A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (July 19) - Athens First UMC

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you, O God for helping us to have a varsity level faith as we focus on Paul’s Letter to Ephesians during these summer Sundays.

Help us to be the people you have called us to be by making worship a priority and by practicing Christian unity where we are able to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ even though we might have very different opinions on a variety of topics. You are the reason that we are able to have unity in the church. You are the reason why we are no longer strangers, but citizens of the household of God.

In a world where there is so much discord and disunity, may we as co-workers in your kingdom, seek peace and reconciliation in our community and throughout the world. Thank you for the safe return of our mission team and for the new friendships they formed during their time in Nicaragua this past week. May the seeds that they planted through their sharing and labor of love be a blessing to that community.

O God, our hearts are heavy over the recent shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Comfort the families who have lost loved ones with your love. Even in the midst of this tragedy, thank you for Olivet Baptist Church and for the hundreds of people including both the Christian and Muslim communities of that area who gathered for a vigil on Friday night. May all faith communities promote unity, peace, and respect as we seek to make this world a better place.

We pray for individuals, families, and loved ones who may be on our minds this day. Bless them in whatever they may be facing and remind them that they are not alone and they are being lifted in prayer this day.

And Lord, I want to thank you for blessing us all this morning with yet another “Thin Place” moment, a holy moment when we were drawn closer to you when we stood and held each other’s hands at the end of the sermon. That was a moment that will stay with us, because you were right here in our midst in that special time.

As we begin a new week, may we continue to be open to the “Thin Place” moments you have in store for us this week through our daily routine, through the people we meet, and as we spend time with you. Thank you for the joy we receive in these holy moments and for reminding us that heaven is closer than we think.

And now, as brothers and sisters in Christ, united by your presence with us, we join together in saying the Lord’s Prayer…”Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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