The Ministry of Intercession



Thebk is no holy service

Bat hath its secret bliss:
Yet, of all blessed 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 ns meet at the Master's feet

And keeps ns 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. Oh, if our ears were opened

To hear as angels do
The Intercession-chorus

Arising fnll 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 np-floats, And the sunny plain resound again

With the myriad-mingling notes.

Who are the blessed ministers

Of this world-gathering band? All who have learned one language,

Through each far-parted land; All who have learned the story

Of Jesn'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.

Tet 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-stained floor,
Who wait afar and falter,

And dare not hope for more.
Will ye not join the blessed 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 odors sweet are filled,
And in the ministry of prayer

Are wonderfully skilled.

There are ministers unlettered,

Not of Earth's great and wise,
Yet mighty and unfettered

Their eagle-prayers arise.
Free of the heavenly storehouse!

For they hold the master-key
That opens all the fulness

Of God's great treasury.
They bring the needs of others,

And all things are their own,
For their one grand claim is Jesu's name

Before their Father's throne.

There are noble Christian workers,

The men of faith and power, The overcoming wrestlers

Of many a midnight hour; Prevailing princes with their God,

Who will not be denied,
Who bring down showers of blessing

To swell the rising tide.
The Prince of Darkness quaileth

At their triumphant way,
Their fervent prayer availeth

To sap his subtle sway.

Bat in this temple service

Are sealed and set apart Arch-priests of intercession,

Of undivided heart. The fulness of anointing

On these is doubly shed, The consecration of their God

Is on each low-bowed head. They bear the golden vials

With white and trembling hand; In quiet room or wakeful gloom

These ministers must stand,—

To the Intercession-Priesthood

Mysteriously ordained, When the strange dark gift of suffering

This added gift hath gained. For the holy hands uplifted

In suffering's longest hour
Are truly Spirit-gifted

With intercession-power.
The Lord of Blessing fills them

With His uncounted gold,
An unseen store, still more and more

Those trembling hands shall hold.

Not always with rejoicing

This ministry is wrought, For many a sigh- is mingled

With the sweet odors brought. Yet every tear bedewing

The faith-fed altar fire May be its bright renewing

To purer flame, and higher.

But when the oil of gladness God graciously outpours, The heavenward blaze, with blended praise More mightily upsoars.

So the incense-cloud ascendeth

As through calm, crystal air, A pillar reaching onto heaven

Of wreathed faith and prayer.
For evermore the Angel

Of Intercession stands
In His Divine High Priesthood,

With fragrance-filled hands,
To wave the golden censer

Before His Father's throne, With Spirit-fire intenser,

And incense all His own.

And evermore the Father

Sends radiantly down All-marvellous responses,

His ministers to crown; The incense cloud returning

As golden blessing-showers, We in each drop discerning

Some feeble prayer of ours, Transmuted into wealth unpriced,

By Him who giveth thus The glory all to Jesns Christ,

The gladness all to us!