Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Growing in Grace is a blog by Pastor Matthew Molesky. His posts explore the Bible, theology, ecclesiology, culture, books, family, and life.

An Evening Prayer For Yahweh's Servants

My two most difficult nights of the week are Saturday and Sunday. The former because the weight of the preaching ministry is imminent, and the latter because the sermon has been delivered and the echoes of missteps and missed speech weigh heavily. The bedroom becomes a battlefield where the Divine and demons clash.


This is why I love praying for pastors. Every week on Saturday evening and Sunday morning I pray for a group of preachers and worship pastors spread throughout my city and country. And here's my request of you, dear reader: would you commit to praying for your pastor(s) tonight? And tomorrow morning? And you could even pray in the very midst of his preaching, or leading that worship team, when the battle is most fierce, and he is placing his boot upon the neck of the snake. And, you could do this every week.

Each week I text this group a prayer or an encouragement. I'm including tonight's prayer by way of example and inspiration. It is inspired by Scripture, as my prayers and encouragements almost always are. This one is from Psalm 127, with some additional meditation through Alec Motyer's Psalms By The Day: A New Devotional Translation.

May God bless his children as we gather and worship him together.

“If it is not Yahweh who is building a house
its builders have toiled for nothing.
If it is not Yahweh who is keeping a city
its keeper has stayed awake for nothing.
You gain nothing — 
you who are getting up early,
delaying to rest,
eating the bread of pains.
Exactly so he gives sleep to his beloved one.”
Yahweh Father,
If it is not you who is building the sermon
its speaker has toiled for nothing.
If it is not you who is transforming a people
the preacher has stayed awake for nothing.
We gain nothing — 
getting up early to study,
delaying rest for that one last adjustment,
eating the bread of pains.
Father, help us see that nothing is achieved by mere human endeavor,
to that extent you cover the situation with your gift of sleep.
Your gift of restfulness is the exact antidote to our capacity for anxiety.
Exactly so, you give sleep to us, your beloved(!).
So please, give to us exactly the sleep we need.
Yes and very amen, in Jesus’ name. 

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