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, February 6, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (Feb. 5) Athens First UMC

[Kappa Phi, a women's Christian campus club meets in our church each week for meetings, bible studies, and fellowship. Yesterday was "Kappa Phi Sunday," in which several of their members helped to lead our worship services. They are wonderful ministry partners! One of our church members stumbled across the Kappa Phi sign seen in this picture this past Saturday. The timing was perfect since we used it the next day for Kappa Phi Sunday. God works in mysterious ways!]

God of revelation and truth telling, open our eyes so that we would see our true selves. Open our eyes so that we would see that we have been created in your image and we belong to you.

Open our eyes so that we would see where we have not been our best selves because of selfishness, greed, or shortsightedness. Forgive us for where we have not lived out who you have called us to be.

Thank you for the Isaiahs in our lives who have prompted us to become more fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. And thank you for those times where we have been Isaiahs for others along their faith journey. Help us to be Isaiahs who not only offer loving counsel to others, but who also are humble enough to be aware of our own shortcomings and need for grace and mercy.

O God, I thank you for this beautiful church family and for how far we have come from just one year ago in being the church you are calling us to be. It was just one year ago, that we added several small groups who continue to meet and share their faith with each other on a regular basis. It was just one year ago, that we began our capital campaign focus on what it means to be a church that puts Athens First. And it was just one year ago that we started making plans for our first Athens First Saturday community outreach.

God, we have come so far in just one year’s time, and we can’t wait to see what our church will be like around this time next year. Not only will we be blessed with a more spacious church entrance, a new elevator, and a remodeled sanctuary. We are going to reach even more people as we continue to grow in what it means to offer our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Continue to remove any of our blind spots that would keep us from being your faithful people.

O God, we are so blessed to share in ministry with our sisters from Kappa Phi. Thank you for their ministry and their witness here in our university community.

And we lift up to you the Gilmore family at the passing of Don Gilmore. Thank you for Don’s love of you and his church. Surround this family with your love and comfort during their time of need.

And now, like those first disciples so long ago, teach us how to pray as we continue to seek to be your faithful people. “Our Father, who art…”

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