice and teach the Word of the Lord, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
5. That [your pastor] would love to pray, because he loves to commune with his God, and that he would be a man of prayer, characteristically.
6. That [your pastor] would be ever dependent upon and filled with the Spirit; and that he would possess true Spiritual wisdom.
7. That [your pastor] would be holy unto the Lord. That his tongue and heart would be wholly God’s.
8. That [your pastor] would be kept from pride, and especially spiritual pride. That the Lord himself would be gracious to slay pride in him, and that your pastor would endeavor to always be putting pride to death, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
9. That God would give [your pastor] guidance as to where to focus his efforts in ministry.
10. That He would protect [your pastor] from himself, from the enemy of his soul, and from all earthly enemies.
11. That no decision which [your pastor] ever makes or desire that [your pastor] ever pursues would restrict his ability to pour his whole soul into the Gospel ministry.
12.That many would be converted and many built up under [your pastor]’s ministry, to God’s glory alone.
13. That the Lord would bless [your pastor]’s wife, [. . . ], with holiness and happiness, Gospel assurance and Gospel rest.
14. That God would make [your pastor] a decent husband and father.
15. That [your pastor] would be a good friend to his wife, and love her self-sacrificially,
16. That [your pastor] would be a good daddy to his children. That they would love God, their parents and the church.
17. That [your pastor] would be a testimony in the home so that his wife might be able to respect him when he is in the pulpit, and so that [your pastor] will be able to feed her soul, along with the rest of the congregation.
During the last 23 years of his life he pastored a poor church in England. His always suffered from poor health but during this time his health started to decline even more. Finally on September 4, 1847 he preached his last sermon to his congregation. He was in need of the warmer climate of Italy. His final sermon made a deep impression to his congregation. It has been described that he had to practically crawl up to the pulpit that day. He said during his sermon that it was his desire to “induce you to prepare for the solemn hour which must come to all by a timely appreciation and dependence on the death of Christ.” He never was able to make his trip to Italy, he died on the journey. Shortly before preaching his last sermon he wrote the words and tune to the hymn, “Abide With Me.” He based his hymn on the text which tells the story of Christ on the way to Emmaus and the disciples statement, “Abide with us: for it is toward evening and the day is far spent.”
Later William Monk wrote a new tune for the hymn. During a time of personal sorrow, he was inspired by the beauty of the magnificent sunset.
Abide with me fast falls the eventide,
The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day,
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!
I need Thy presence every passing hour
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, O abide with me!
Hold Thou Thy word before my closing eyes,
Shine thru the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!