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, November 4, 2019

Sunday Pastoral Prayer (Nov. 3/All Saints Sunday) Athens First UMC

[All Saints' Sunday is the annual day on the church calendar where we remember those of the faith who have gone before us. We read six names of our members during the prayer time, lighting a candle and ringing a bell after the reading of each name. (See names below.) We also lighted a seventh candle in memory of others who have enriched our lives and helped us to become more like Christ. Notice in the picture above that the word "Alleluia" is conveniently below the seven candles. We sing, "Alleluia" for all of the saints who have gone before us and who are now with God in glory. Here is a link to the sermon.]


O God, we lift up to you these saints by name, who have faithfully lived and died:


We will light one more candle this morning. It is in loving remembrance of all others who have blessed us in so many caring ways. Thanks to their Christ-like example, we have a stronger faith and a closer walk with God. Let us remember with grateful hearts all those whom we have loved. Their lives brightened and changed this world. In this moment, we say their names silently in our hearts. 


God holds all of us in his great arms of mercy. Let us offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all the saints who have gone before us:


Almighty God, we thank you for all the saints who have faithfully lived and died and who are now with you in your glorious kingdom. We especially thank you for those we have just named and for how they have been a blessing in our lives. We also pray for family members who have made a special effort to be here in worship today to remember their loved ones. Remind us that you are our loving shepherd who comforts us, especially when we have heavy hearts.


Most of all, on this All Saints’ Sunday, we give you thanks for the good news of our faith that points us to a time when there will be no more mourning, sadness, pain or injustice, and where even death itself will be defeated once and for all. To you O God, be all honor, glory, dominion, and power, now and forevermore.


And now with confidence as the people of God, let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught us to say together, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”

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