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, August 1, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (July 31) - Athens First UMC

[Since yesterday was a 5th Sunday, we received our "Noisy Bucket" offering where the children take buckets to each pew and people make noise by dropping in their change. These coins will be used for our "Athens First Saturday" community outreach. We will be feeding parking meters for students and their families when they are on campus in August. In early fall, we will use the remaining coins to provide free laundry service for college students. In the picture above, Logan Waldie is helping our children collect coins. He is wearing his "Athens First Saturday" t-shirt which includes the famous John Wesley quote about doing good. Join us this Saturday, August 6, 8:30 at the church for our next "Athens First Saturday."

O God, you heard our borning cry. And you were there the day we were baptized and confirmed. You carried us through those dark days when we thought that there was no hope. You blessed us through another church member who said to us one day just when we needed to hear it the most, “I am praying for you. You’re not alone. Let me know how I can be of help.”

O God, whenever doubts or trials overwhelm us, remind us of Good Friday, that day when you laid your life on the line so that we can receive healing for our sins and our brokenness. Thank you O God for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for your presence in our lives and for claiming us as your own.

On this day that we prepare to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, thank you for this holy meal where everyone is invited to come and taste of your goodness and love. We may not fully understand how you can be present with us when we receive the bread and the cup, but by faith and by the promise of your Word, we know you are with us in the most beautiful and mysterious way.

And God, I just want to thank you personally for the opportunity to be part of my aunt’s funeral this past week whose humble faith over her long life has blessed so many people, especially her nephew standing here today. And thanks to that funeral service, I have been reminded of how blessed I am to be part of a community of faith where I am surrounded by so many loving people of faith.

O God, our heart’s desire is for people who do not have a loving church home to know that we are a church with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. Help us to be that church, O God, the church that you have called us to be.

Just as you were present with us when we were first born, thank you that you are a God who promises to be with us throughout our lives, even to our last breath. You are the everlasting God, the God of resurrection and new life.

As your people, we reclaim the name that you have given us that we are children of God. And as your children of God, together, we pray the prayer you taught the disciples and now invite us to say together…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

No comments: