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

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Pastoral Prayer (Aug. 18) Athens First UMC

[This past weekend, over forty people attended our 2-day Faith Builders training led by Rev. Jeff Motter, top right corner photo. Jeff led us through four training sessions to help us sharpen our relational and faith sharing skills. We were also blessed to have Mary Rizzardi, bottom right corner photo lead us in singing and worship. See video below. Copies of the training materials are available in the church office for those who were not able to attend. For Sunday’s sermon which includes a short summary of what we learned at our training, click here.]

Lord Jesus, remind us in this time of prayer of the importance of standing in your strength alone.

It is your strength alone that enables us to stand for you in any given situation. 
It is your strength alone that equips us for a task that seems beyond our capability. 
It is your strength alone that prompts us to take on a new challenge. 
It is your strength alone that beckons us to take our faith to a whole new level of faithfulness and vitality. 
It is your strength alone that encourages us when we are feeling weak. 
It is your strength alone that invites us to deepen our relationships with each other and with those we have yet to meet. 
It is your strength alone that helps us to be open to share our faith with others.
It is your strength alone that is empowering us to prepare for a busy fall season of new church programming and events to help us in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community and world.

O God, whenever begin to focus only on our own strength, remind us to stand in your strength alone for you are the one who is our creator, redeemer, and sustainer.

O God, this is a significant week in our local community with the beginning of school and move-in week for college students. And so we pray for all students and educators in this college town to find their strength in you. And may all find our church to be a haven of blessing and peace through our Loving Faith, Learning Faith, and Living Faith ministries. 

We depend upon your strength during this time of transition in our community and for each of our concerns and joys that we are in our hearts this day. And now, I invite us to remain standing together as we pray the words Jesus taught us to say together, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

[Mary RIzzardi leading us in singing at our Faith Builders training.]

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