24 September, 2006
Lord's Day a'Brakel
This love [for Christ] will cause a minister to pray much for the congregation and pray that he himself might receive grace to communicate this to the congregation. He will study for his sermons prayerfully, and he will prayerfully traverse the street towards the pulpit. His prayer is not that he may avoid disgrace or shame, nor that he may speak in a manner pleasing to the congregation, rendering him honor and respect and enabling him to draw crowds. If such is his secret motive (even if he does not say so expressly) and he pretends to have another motive while praying for the honor of God and the edification of the congregation, he frequently does this to satisfy his conscience, but his own honor is his primary motive. Love, however, will cause him at all times to pray for the congregation, thereby seeking her benefit. "Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith" (1 Th. 3:10) [II: 134].