A Good Prayer for Those Who Preach

Lord, never let me tag a moral to a tale, nor tell a story without a meaning. 

Make me respect my material so much that I dare not slight my work.  Help me to deal very honestly with words and with people for they are both alive. 

Show me that as in a river, so in writing, clearness is the best quality, and a little that is pure is worth more than much that is mixed. 

Teach me to see the local color without being blind to the inner light. 

Give me an ideal that will stand the strain of weaving into human stuff on the loom of the real.  Keep me from caring more for books than for folks, for art than life. 

Steady me to do the full stint of work as well as I can; and when that is done, stop me; pay what wages Thou wilt, and help me to say, from a quiet heart, a grateful Amen.

-- Henry Van Dyke, Presbyterian pastor, author, and composer of "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee".

I love the way Van Dyke embraced both ministry responsibilities and an appreciation for the outdoors.  His delightful little book, Fisherman's Luck, is one of my favorites.


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