Preachers of the God of grace,
heralds of the dawning day–
fit them, Lord, for all they face,
prove their calling, guide their way,
Meeting failure or success,
keep their faith and vision sure,
agents of your righteousness,
trained for unremitting war.
Undeterred by praise or blame,
dear to God, on earth unknown,
zealous for your holy name,
making known what you have done:
constant testing they endure,
persecution, pain, and blood;
by your spirit keep them pure,
fill them with the love of God.
In their weakness, Lord, be strong,
Satan’s claims let them destroy;
in their sorrows let their song
be of Christ, their hope and joy.
Fools for you–yet make them wise,
though on them all spite is poured
by a world that crucifies
faithful prophets of the Lord.
Dying daily, let them live;
fainting, make their spirits bold;
empty, teach them still to give;
poor, they shall enrich the world.
Triumph, Lord, when we despair,
honor those whom kings despise:
make their work your church’s prayer,
grant your glory as their prize.
Christopher M. Idle, Preachers of the God of Grace, 1976