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The Ministry of Intercession A Plea for More Prayer

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There is no holy service But hath its secret bliss: Yet, of all blessèd ministries, Is one so dear as this? The ministry that cannot be A wondering seraph’s dower, Enduing mortal weakness With more than angel-power; The ministry of purest love Uncrossed by any fear, That bids us meet     At the Master’s feet And keeps us very near. God’s ministers are many, For this His gracious will, Remembrancers that day and night This holy office fill. While some are hushed in slumber, Some to fresh service wake, And thus the saintly number No change or chance can break. And thus the sacred courses Are evermore fulfilled, The tide of grace     By time or place Is never stayed or stilled. [px] Oh, if our ears were opened To hear as angels do The Intercession-chorus Arising full and true, We should hear it soft up-welling In morning’s pearly light; Through evening’s shadows swelling In grandly gathering might; The sultry silence filling Of noontide’s thunderous glow, And the solemn starlight thrilling With ever-deepening flow. We should hear it through the rushing Of the city’s restless roar, And trace its gentle gushing O’er ocean’s crystal floor: We should hear it far up-floating Beneath the Orient moon, And catch the golden noting From the busy Western noon; And pine-robed heights would echo As the mystic chant up-floats, And the sunny plain     Resound again With the myriad-mingling notes. Who are the blessèd ministers Of this world-gathering band? All who have learnt one language, Through each far-parted land; All who have learnt the story Of Jesu’s love and grace, And are longing for His glory To shine in every face. All who have known the Father In Jesus Christ our Lord, And know the might     And love the light Of the Spirit in the Word. [pxi] Yet there are some who see not Their calling high and grand, Who seldom pass the portals, And never boldly stand Before the golden altar On the crimson-stainèd floor, Who wait afar and falter, And dare not hope for more. Will ye not join the blessèd ranks In their beautiful array? Let intercession blend with thanks As ye minister to-day! There are little ones among them Child-ministers of prayer, White robes of intercession Those tiny servants wear. First for the near and dear ones Is that fair ministry, Then for the poor black children, So far beyond the sea. The busy hands are folded, As the little heart uplifts In simple love,     To God above, Its prayer for all good gifts. There are hands too often weary With the business of the day, With God-entrusted duties, Who are toiling while they pray. They bear the golden vials, And the golden harps of praise Through all the daily trials, Through all the dusty ways, These hands, so tired, so faithful, With odours sweet are filled, And in the ministry of prayer Are wonderfully skilled. [pxii] There are ministers unlettered, Not of Earth’s great and wise, Yet mighty and unfettered Their eagle-prayers arise....