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 20, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (March 19) - Athens First UMC

[This is a picture of my hand. I woke up Sunday morning and noticed that it was strained from moving some furniture. During yesterday's anointing of oil, I decided to have it anointed at all 3 services! It actually felt better each time. This morning (Monday), it is feeling almost totally healed. I shared this in my sermon with the congregation to make the point that God cares about all of the little and big health issues we face from time to time. The Tau Cross has been a symbol of healing over the centuries which was our worship focus yesterday. Many people came forward to be anointed with oil and receive physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing. Some came forward to become an agent of God's healing love to all we meet. Never forget that God loves you and cares about your well being.]

God of compassion, thank you for the many ways you offer your healing love to us. Thank you for the anointing of oil as a tangible symbol of how you bring about healing and call us to be healing agents in our community and world.

Thank you for the variety of ways you offer your healing through doctors, nurses, surgeons, first responders, caregivers, counselors, Stephen Ministers, therapists, sponsors, prayer partners, small groups, the Sacraments, the anointing of oil, and in so many other ways. You created us in your image and your desire is for us to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. Thank you for this worship service where the Tau Cross reminds us that you are always reaching out to us with your healing love.

We pray for people we know who are in need of your healing touch. We pray for those in the hospital, those recovering from surgery, those who are struggling financially, those who wrestle with the demons of addiction, those who are experiencing the strain of a broken relationship, those who feel lonely, those who are wrestling in their faith. O God, whatever the brokenness or pain may be, the truth is that we are all in need of your healing grace in some area of our lives.

Thank you for the Tau Cross and for reminding us today of one of the greatest truths in all the bible, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him may not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In the name of your Son, we pray the words that he taught his disciples and now teaches us to say together,

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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