by A.W. Tozer
O Lord, I have heard Thy voice and was afraid. Thou
has called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. Thou art
about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the
things that cannot be shaken may remain. O Lord, my Lord, Thou has
stooped to honor me to be Thy servant. No man taketh this honor upon
himself save he that is called of God as was Aaron. Thou has ordained me
Thy messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing.
They have rejected Thee, the Master, and it is not to be expected that
they will receive me, the servant.
My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness
nor my unfittedness for the work. The responsibility is not mine, but
Thine. Thou has said, "I knew thee - I ordained thee - I sanctified
thee," and Thou hast also said, "Thou shalt go to all that I shall send
thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak." Who am I to argue
with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is
not mine but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done.
Well do I know, Thou God of the prophets and the
apostles, that as long as I honor Thee Thou will honor me. Help me
therefore to take this solemn vow to honor Thee in all my future life
and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to
keep that vow unbroken while I live.
It is time, O God, for Thee to work, for the enemy
has entered into Thy pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. And
false shepherds abound who deny the danger and laugh at the perils which
surround Thy flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow
them with touching loyalty while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy.
I beseech Thee, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the enemy;
give me understanding to see and courage to report what I see
faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep
will recognize it and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation.
Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament
prophet. Forbid that I should be come a religious scribe and thus lose
my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the
modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of
professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size,
its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember
that I am a prophet - not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a
prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal
ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from
bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house.
Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where
I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the
darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping.
Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I
ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that
could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to
take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect
opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes
it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed
upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the
blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such
manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And
if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church,
let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy
mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they
would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to
And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my
remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me
stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is
not mine, and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to
do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or
fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.
Though I am chosen of Thee and honored by a high and
holy calling, let me never forget that I am but a man of dust and ashes,
a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of
men. I pray Thee, therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself
and from all the injuries I may do myself while trying to be a blessing
to others. Fill me with Thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in
Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness, even Thine only. I will
spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers
Then, dear Lord, when I am old and weary and too
tired to go on, have a place ready for me above, and make me to be
numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. Amen. AMEN.
Written in 1950,