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, December 7, 2015

Pastoral Prayer (December 6) - Athens First UMC

O God, help us to get ready for the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ into the world. Thank you that we don’t need no baggage and that there’s room for all among the loved and lost. We don’t even need a ticket. We just need to get on board.

O God, help us to be your Advent people who are ready to take the plunge and offer all of who we are to you!

We can see that people are getting on your gospel train through our Sunday School classes, bible studies, new small groups, an exciting building improvements plan, choir rehearsals, the new Worship U service, and so many other ways where we are seeking to take the plunge and take our faith to a deeper level.

As we approach the Christmas holiday, we know that there are many who struggle during this time of year. We lift up to you those who have recently lost loved ones, people who are out of work, students who are preparing for final exams, those who feel overwhelmed by the busyness of this time of year, and for our world where there is so much pain, suffering, and violence, especially in San Bernardino, California where yet another mass shooting took place.

O God, we need this Season of Advent! The world is in need of your peace and justice. Come Lord Jesus, come!

Help us to see your presence in the people we greet as we enter our church doors for worship each Sunday, in the eyes of the Growing Tree pre-school children as we read a story to them, through the crèche display that we carefully set up in our living room, in the voice of the person who offers us a timely word of encouragement, and during our prayer time as we begin our day. O God help us to see your presence throughout these four weeks of Advent.

May this be a day when we take the plunge and get on board your gospel train. And now, teach us to pray together the words you taught your disciples…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…” 

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