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, June 10, 2019

Sunday Pastoral Prayer (June 9) Athens First UMC

[Pentecost Sunday is a day that we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church. For the sermon, click herePraying for each other is one of the signs of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In the photo above, several lay and clergy delegates from our Foothills district joined hands in prayer in between sessions at the West Ohio Conference held in Lakeside, Ohio this past week to pray for the father of our District Supintendent who was having surgery that day. Click here for conference highlightsEven though we represented different churches, prayer is what brought us together this past Monday in this Holy Spirit moment. We don’t have to wait for the pastoral prayer on Sunday to pray. The Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for each other throughout the week. Oh, and the good news was that our District Supintendent’s father had a successful surgery. Scroll down to the bottom to listen to Sunday’s special music featuring Joe and Laura Brown.]

Almighty and all powerful God, even though our sanctuary has air-conditioning, heat up this place today anew with your Holy Spirit. Heat up this place. Set us on fire! Ignite a renewal in this place like we have never seen before. Like Kirstin Shrom-Rhoads’s ordination banner this past week said, “Come, Holy Spirit!” Like John Wesley said over two hundred years ago, “I felt my heart strangely warmed.”

Warm our hearts this day, Spirit giving God and lead us and all of the 1,000 United Methodist Churches in the West Ohio Conference to be your Spirit-filled people, not depending on our strength alone, but upon your mighty presence at work in our lives.

Thank you for these great fifty days of Easter in which we have been celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whenever we get discouraged or lose our way, remind us yet again that we are an Easter people where new life and new hope are always gifts that you are more than able to graciously provide for us.

As we begin to enter into this new church season, remind us that we are also a Pentecost people in which your Holy Spirit empowers, equips, and encourages us to be the people you have called us to be.

And as your Easter/Pentecost people, we lift up to you anyone who may be in need of your guiding and healing hand in this moment, especially anyone who may be facing medical challenges, the loss of a loved one including the loss of a beloved pet, or a new transition in life filled with excitement but also some anxiousness. Spirit giving God, remind all of us that you give us everything we need along our journey.

As we enter into this long time of summer, help us to enjoy the beauty of your creation, remind us to take time to pray and reflect, and may we look forward to a very special church-wide faith building opportunity later this summer.

As our prayer hymn so beautifully reminds us, “Spirit of the living God, descend upon my heart,” even as we pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to say together, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

[Joe and Laura Brown sang, “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” during our 10:30 worship service. It was a great way to help us celebrate Pentecost Sunday!]

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