Heavenly Father, merciful God, it has pleased you according to your infinite wisdom and lovingkindness to gather a church unto yourself out of the peoples of the earth. Through your Word and Spirit, you govern her through the service of men. You have graciously called us to be office-bearers and have charged us to keep watch over ourselves and all the flock which Christ has bought with his precious blood.
In your name we are now together to deal with matters concerning the edification and welfare of your churches and to do so in an ecclesiastical manner. We realize that we are unworthy and unable of ourselves to think, speak, or accomplish any good. We implore you that your Holy Spirit may govern us in our deliberations and decisions and may lead us into your truth.
Keep all misunderstanding away from us and guard us against the sinful inclinations of our hearts. May your Word be our only rule and standard, so that our work may glorify your name, serve the well-being of your churches, and bring peace to our consciences.
We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep. Amen.