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, October 31, 2016

Pastoral Prayer (October 30) - Athens First UMC

[Over the weekend, two church volunteers provided some tender loving care to our small bible garden which is located along the entrance into the church. All off these plants are either referred to in the bible or would have been present in 1st century Israel during Jesus' ministry. The next time you enter our church building, take a little time to notice the beauty of this little garden that reminds us of our biblical faith.]

O God, thank you that the pastor chose a really good prayer hymn for worship today. Joyful, joyful, we adore you! And we do! Thank you for Ludwig van Beethoven who gave us this gem of a hymn to express our love for you!

We especially thank you for the beauty and majesty of classical music that has a way of melting the clouds of sin and sadness and drives the dark of doubt away.

Soli Deo Gloria! To you, be glory alone, O God!

We are grateful for how music can be an important way for us to connect with you, music that we listen to on the radio, music that we stream, music that we listen to here in worship. Help us to be the singing Methodists that you call us to be.

As we begin this Music and Faith series, we especially thank you for the music ministry of our church. Thank you for our music staff of Peter Jarjisian, Jeff Daubenmire, Kevin Dael, and Elyse Suhay. And thank you for our Chancel Choir, our Bell Choir, our Worship U Praise Band, and our several talented musicians and vocalists who offer their gift through the life of our church.

Help us to not be afraid to sing out our faith on Sunday mornings, even if it’s a hymn or a song that might not be all that familiar to us. Thank you for inspiring these composers and writers of lyrics to lead us into a deeper communion with you. And we especially thank you for those times that a hymn or a praise song stays with us throughout the week comforting us through a difficult situation or leading us to offer a praise of thanksgiving.

We pray for those who could use some uplifting music this day; those who are sick, those who are facing surgery, those who are experiencing grief, and those who are troubled in spirit. And we especially pray for our country as we draw closer to Election Day. Help us to always remember that we are first and foremost citizens of your kingdom and followers of Christ who taught us to pray together saying,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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