Lord,

We are grateful today for the ordinary men and women You have called to pastor Your flock, share the Good News of Jesus and equip those who follow him to transform lives, communities and the world. We praise You that You don’t call the equipped, but rather You equip those You call. And we celebrate that they have responded to Your call.

But the honest truth is that it’s tough for pastors in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, polarization that has found its way into congregations and uncertainty about the future of the United Methodist Church. It’s hard to balance all the demands on their lives when they are tired to the point of weariness. – and yet feel they can tell no one because they need to be strong for everyone else. And it’s almost too much to bear when they feel like they work harder than ever, yet seem to harvest less fruit.

Let pastors know in a special way today how valued they are by You, those they lead, and the hundreds and hundreds of lives they have touched. Heal their hurts, lift them up when they are weary and give them a grand vision of the unique thing You need them to do that no one else can do. Renew their passion to follow Jesus and to share the fullness of his grace with others. And most of all, fill them with Your joy, that they may dwell in it now and forever more.

We pray this in the strong name of Jesus.

Amen.