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 26, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (October 25) Athens First UMC

O God, even when we face times of doubt and adversity, you are present with us in a variety of ways.

You comfort us with an encouragement card that we receive in the mail from a friend, when after a long day, we see a beautiful sun set in our back yard, when a project that began three years ago, finally comes together, during a small group meeting where people take turns sharing their faith, when someone drops off a casserole as a way of expressing sympathy at the loss of a loved one, and when a church member says, “It was because of your phone call, that I am coming to church again.”

O God, in all these ways, you are present with us, reminding us that we are not alone as we face the daily struggles and challenges of life. Thank you for the story of Job and how it teaches us that it’s OK to question our faith when we come face to face with suffering and injustice in our world.

And while we all want to have the patience of Job, thank you for loving us even when we are impatient. When we are face to face with things we just cannot understand or comprehend, help us to simply trust in you by taking your hand and following you where you lead us.

We especially pray for those who are pursuing their education here at the university that they would be able to use their gifts and the knowledge they attain to make a difference in the world.  May our church be a place where people who are away from home, can come here and be strengthened in their faith.

We pray for families who are experiencing loss and grief and who are going through a difficult time of transition in their lives. When life knocks us to our knees and when we are left with more questions than we have answers, bring us again to that place where we can say with Job, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

With trust in your guiding hand leading us, even without knowing what tomorrow may bring, teach us to pray the words that Jesus taught his disciples, and now teaches us to say together, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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