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 10, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (August 9) - Athens First UMC

Loving and kind God, you want us to have a varsity faith, a faith that overflows with worship, unity, growth, spiritual gifts, and kindness. We want to excel in these areas, but we confess that they often feel very elusive and difficult to live out on a consistent basis in our everyday lives. Teach us what it means to letter in these areas and to be the people you have called us to be.

We are recipients of your kindness in so many ways. The cashier at the store who  surprised us by saying, “You gave me too much money,” the scout leaders who stopped by the church and said, “Let us know how our troop can help the church,” the girl in our church who spent the day making a cake to bring to our Wonderful Wednesday program, the church members who met this past week to plan out how we can be part of a water bottle give away during moving in week.

O God, your loving kindness toward us is contagious. We don’t want to just keep it to ourselves. We want to give it away so the people we see throughout the week will know we are Christians by our love.

We pray for people who are on our minds this day and who are in particular need of your kindness. We pray for those who are in need of physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual healing. Surround these persons with your kind embrace and may they know of the love, peace, hope, and joy that we can always find in you.

The beginning of the presidential debates reminds us that we are a country of many different opinions, even within political parties. Help us to be a country that respects the opinions of others while also working for the common good, especially for those who have little or no voice in our society.

Guide all of our world’s political leaders to seek peace and justice for all people. Thank you for our Festival of Sharing kits that we were able to put together this past Wednesday and for the Trimble Elementary School food ministry to help children and families who are living in poverty.  We are grateful to share in these ways that offer your kindness to those in need.

O God, we know how good it feels when someone offers us a cold drink when we are really thirsty. Thank you for sending us Jesus who is the living water. Together, we join in saying the prayer he taught us, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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