O God, you are the fountain of all truth;
we ask you to protect the 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 simple, that bewilders the way-faring man.
And, yet at the same time, protect the Church
from the failure to face new truth;
from devotion to words and ideas which the passing of the years have 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 destroy;
who are adventurous with the wise, and yet gentle with the simple;
who strenuously exercise the intellect, 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 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.
~William Barclay, Prayers for the Christian Year
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