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, March 13, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (March 12) Athens First UMC

[Our church-wide hospitality training was held this past weekend at the OU Inn. We had over 30 people from our congregation attend! The training was led by a hospitality instructor from Hocking College. We concluded our training by offering ways for people to participate as greeters for Sunday mornings and special events at the church. We even got our church name on the big sign at OU Inn that day and each participant got a free pen! :)]

God of hope and good news, thank you for your love that is meant for the whole world and not just one small corner of it. Thank you for the people in our lives like parents, grandparents, Sunday School teachers, pastors, and church camp counselors who have shared the good news of Christ with us and with so many people.

On this day that we focus on the Jerusalem Cross, remind us that we are all called to share the good news of Christ with those around us and invite them to church with us. Remind us that sharing our faith with someone is as simple as sharing what a difference you have made in our lives and how we have sensed your presence in our day to day living.

Thank you for yesterday’s hospitality training and for how you are calling us to always offer a warm welcome to all who would enter our building, especially for the first time. May our church be known as a place of open hearts, open minds, and open doors.

Help us to be a Jerusalem Cross church where we share your love with people in our community and world, for we are all missionaries called and sent out to live out the good news of our faith. We lift up to you the many missionaries who are serving throughout the world. We pray for Bishop Gregory Palmer here in West Ohio and the churches throughout our conference as we lift high the cross in our communities. Thank you for the cross at the top of our church building, 130 feet from the ground which serves as a symbol of hope and healing for our community and world.

We lift up to you those in our church and community who are in special need of you this day, O God. For those with heavy hearts at the loss of a loved one, for those who are facing difficult decisions, for those who are participating in the Kairos prison ministry this weekend, for those who are caring for an aging parent, for those who are in need of healing, for those who continue to struggle following the Carriage Court fire, for those who struggle with anxiety and fear, and for those of us who really, really miss that extra hour of sleep right now.

O God, hear our prayers for all of these needs even as we pray to you the words you taught your disciples and now teach to us,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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