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 23, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (May 22/Trinity Sunday) - Athens First UMC

[Some of our little Methodists arrive early for church. Here, Hope and Lily had a lot to share with me. They were so excited to tell me that they brought a cake to share for Sunday School teacher appreciation Sunday.]

Triune God, we lift our prayers to you as the One who creates, redeems, and sustains. You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, known in three persons. You are wholly other, and yet, intimately close. You are transcendent and mysterious, and yet, imminent and personal. Thank you for this day when we are reminded of the good news of our faith simply by naming you as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We confess that we find it difficult to keep up with our rapidly changing culture and complicated social issues. We long for what is familiar, but we feel as though we are constantly being challenged to have an open mind on issues that are facing us on a day to day basis. Remind us during these changing times, O God, that there is a mystery to life that is not always easily explained. Just as the Psalmist looked into the sky and marveled at your mysterious creation, help us to also look up and know that you are God.

In this time of transition for our graduates, we pray your blessing to be upon them as they pursue new opportunities. Lead them into new paths that will enable them to be a blessing to others. Calm any fears they may have as they begin this new journey in their lives.

O God, we also lift up to you those in our church and in our community who are going through a difficult time right now.  We especially pray for the family here in Athens who were part of the tragic car accident just this past week. The mystery of death has stricken us and we are heartbroken. May your healing love be with the friends and family of those who lost their lives.

O God, thank you for giving us a language of faith as we face heartache, pain, and grief. Thank you for the good news of our faith that reminds us that there is absolutely nothing in all creation that can ever separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing. Not even death. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.

And now, we join together to pray the words you taught your disciples and now teach to us…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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