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, July 25, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (July 24) - Athens First UMC

[Construction for our capital improvements began this past week with the preparation work for what will become our new elevator shaft. The picture is what used to be the pastor's office which is next to our Chapel. Speaking of our Chapel, due to Sunday's extreme heat, the 10:30 worship service moved to our air-conditioned Chapel. We anticipate having air-conditioning in the Sanctuary by the end of August! Hallelujah!]

God of all creation, thank you for reminding us this morning, that all we need to do is to knock on heaven’s door, and you will not only hear us, but you will also give to us what we need in that moment.

Sometimes, your response may be, “No, not yet,” or “No, I love you too much,” or “Yes, I thought you’d never ask!” or “Yes, and here’s more.” Thank you that you are our loving heavenly parent and that you care about our needs.

Just as the disciples asked, “Teach us to pray,” we also want to grow closer to you through our prayers. Help us to keep asking, to keep seeking, and to keep knocking, because you promise that your door will always be open to us. Thank you for the college student who not only appreciated our prayers for passing a Spanish test, but who also reminded us to “keep it up, guys.”

Thank you for the prayer that Jesus has given us to pray alone, to pray in church, and to pray often, “The Lord’s Prayer.”

As we pray this prayer together, we pause after each phrase to silently lift up our individual prayers to you.

We pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven” and we take a few moments now to silently thank you for not being a distant and vague deity, but for being our loving parent who loves and cares for each one of us. (PAUSE)

We pray, “hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and we take a few moments now to silently ask you to offer your healing love for a part of the world like Honduras, to this country, or to a situation we may be facing. (PAUSE)

We pray, “Give us this day, our daily bread,” and we take a few moments now to silently think about the many ways you feed us physically and spiritually. (PAUSE)

We pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and we take a few moments now to silently confess our sins to you, knowing that you are a very gracious, loving, and forgiving God. (PAUSE)

And we conclude this wonderful prayer you have give to us by joining together and saying the entire Lord’s Prayer together…

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespassed against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

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