Sermons, teachings, prayers, words, leadings of, for and from Robert G. Eaton, who, through faith in Jesus Christ and baptism, in the grace and power and release of the Holy Spirit, is a redeemed son of our Father in heaven, husband, father, grandfather, active ordained priest in The Episcopal Church USA.
“Strengthen such as do stand” is part of a longer phrase which comes from the Great Litany as included in the Book of Common Prayer (The Great Litany is included on this blog as a permanent page).
“That it may please thee to strengthen such as do stand;
to comfort and help the weak-hearted;
to raise up those who fall;
and finally to beat down Satan under our feet,
We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.”
Strengthen, comfort, help, raise up, and beat down are the action words in the petition (in their respective contexts) and reflect what will be necessary from the Lord in order to see a turn-around for The Episcopal Church, That a turn-around is necessary is no longer the question. And no more so for any of the other “mainline denominations.”
We are called to be part of the solution, not of the problem, and, at the very least, to assist the Lord’s restorative work by beginning and continuing with prayer. The solution is in the Lord’s hands as he has provided the necessities for the future of the Church. The same solution is also applicable for revival. Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, crucified and resurrected to our benefit, and the empowerment in the Spirit to be useful through us for the building up of the Body of Christ, and the efficacy of any mission endeavor.
This particular prayer, as memorable a phrase as it is, seems as helpful and focused for that purpose as any other. It is a very helpful outline of the ministry of the Church For the Church.
A variation of the Great Litany bidding is found in the following “Birthday” prayer in the Book of common Prayer, as well:
“Watch over your child, O Lord, as his days increase; bless and guide him wherever he may be. Strengthen him when he stands; comfort him when discouraged or sorrowful; raise him up if he falls; and in his heart may Your peace which passes understanding abide all the days of his life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”