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, October 12, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (October 11) - Athens First UMC

O God, help us to trust in you, especially during the tough times. We face many tests and challenges in life, and this often leads us to question our faith. Thank you for the story of Job as it gives us an opportunity to rethink our faith and see how you are present in our lives even when we are surrounded by darkness. Thank you that no darkness is too great for your light to shine in our lives.

When our hearts are weighed down by the heaviness of grief, when a job opportunity closes, when the peer pressure of campus life would have us stray from following you, when the struggle to overcome an addiction feels like it is more than we can handle, when torrential floods destroy people’s homes, when our health takes a turn for the worse…in all these ways, O God, even though we may never fully understand why these things are happening, we at least know that you believe in us, and that we can overcome any adversity because you promise to never leave us or forsake us.

Help us to be there for each other when life gets tough. Remind us that sometimes the best thing we can do for someone who is questioning their faith is to simply be present, to listen, and to pray.

We pray for the Kairos prison ministry that is taking place this weekend. We pray that your love would fill the hearts of those who are participating and volunteering their time. Thank you that your love is a love that changes hearts and lives.

O God, with a Job kind of faith, even though we don’t have all the answers to why bad things happen to good people, help us to at least say to you, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And if we find those words too difficult to say, thank you for giving us this prayer to say together every Sunday morning when we gather here for worship.

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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