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Written by E.J. Norman   

This prayer was prayed by Elder E. J. Norman at the West Texas Association held at Anton, TX. on the 4th Weekend in August, 1966. Elder Norman so humbly and fervently prayed this prayer on the Friday Night of Aug. 26, 1966. This was the last prayer that he ever prayed at the West Texas Association.

PRAYER of ELDER E. J. NORMAN

Our loving Father in Heaven, once more down through the sublime ages that thy tender loving hand has so carefully guarded and kept, we, this body of people that has characterized this geographical center for many many years, we're yet blessed once more with that privilege of unity and of faith and sweet reconciliation together in this glorious capacity.

Dear Lord, since we've been in this capacity and this realm of this little gathering together of the humble hearts of the West Texas Association; as it has pleased thee in thy sight, we feel that surely without a doubt that it has been pleasing in thy sight that it is well called our West Texas Association, not that it bears any sacred significance, only the surroundings of our hearts; but, O Lord, as we have experienced times that have pass and rolled over our heads.

Dear Lord, at this moment of time special within our own hearts, we desire to return thanks, in the midst of the decade of time, and the schedule of times that has been so complete, so well organized, so well kept and perpetuated in the hearts of even a few that are gathered together here at last to commemorate the many gatherings back through the ages. We're reminded, O Lord, and we now desire to make full-complete acknowledgement that the works, the blessings, the cares, the divine protection, the comfort and the joys and reconciliations of the self have made history down through the ages.

Heavenly Father, these some fifty-two or three or four years that in our hearts we find that our lives are still aligned in unity, in faith, in reconciliation, with the divine purposes of

God. O Lord, surely we have so much as we are so feeble and imperfect, we're so poor in every respect, that all through the years it is through thy guiding hand and thy tender mercies, that this particular meeting, this assembly and our gathering together that perpetuates annually each year, we're so thankful, Dear Lord, that we've stood upon the haze of time, we've seen many great soldiers fall, by reason of failing strength, that death has brought with its mortal changes, into the lives of many of our fathers and mothers.

Heavenly Father, we're thankful for thy kind protecting care, that you have replenished the cause again and again.

Dear Lord, we're so thankful this evening where we look back into the ages, we saw the brave soldiers fall by the wayside, under the ordeal of death. We've seen their presence and their labors, as they would dwell in the midst of time, that our hearts so sacredly remember them with great joys with Heaven's love. So much so that it seems in our hearts this evening, that we have been given grace in our hearts and we can push back the scroll of Heaven's scene that we can almost with a vision of faith, see the great characters that used to go to make the body of the West Texas Association.

Dear Lord, we desire to acknowledge we have every reason to believe that they took their places in the grandeur of Heaven itself, that goes to compose and to make up the angels of Heaven and Heavenly Father, we're thankful, not that we've see the past, but in as much as it is thy will and thy good pleasure to call them from the walks of the detinue of clay and to take them out of suffering, to take them to a home that is a far richer blessedness than our association could be in this life.

We're thankful, Dear Lord, that you have by thy wisdom and thy kind and tender care, you have replaced them. We see young faces and young frames. We see that you have replenished thy cause and Kingdom here upon earth with men and women, and with boys and girls that remain faithful and, O Heavenly Father, we do pray thee that we that are left to be the older ones to look upon the haze of time that has been dimmed so much by the events, by thy own visible working power of thy wisdom, we're made to be thankful that all is as well with us as it is.

We're thankful for the hope that we, too, even when life fails, that it seems that it becomes to be a dawn of day, to a new day in which we shall enter are long, as we shall join a great family reunion with loved ones that a great concourse of people that we used to recognize as the West Texas Association. But it's the reality of Heaven this evening while we stand on the very brink of the ages and the events of time, in a face vision that you've granted unto us, we look forward with only a few remaining days.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we in all earnestness and sincerity and faith and sanctity to the name of God, may in the years that we pray, that we sustain, that our prayers, our courage, and our zeal go out to the younger generation of tomorrow, that shall go to make up this grand meeting.

Dear Heavenly Father, we do pray thee we are thankful this evening for a continuation of reconciliation from Heaven that has kept them bound in the bonds of sweet peace of our Saviour, so graciously manifested, procured by the life that He lay down; the one that He has planted into the hearts of thy children, that has conquered every enemy that has assailed our ranks.

