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, January 18, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (January 17) - Athens First UMC

God of revelation, thank you for the wonderful words of life that we find throughout the pages of scripture. Thank you for those times when a biblical story or a passage of scripture helped us to see your presence in a situation we were facing.

Your Word offers comfort, it provides guidance, it convicts, it challenges, and it inspires us as we seek to be the people you have called us to be. Thank you for family bibles, study bibles, old translations, new translations, pocket size bibles, and bibles that we can download onto our phones. Help us to be like those early Methodist bible moths who hovered around your Word at every opportunity.

O God, it’s your Word that reminds us that we are not alone in our journey of faith. You have given us a particular story that reveals who you are, who we are, and who you call us to be.

Whenever we hear your Word read or proclaimed, may it never leave us the same. May it always lead us into a deeper faith and trust in you.

Just as Ezra’s reading of your Word, gave hope and new life to the people of Israel, we pray that the reading of your Word would also give us hope and new life. We want to be a church that isn’t just surviving, but thriving.

We thrive whenever we invite people to church. We thrive whenever food is delivered to the homeless. We thrive whenever a choir of talented singers from all over the state blesses us on a Sunday morning. We thrive whenever we are generous in our giving. We thrive whenever we share our faith with others. We thrive whenever we make your story, our story.

Help us to always be your thriving, and not just surviving church, O God. You have a great future in mind for us. Help us to live into that future.

We lift up the people of our congregation who are homebound, for those who are facing medical challenges, those who are ill, those who have lost loves ones, and those who are facing doubts and discouragement. We pray for all who are in special need of you this day.

And now hear our silent prayers that we offer up to you, knowing that you are more than able to provide for all of these needs: (Silent Prayers)

We offer all of these prayers to you. Even now, we turn to your Word where we find this prayer that Jesus taught his disciples and not teaches to us, the Lord’s Prayer:

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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