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, May 2, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (May 1) - Athens First UMC

[Nicole Phillips in our community recently noticed our outdoor prayer cross, took this photo, and posted an article about this on her blog. You can read her inspiring post by clicking here. Just before the pastoral prayer yesterday, our prayer team leaders reported that we have been averaging almost twenty prayer requests per week as a result of the prayer cross, mostly from college students who walk by our prayer cross on a daily basis. We include these prayers with the prayers of our congregation during our weekly Tuesday morning prayer gather which meets in the church at 7:30 am.]

O God, thank you for announcements made in church that tell the good news of how our church is putting our faith to a name.

Thank you for blankets that will be used to provide warmth to people in our community who are in distress. Thank you for cookies that will be a blessing to those who are in prison through the Kairos ministry. Thank you for a new Saturday morning worship service led by members of our church at one of our local nursing homes. Thank you for a team of people from our church who will be going to Honduras to help those who have so little. Thank you for all of these ways that our church is helping to bring a little heaven to earth.

Whenever we forget who you have called us to be as your people, when we struggle to remember what you have taught us, help us to recall how you would have us respond in any given situation. Help us to be instruments of your love with the people of our community and world.

This past Friday’s closing of Athens area schools has once again prompted us to continue to pray for peace in a world that is filled with threats, violence, and brokenness. This situation has reminded us to pray even more intentionally for the children and youth of our community. We also pray for parents, families, teachers, support staff, administrators, and school board members as we provide the best possible learning environment for our students.

We lift up to you Bishop Palmer of our West Ohio Conference as he will be preaching in our Foothills District tonight in Zanesville. Thank you for the message he will be bringing tonight and the one he will be delivering at our denomination’s General Conference in Portland, Oregon a few weeks from now. Thank you for the prophetic and pastoral witness of Bishop Palmer, O God.

For those who are recovering from illness, who are facing difficult decisions, who are looking for employment, who are feeling discouraged, or who may be facing a transition in their lives, we pray that they would feel the love and support of their church family in this very moment.

O God, hear our prayers, even as we remember the words you taught your disciples and now teach us to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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