A Pastoral Prayer
Installation of Mack Dennis as Senior Pastor
First Baptist Church, Asheville
October 2, 2016
We pray to you, Lord Christ, For the holy church of God throughout the world,
that it may be filled with truth and love,
that the Gospel may be taught and preached to the ends of the earth,
and that the church in every place may be found to be faithful at the day of your coming;
We pray for all members of your church in their vocation and ministry,
that each may serve you through a true and godly life.
We pray for those who do not yet believe, for those who have lost their faith, and for those many who struggle bravely with doubt,
that the light of Christ may shine into their hearts.
We pray for the poor, the sick, and all who suffer; for refugees, prisoners, victims of abuse, and all who are in danger,
that wherever they may be, they may find relief and protection,
and that Christians may reach out to them in compassion and friendship.
We pray for this city of Asheville, for our nation, and for all the peoples of the earth,
that a spirit of mutual respect and forbearance may grow in every community and nation,
and that your will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray for First Baptist Church, Asheville, its staff and its members,
that this household of God may be a sign of love in our broken world,
that it may model unity strong enough to overcome fragmentation,
justice and gentleness strong enough to heal estrangement,
joy and hope powerful enough to conquer despair.
Especially this evening we pray for Austin McIver Dennis, chosen to serve as Pastor in your church,
that by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit he may be sustained and encouraged to persevere to the end in selfless service of Christ;
that through faithful teaching, preaching, and leadership in the community, he may build up your church in this generation, and glorify your Name in this community;
that through prayer and study of your Word, he may offer wise counsel in times of perplexity, leadership both courageous and compassionate through whatever trials may lie ahead;
that his family—Erin, Liam, and Ozzie—may share fully with him in the joy of Christ and in mutual affection for one another, and thus be strengthened to reach out in love to others;
O Lord, behold this your servant Mack. Make him modest and humble, strong and supple, constant to observe the discipline of Christ. Let his life, his words and actions, so reflect your commandments, that through him many will come to know, love, and follow you. As your Son came not to be served but to serve, may Mack have a full share in the service of your kingdom, giving himself to the end that this congregation may do its part in giving glory to Christ, who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.