O, Heavenly Father, when it is that we look at the young ministers of today, Dear Lord, help us that we might pledge them allegiance by our feeble tongues, by our weak and mortal frames, that we only have a few days to remain; yet we're not complaining, but according to the past, You've been so wonderfully gracious to us. With sweet hopes and in anticipation we look for the waiting of the coming of what time remains, that it will be a sweet reconciliation. It'll be a sweet unity. It'll be a glorious faith that is only characteristic to Heaven itself. And we look upon it with sweet anticipation.

Now, Heavenly Father, take these thy servants, who are only the replenishment of thy hand, to fill up that which has filled the ages of the decades of the past; O Lord, we feel that it is with pride and joy and Heaven's love, characterized and sponsored by the faith you have given us, that these young soldiers of the Cross, as they come in the full discharge of their duty, that they live humbly and they live faithfully.

Dear Heavenly Father, we're thankful for their presence, their labors, and their endeavors. Heavenly Father, bless them with all the trials and sacredness, serenity of the ministry of Jesus Christ as they go forth in the discharge of their duty in this low realm in which we exist, in which we are pilgrims. Heavenly Father, not only these that shall stand this evening but those who travel the terrain of this old world, with all of its many trials, tribulations, and afflictions.

Dear Heavenly Father, we're thankful for them as they go and they fill the capacity of young soldiers in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. O Lord, may we express our thanks for the perpetuity of the dear Old Church that has through many ages and centuries, it has been a comfort and a joy to the soul, to the happiness, to the comfort and to the pleasures of the Heaven itself, that is shed abroad in our lives, and in our presence, and in the very presence of God Himself.

Now, Heavenly Father, where our feeble voices fail to ascribe greatness to explore the praises that is so much due thee, we do pray thee, Heavenly Father, just accept us as we are in our many ways of weakness and our frailties. Dear Lord, we're thankful for the reconciliation that was dropped form Heaven into our midst and made a part of our very being. It is sweet to revel in. It is sweet o labor in; to face the unity that you have put into the hearts by faith in this old world in which there is so much disaster, chaos, and trouble.

Now Heavenly Father, go with us throughout the continuation the remaining part of this meeting, this service. O Heavenly Father, if not asking too much, that when the ages and the events and the space of a little historical measure, when it rolls over our heads, Dear Lord, can we look with hope and anticipation that we will meet one year from now where it takes its place in the midst of God's people.

O, Lord, uphold the little community and church that have volunteered to be host to this great family of God, the Kingdom of Heaven. Prosper them as they need them, preserve them, Dear Lord, with faith and zeal and, Dear Lord, could we have another meeting just such as this; that O, our faith reaches yonder in the midst of time and embraces, that should that fall as it will someday, O, we will have association on the other side far sweeter even than this. We pray thee, Dear Lord, that our hopes might be built around all of this.

Now, Heavenly Father, be our guide and our stay in the future as you have been in the past. Bless us where we have failed to ask. Bless us where we have failed to understand. And, Heavenly Father, may we lean upon thee in time of distress, misfortune, and disaster.

Now, Heavenly Father, embrace us in the arms of thy love. Bless those that are not permitted to be with us on this occasion. When that dire afflictions have preyed down so heavily upon our loved ones in many places. O Lord, go to the sick rooms, the hospitals, and the sick beds. O, if it could be keeping with thy will, pour in the oil of grace and heal the poor afflicted bodies; cheer them up again with the morning's reconciliation in their hearts, that what few remaining days that you let them live upon earth, that they could smile with sweet grace's thanksgiving from their lips and return praise unto thee.

Go with us while we try to serve thee, and at last, O Lord, when we fall in death, may we find the great arms of our Refuge sweetly coming under us, taking care of us, upholding us, and at last, Heavenly Father, may we be made an angel of Heaven.

We ask it all in Jesus' Name, and for His Sake. AMEN

Booklet Printed in June 1967, by The Banner of Love Press, Jayton, Tx.

Copied by: Hulan F. Bass (elder)
Lockhart, Tx.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.