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, March 21, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (March 20/Palm Sunday) - Athens First UMC

[We had a very special Palm Sunday as our children led the processional during our opening hymn, celebrating Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. I was reminded of how difficult it is to wave a palm branch while trying to hold your hymnal and a bulletin. This was also our "Putting Athens First" Capital Campaign Commitment Sunday which is reflected in the pastoral prayer.]

O God, thank you for the opportunity to step over the line and put Athens first with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. We dedicate these Capital Campaign commitments to you, knowing that our building improvements and our community outreach emphasis will help our church be the church that you want us to be.

Help us to savor this holy moment so that we will be able to look back on this day and say, “I am so glad I stepped over the line for Christ and his church on Commitment Sunday.”

Today, we remember when Jesus stepped over the line by entering Jerusalem on a donkey. And this week, we will watch him step over the line as he offers his life by dying on a cross. Thank you for sending Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.

As we follow the events of Jesus life this week, help our faith to become more real. Help us to remember that we are real people who are real sinners, but who follow a real Savior.

Even as we focus on the our Capital Campaign and the beginning of Holy Week, we are also mindful of people in the southern part of our country who have lost their homes because of flooding. Thank you that you promise to be with us through any storm we may face in life.

We lift up to you those who are unable to be in worship with us today, for our college students, for the many prayer requests we are receiving from our outdoor prayer cross, for those who may be discouraged, for those seeking direction, and for those who are celebrating a special joy in their lives. For all of these prayer needs, we know that you not only hear our prayers, but you are already at work in and through us.

And now, teach us to pray together,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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