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, April 18, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (April 17/Music Sunday) - Athens First UMC

O God, sometimes words alone cannot adequately express our love for you. Thank you for the gift of music. On this Music Sunday, we are grateful for bell ringers, pianists, singers, trombonists, hymnals, choir directors, praise teams, congregational singing, and many other musical expressions of our faith.

From Tuesday’s concert, “These are a Few of My Favorite Sings,” to this morning’s opening hymn, “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” music has helped us to smile and sing your praises throughout this week, and we are grateful.

Thank you for the privilege of being your church in this particular place. Over this past week, our church was able to feed the hungry, provide space for a desperate organ student to practice, host a new member class, offer a nurturing environment for pre-school children, and serve in a number of other vital ways. It has been a wonderful week to be your church!

O God, thank you for those times when out of the blue, we are reminded of a melody that we heard in church, and it inspires us throughout the week. O God, thank you for the gift of music.

We pray for those who may find it difficult to sing today because of uncertainty, loneliness, worry, grief, pain, or sickness. Remind us that there is always a song, always a lyric, always a tune, that can speak to our hearts in any given moment, even songs for heavy hearts.

We especially pray for the people of Japan and Ecuador as they seek to recover from recent earthquakes. Bless the rescue workers, medical workers, and leaders of these countries during this difficult time. We offer to you our song of lament for the brokenness and pain that we see throughout your creation.

Hear the songs of your people today, whatever songs you may be calling us to sing; songs of peace, songs of healing, songs of justice, songs of hope, and songs of praise. For those of us who can’t sing harmony, or who even feel self-conscious when singing a hymn during a worship service, thank you for the bible verse that says that a “joyful noise” is pleasing to you as well.

And now, with one united voice, we pray the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples and now teaches us to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…” 

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