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, May 1, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (April 30) - Athens First UMC

[Our Holy Hand Puppeteers offered the children's message for our Growing Tree pre-school Sunday. They shared a message about God's gift of hope to us. In our Gospel reading, the Risen Christ offered the gift of hope to the two travelers who were walking along the Emmaus Road. After they received the gift of hope, they made a U-Turn (click here for "The Emmaus U-Turn" sermon) and went back to the city of Jerusalem to share the good news that they had seen the Risen Lord.]

O Jesus, thank you for walking along the road with us, especially during those times when we are feeling discouraged and sad. Your presence makes such a difference in our lives. Thank you for providing us with U-turns where we can follow a new path that leads us into a deeper relationship with you.

We especially thank you for our Growing Tree pre-school family, for the children, the parents, the teachers, and the advisory board who make Growing Tree such a loving and positive place for our children to grow and learn.

O Jesus, on this National Blue Sunday Day of Prayer, a day in which churches all across our country are praying for victims of child abuse, we pray for the protection and well being of children throughout our world. Bless all children and those who have devoted their lives to their protection.

O Jesus, during this Easter season, we are reminded that you won the victory over sin and death through your life, death, and resurrection. Just as you revealed yourself to the two people who were walking along the Emmaus Road, open our eyes to your presence so that we can look back on that time and join them in saying, “Were not our hearts burning within us as you walked alongside us down that road.”

O Jesus, we can only imagine how the hearts of this congregation burned within them 60 years ago this past Friday, when the people left the university auditorium and walked along College Street to dedicate what was then, the new cornerstone of our present building. We are grateful for the faithful people who have gone before us and we are excited for what the future holds here at Athens First.

O Jesus, thank you for continuing to walk alongside us as we continue to seek to be a haven of your blessing and peace in our community.

And now teach us to pray together the words you taught your disciples and now invite us to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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