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, January 16, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (January 15) - Athens First UMC

[We were blessed to have the Ohio University Honor Choir sing two beautiful anthems for us during our 10:30 worship service. The choir consists of fifty high school students from all across the state including West Virginia. Our church provided them with refreshments and a lunch following the worship service. Thank you, Honor Choir for blessing us with your wonderful gift of music!]

God of healing and compassion, thank you for your presence in this place today. Thank you for people in our lives who have pointed us to you. Thank you for those times where you have helped us to move beyond simply having a plateaued faith. Grant each of us a growing faith, an adventurous faith, a risk-taking faith, a sanctifying faith.

Thank you for blessing us with a church that is willing to explore new seas and experience new heights in our faith together. Sometimes you challenge us with a gentle nudge, but there are also those times when it feels more like a push or a shove. But it’s all good. You just want us to experience all that you have to offer us in our walk with you.

On this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, help our country to gain greater momentum in promoting civil rights for all. May our church and our community be a place where all people are welcomed and the rights of all are protected.

As we near the presidential inauguration, we pray for our new president, his cabinet and all of those who will be serving on his team. We also pray for our current president as he prepares to step down from his eight years of service. Be with our country as we seek to continue to be a land of liberty and justice for all.

O God, we are so excited about our upcoming Dedication Sunday and all of the people who will be joining us on that special day. We continue to pray for our Building Implementation Team and the contractors and construction workers who are nearing the end of their work. Bless them in all that they are doing on our behalf.

And finally, O God, we thank you for the Honor Choir and their gift of music to us this morning. Guide and direct each of them to be the people you have created them to be, and to continue to offer their gift of music to be a blessing to others.

In the name of Christ, who calls us to follow him, and who always promises to be with us every step of the way, we pray the words that he taught us to say,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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