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  • Bradley Bell

A Liturgy for Raising Support

O Lord I have set my face like flint.

I am prepared to take a step

out of the boat of financial certainty—

at least the certainty that comes

from my own hands on the oars—

and onto the waves of raising support.


You have hearkened me to take courage,

for it is you who has called me to come,

who has given me a vision of what could be,

along with the conviction of what must be.

Love compels me,

and I say yes.


While at the same time, I also say,

Lord, save me!

What have I done?!

Do you see these waves?!

The distance between where I am and where you’ve called

has grown into an abyss that seems unable to cross.


Thus I confess to you today’s particular discouragements

that threaten to plunge me like a millstone bound to my feet.


Let the supplicant here cast his or her cares onto the Lord. These may include:


Doubt that provision will come

Isolation in the midst of a culture that says, “Earn your own keep”

Impatience with the process

Disappointment with the lack of support from family and friends

Embarrassment from having asked

Bitterness from the lack of response or followthrough

Confusion on what step to take next

Fear of having exhausted one’s relational network

Entitlement in having risked so much

Despair of getting past a certain percentage raised

Weariness in the work


In my distress I cry to you Lord,

I cry to my God for help.

Let it come into your ears—

reach out your hand and catch me!

Pull me onto the surer ground

where uncertainty acknowledged to you

becomes an opportunity to know your grip

like never before.


Give me the resolve like Nehemiah,

who, when asked by the king

what he wanted

in order to fulfill the vision in his heart,

responded first

by appealing to the King of heaven.


King of heaven,

please provide for _____. (the supplicant may add the name of the mission here)

I submit to

your timing

your ways

your demands

for the effort I must make.

But I do boldly ask for _____. (the supplicant may add a specific request here)


When the responses are “yes”

let me give you praise

and keep asking.


When the responses are “no”

let me give you praise

and keep asking.


As tangible evidences of your grace to me,

and as an expression of my gratitude to you,

thank you for _____. (the supplicant my add the names of recent supporters here)


Grant that I may love these your supporters

not as nameless donors

who pay and stay out of the way;

nor as venture capitalists

who demand return on investment;

but as fellow workers for the truth,

and partners in the gospel.


In my uncertainty I am certain of this:

when this part of the work is done,

I want to have become a different person.

Not ground down to a metallic dust

that others will have to drink as I recover.

But renewed in the image of the One

who found joy in every hard journey.


I know you to be the God

who will supply all my needs

according to the riches

of your glory in Christ Jesus.

So to you, my God, be glory

forever and ever.


Amen.



This liturgy was originally featured at The Upstream Collective.

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