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 5, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (September 4/Labor Day Weekend) - Athens First UMC

[People entering the front entrance of our church yesterday were welcomed with sidewalk chalk messages. Children from our "Athens First Saturday" community outreach provided positive messages such as, "God loves you," "Welcome," and "Today, you will do great things!" They even listed our Sunday worship times and included an invitation to Monday Lunch. Just imagine the impact this will have on the many people who will walk by our church this week as long as it doesn't rain!]

O God, thank you for reminding us through your Word today to show honor to the people we see and interact with on a daily basis. Remind us that every person has been created in your image.

On this Labor Day weekend, we especially show honor to those who offer their best to make a living as well as to those who might be struggling to find employment. When we put our groceries on the conveyor belt or ask for the #2 combo at a fast food restaurant or cash a check at the bank, may our interaction with those who are working behind the counter be one of encouragement and gratitude for their service to us. Forgive us for the many times that we forget how important these jobs are in our everyday lives.

We also are thankful for living near a university where people are being prepared for a particular job or career path. We pray that their education, their training, and their credentialing will be used to help make this world a better place, a place that is filled with your justice and peace.

To this end, we lift up to you Tom Dixon and Young Life as they continue to be a blessing to young people in our community. Strengthen their outreach, their fellowship, and their witness of your love here in our community.

On this Labor Day weekend, we are also thankful for the many people in our church, who even though they may be retired, continue to be an incredible blessing through their volunteer work in our community and through the life of our church. Thank you for blessing us through their willing hands and hearts.

And finally Lord, we also lift up to you anyone who may be facing a difficult time in their lives, like the loss of a job, challenging medical issues, a difficult decision, relational strain, or the loss of a loved one, surround these persons with you healing love and compassion.

Thank you for giving us this day of the week where we are reminded that we are an Easter people, we are a people claimed by you, we are a family, and we are your church!

And as your family, we join in praying the words that Jesus taught his disciples and now teaches us to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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