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 15, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (May 14/Mother's Day) - Athens First UMC

[Nicole Phillips, author of the book, Kindness is Contagious spoke at our church this past Sunday. She shared how making kindness a priority can make a positive difference in our lives as well as in the life of others. We also received eight new members and celebrated a baptism. And on top of all of that, former pastor of our church, Rev. Jim Wagner came to visit and offered the benediction. It was a wonderful Sunday! Photo Left to Right: Rev. Jim Wagner, Rev. Robert McDowell, Nicole Phillips]

O God, thank you for every act of kindness, large or small, for they all contribute to the building of your kingdom here on earth. Help us to have kind hands like Jesus and do good for all. 

Help us to notice the smallest acts of kindness that happen all around us on any given day. Like the father who stood at the end of his driveway this past week waving to his children as they got on the school bus and continued to smile and wave at them until the bus was out of his view.  Thank you, O God.

Like one of our Growing Tree pre-school children this past week who was so happy to give me her art work as a gift. It was the most beautifully decorated coffee paper filter I have ever seen. Thank you, O God.

Like the mother who I asked this past week, “Are you bracing for when school is out and your three teenagers will be at home for the summer?” and she quickly responded, “Yes, I want to see them more. I love my kids.” Thank you, O God.

On this Mothers’ Day, we look to you as a God who is not only our heavenly Father, but as one who offers us a motherly love; a love that is always patient, kind, forgiving, and nurturing. 

Thank you for mothers who have provided a loving and nurturing presence in our lives and for new mothers who offer their love to their newborns. We also pray for those who have not had a positive relationship with their mother. May your healing love surround all who have experienced pain and brokenness in these family relationships. Like a mother hen caring for her young, may we find protection under the cover of your wings.

Remind us always that kindness is contagious because you have created us for kindness. Take our hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you; make them strong and gentle, kind in all we do. Let us watch you, Jesus, till we’re gentle too, till our hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.

And now teach us to pray the words you taught your disciples and now teach us to pray together saying… “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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