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, September 26, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (September 25) @ Athens First UMC

[This is our stewardship logo this year as we prepare to complete our "Estimate of Giving" cards to support Christ and his church in 2017. A mailing with information about our stewardship focus is going out this week. You can either send in your card or bring it with you to worship this Sunday (October 2) and place in the offering plate. For Sunday's sermon on "Generosity: Just Add a Little Love," click on this link.]

Lord Jesus, just as you surrendered all on our behalf, help us to surrender all by adding a little love through every gift we offer in your name. Lead us into being the generous people you are calling us to be.

Every time we gather in this building to worship and grow in our faith, we are reminded of the generosity of those who have gone before us. Thanks to their generosity, we have this incredible space to call home.

Thank you for the generous people in 1908 who built a church in this location, and for the generous people in 1958 who rebuilt this church after a fire, and for the generous people today who are making our church building even more accommodate and inviting for the people of our community. We are so blessed to be part of our church’s history of generosity.

We know that the church is not only the building. It’s your people gathering together for worship, for small group sharing, for growing in our faith, and for serving others. Thank you for every single ministry in our church that helps us to live out our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

As many of us this week will be prayerfully considering our estimate of giving toward the general budget for this coming year, remind us to just add a little love in how we manage our personal finances. May our gifts in this coming year continue to help our church be a have of blessing and peace for our church family, for college students who are away from home, those who come to Monday lunch, the children who attend our Growing Tree preschool, the people who attend AA, our scout troupe, those who listen to our worship service on the radio, and so many other ministries of our church.

Lord Jesus, remind us to just add a little love in all that we say and do here at First Church. You are the one who taught us how a tiny mustard seed can lead to incredible growth. You taught us that just five loaves and a couple fish can be multiplied to feed 5,000 people. You taught that with even just a little faith a great big mountain can be moved.

And you also taught us that when we pray, all we really need to say are these words that reflect your will for each one of us as well as for our church…

 “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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