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 4, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (January 3/Epiphany Sunday) - Athens First UMC

O God, as we reach for the star this year like the Wise Men so long ago, may it always lead us to Christ. Thank you for the light of epiphany as we begin this New Year.  As we look back on this past year, we can see how your light has guided us again and again.

Your light enabled us to send a mission team to Nicaragua. It led us to receive so many coins for one of our Noisy Bucket Sundays, that it even broke the bucket. It gave us the idea to host a water bottle give away for college students this past August during move in week. It led us to host several Wonderful Wednesday mission events here at our church. It prompted us to start Worship U, a new service for college students. It helped us to serve Monday lunches, provide food for Trimble Elementary School, bake cookies for Kairos Prison Ministry, and offer music concerts that lifted our spirits.

Your light led our church to do many wonderful things this past year and we give you thanks, O God.

And we know that your light will continue to shine in this New Year as we begin new small groups, launch an exciting capital campaign of putting Athens First, begin a new monthly community missions outreach, as well as continue the many vital ministries of our church. In all these ways, your light will lead us to be the people you have called us to be and will empower us to be a blessing to our community and world. Thank you for your light that will continue to lead us into a new and exciting year of ministry.

We pray that your light would especially be with those who are in need of your guiding direction in this moment. For those who are hungry, for those struggling to get by, for the lonely, the tired, the weak, the discouraged, the mournful, and the people in Missouri and Illinois who have been impacted by severe flooding, we lift all of these people to you because you are the light of the world.

Remind us as we go through our year that one of the best ways we can receive your light is by praying the prayer you taught your disciples and now teach to us.

“Our Father, who art in heaven…” 

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