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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pastoral Prayer (June 25) - Athens First UMC

[Our Tuesday morning prayer ministry team blessed several blankets this morning that were made during last month's Athens First Saturday community outreach. These blankets will be given to the "Pathways to a Healthy Pregnancy," a program to help opiate addicted women here in our local area. Our next Athens First Saturday will be this Saturday at 9 am beginning in the church Fellowship Hall. The pastoral prayer from this past Sunday reminds us that God calls us to pray and reach out to those in need.]

O God, thank you for hearing our prayers. You know our prayers before we even put them into words. Maybe our prayers are more about helping us to know what you already know about us.

Before we even had the chance to speak a prayer to you this morning, you already knew that we were thinking about a friend or a family member who is in special need of your care this day.

Before we spoke a prayer to you this morning, you already knew about all of the many thoughts that were swirling in our head, like the latest news stories, an upcoming doctor’s appointment, or even if we should make the effort to go to church today.

Thank you for giving us the gift of prayer to help us center our thoughts, to clear our minds, and to be reminded that you care about our every thought and need.

And so, hear our prayers to you in these moments. Hear our prayers of adoration as we worship you in this beautiful church this morning. Hear our prayers of confession as we reflect on where we have not been your faithful people. Hear our prayers of thanksgiving for how you have blessed us in so many ways. And Lord, hear our prayers of supplication as we pray on behalf of others. We especially pray for United Methodist clergy across our West Ohio Conference like Rev. Dan Fuchs, the new pastor at The Plains UMC and his wife, Rev. Lauren Fuchs, the new associate pastor at Central Avenue UMC, as they begin their new church appointments today. Bless these pastors and churches as they worship and serve you together. And in the quiet of our hearts, we offer prayers of supplication for others who are in special need of you this day.

God of compassion, as we think of prayer and how you answer our prayers, we lift up to you our Tuesday morning prayer ministry team as they meet in our Welcome Center every week to lift up the prayer requests from our Sunday services and our outdoor prayer cross. Help our church to be a house of prayer, a church of prayer, a church of breakthrough prayer.

O God, just as you heard Hagar’s prayer on behalf of her son, Ishmael from our scripture reading this morning, hear the prayers of your people in these moments. Thank you that you are never more than a bowshot away from not only in hearing our prayers, but also in answering our prayers…especially this prayer that Jesus taught his disciples and now teaches us to pray together saying…

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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