In his book Walking With the Giants Dr. Warren Wiersbe shares a brief biographical sketch of Reverend Joseph Parker. Rev. Parker was the son of a simple stonemason from Northumbria, who became one of the greatest and most revered pastors in Great Britain in the late 1800’s. He was a towering figure in the pulpit – both in size, appearance and influence – during what is no doubt the golden age of preaching. His church and ministry were second in size and impact only to Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and his more than forty published works serve as a treasure trove for preachers and serious minded christians to this day.
During his decades as pastor of The City Temple in London Parker preached through the entire Bible from beginning to end (twice on Sunday and again at noon on Thursday), having his messages recorded verbatim by a stenographer and then edited and published as The People’s Bible. It was captured for publication, as he referred to it, in “the language of the moment.” Adding, “Every man can best follow his own method. I have followed mine.”
Dr. Wiersbe adds this important note that explains my method and purpose for these Sunday morning posts. He writes, “You will find as much spiritual food in Parker’s prayers as in his sermons, so be sure to read them. In fact, reading a prayer daily or a prayer at the beginning of each Lord’s Day, might be a profitable exercise for the pastors.” (And I might add, for the pastor’s people too.
His prayers are posted here each Lord’s Day as a resource to help ready your soul and prepare your mind to hear from God as you gather for corporate worship. I pray that Rev. Parker’s prayers – recorded just as he voiced them so many years ago – will be a blessing to your Christian life and walk.
From Dr. Joseph Parker’s message on 1 Corinthians 13:7-13
O thou God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we would be swallowed up in thy love! We bless thee for this desire; this desire is of thine own creation; we were once as sheep going astray, but now by thy grace we have returned unto the shepherd and bishop of our souls. This is the miracle of grace; this is the triumph of the Cross. May this desire grow upon us, until we live and move and have our being in God, not of necessity, but by our own loving consent; then shall we be as the angels of God, there shall be no time, no space, no burdensomeness; we shall live in God’s own great eternity. Towards this we are moving by the Spirit; hitherto we have been little, foolish, frivolous, looking for small mercies and often missing them, but now our eyes are unto the hills; not the little hills of earth and time, but to the everlasting hills of light and glory and summer: our help Cometh from the Lord. We bless thee for all thy care and love; thou hast made our houses homes, sweet, quiet dwelling-places, and that we have been enabled to find in our own fireside a hint of the ever-burning fire on the altar. We thank thee for sleep, for communion with one another in all holy and tender speech; we thank thee for the bread which perisheth and the water of earthly fountains, and these we have taken sacramentally, as if eating the body and drinking the blood of the Lord’s anointed. Inasmuch as we have had to go down into the rough world and the tumultuous market-place, thou hast been with us there; thou hast prospered us in basket and in store to some extent, and thou hast returned us to our houses glad that the bustling conflict was over, and thankful that the spirit of rest was brooding once more over our aching lives. We thank thee for all our hopes; the worlds are nearer than we thought, heaven’s fragrance attempers the winds of earth, we almost hear the upper song: may we listen for it, may our souls delight in sweet anticipations of immortal fellowship, and may we come out of these high reveries determined to work more, suffer more patiently, to accept every discipline more willingly, and to do all our little day’s work as men whose citizenship is in heaven, Amen.
- Parker, Joseph (2015-09-03). Romans to Galatians (The People’s Bible Book 25) (Kindle Locations 4634-4648). Chariot Ebooks. Kindle Edition.