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, August 3, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (August 2) - Athens First UMC

O God, you have blessed us with so many wonderful spiritual gifts in this church. We have teachers, ushers, hospitality coordinators, musicians, artists, leaders, visionaries, craftsmen, generous givers, and the list goes on and on.

Thank you for giving us everything we need in our church to help us live out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Empower each one of us to use our unique gifts to be a blessing for others and to build up your church.

As we begin to think about the beginning of a new school year and the return of students to our community, we want our church to be a place where everyone feels welcomed here.

What a beautiful thing to know that in the coming weeks, a university freshman from the Cleveland area might be seated in the pew behind us during Sunday worship or a new family searching for a church home is deciding to enroll their child in our Growing Tree Pre-School program. O God, help each one of us to offer our gifts to that all may be welcomed in this place.

Hear our prayers this morning for loved ones who are in particular need of you this day; for members of our church family who are unable to attend church this morning, for those who are traveling, for people who are facing difficult decisions, for those who are facing medical challenges, and for those who feel disconnected from you and the church. We lift up all of these concerns to you.

But we are also mindful of so many blessings and joys like sunshine, Holy Communion, friendships, Wonderful Wednesdays, answered prayers, and new opportunities to respond to your calling in our lives. Thank you for all of these blessings.

We want to have a varsity faith where we are growing stronger in our faith everyday by focusing on worship, unity, growth and spiritual gifts. Teach us what it means to grow in these vital areas of our faith even as we pray together, the Lord’s Prayer; “Our Father who art in heaven…”

No comments: