Posted by: morgan1965 | February 10, 2011

A Tribute to Bishop Edsel A. Ammons: Prayer Warrior

Bishop Edsel A. Ammons, retired, died on December 24, 2010 at the age of eighty-six. He was a pastor, scholar, bishop, colleague and friend.

The United Methodist Church remembered him as a “trailblazing leader” of the denomination during its transitional years of racial integration. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary remembered him as a distinguished professor.

I will remember him as a friend, colleague and wise mentor. It was a distinguished privilege to join with him and Bishop Jonathan Keaton in co-authoring the book, “The Confessions of Three Ebony Bishops” [2008]. It was a joy to share with him as we developed the manuscript together. He had a way of keeping us focused on the task at hand. In that process, he was constantly teaching about the church’s theology and sharing his personal faith journey.

Perhaps I will remember Bishop Ammons best as a “gifted” prayer warrior. When he prayed, he spoke as one of the angels. The hearer would hang onto every phrase and word. His prayer vocabulary was authentic, freighted with poetry and depth of human understanding. When he prayed, he was in close communication with God.
Bishop Ammons included one of his prayers in our book, and it is titled, “Prayer at the End of the Day.”

“O God, in whose presence our souls take delight, on whom in affliction we call; our comfort by day, our song in the night, our hope, our salvation, our all. We come to the close of another day grateful for your abiding presence and for our continued awareness that no matter the nature of our thought, word, or deed, we remain close to you – as close as the air we breathe.

Our faith is made strong, Eternal God, as we have acknowledged the truth given to the saints of old and to us that the day now closing has been a day ‘which the Lord has made; thus, we have rejoiced and been glad in it.’ Enable us in these moments of prayerful reflections to remember everyone – family and friends and those whose names are not known to us – with the hope that they feel the power of your spirit as the day and the night unfold in ways unique to them and to all who are of their households.

Master of the troubled waters of life, given to us quiet rest through this night and heartfelt peace in blessed sleep and in our anticipation of the dawn of a new day. We entrust our well-being into your powerful hands. Strong deliverer, be thou still our strength and shield. And now, merciful Savior, receive this prayer in the spirit in which it is offered and I shall give you thanks in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.”

We give thanks to God for the gift of Edsel Ammons. We are grateful to Jesus who taught us how to pray. We give thanks for Edsel Ammons who knew Jesus as friend, and took the time daily to have a little talk with Jesus in our presence.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by WV United Methodist and Alexis Arzuaga, loghouse halley. loghouse halley said: RT @WVUMC: Bishop Lyght: A Tribute to Bishop Edsel A. Ammons: Prayer Warrior http://ow.ly/1bgZQ2 […]


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