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, November 16, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (November 15) - Athens First UMC

[Photo taken of Athens First UMC in October, 2015 by Anna King. The rainbow reminds us of our mission as a church to share God's covenant love with our community and world through our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness.]

O God, thank you for sending us Jesus who is seated at your right hand because he has done everything that is needed to bring salvation to the world. He is seated on the throne as the true king over all creation.

Thank you for these prayer intercessors who have come to the prayer railing to represent us in offering our prayers on behalf of the people of France who are in need of your comfort and peace following the terrorist attacks just a couple of days ago.

Our world cries out for your kingly rule to bring peace and justice to our world. You are the only one who can bring order out of such evil and chaos! We cry out with so many of the Psalmists for your loving justice to fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.

Be with the people of France as they seek to overcome evil with good. May the world’s response to such evil lead us into a future where people are not afraid to go to a restaurant or a concert or a soccer match on a Friday night. Comfort those who have been stricken by these attacks. May nations come together to offer their best in bringing those who would do such evil to justice.

Silently, we offer our personal prayers to you on behalf of the people of France. (Pause) Thank you for hearing our prayers, O God.

In a busy and frantic culture, teach us what it means to take time during the week to receive your peace, guidance, and grace in new ways. When life becomes so overwhelming, lead us to kneel in prayer and invite you to fill us once again.

Sometimes, we don’t even have a choice about kneeling because life can so easily knock us to our knees as the terrorist attacks have reminded us. We pray for those who have experienced the recent loss of a loved one, especially the Brooks family at the passing of Suzanne. We pray for those who are facing medical challenges and are concerned about their health. We pray for students who are facing anxiety over which career path they should choose. We pray for those who find it difficult to let go of the past and the things they cannot change.

And so, thank you for the author of Hebrews and for the Apostles’ creed that remind us that we are able to face any challenge in life because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and who is now seated with you.

In the name of Jesus Christ, who is seated next to you in glory, power, and authority, we offer the prayer that Jesus taught us to say; a prayer that longs for the day when your kingdom will come upon this earth.  And now, together, we pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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