Theologian William Barclay offered the following prayer for the Church. As we begin this new year, let us join together to pray for the Church around the world.
O God, you are the fountain of all truth; we ask you to protect your church from all false teaching.
Protect the Church from all teaching and preaching which would destroy men's faith; from all that removes the old foundations without putting anything in their place; from all that confuses the simple, that perplexes the seeker, that bewilders the way-faring man.
And yet at the same time protect the Church from failure to face new truth; from devotion to words and ideas which the passing of the years has rendered unintelligible; from all intellectual cowardice and from all mental lethargy and sloth.
O God, send to your Church teachers whose minds are wise with wisdom, whose hearts are warm with love, whose lips are eloquent with truth.
Send to your Church teachers whose desire is to build and not to destroy; who are adventurous with the wise and yet gentle with the simple; who strenuously exercise the intellect, and who yet remember that the heart has reasons of its own.
Give to your Church preachers and teachers who can make known the Lord Christ to others because they know him themselves; and give to your Church hearers, who, being freed from prejudice, will follow truth as blind men long for light. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.