Start Your Week Strong – Pray 1-23-17

Read: Matthew 15.29-39

Jesus has just finished healing a Canaanite woman’s daughter and in the process has tried to teach the disciples a valuable lesson in the region of Tyre and Sidon. This was certainly “foreign” territory, definitely a pagan area that made the disciples uncomfortable. Now, He has come back to His “home base” near Capernaum on the northern coast of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is leading them back to more familiar territory. But they are about to enter spiritually UNfamiliar territory that will prove challenging to their meager faith. In fact the only thing more meager than the food available was the disciples faith.

These disciples have not dared great things for Jesus. Perhaps the closest anyone has come is Peter who in the previous chapter has dared to walk on the water toward Jesus. Now, Jesus goes up on the side of a mountain and crowds follow. In vss. 30-31 He takes the time needed for the people. He heals the blind, lame, mute and crippled. He brought the healing health of heaven to many. Jesus, in His compassion, wants to feed these people and refuses to potentially bring them harm by sending them away for food since they have been 3 days with Him. He wants to feed them here vs. 32. The disciples vs. 33 who recently witnessed Jesus’ miraculous feeding of 5000 in 14.13-21 have not learned that Jesus who supplied their need is continually trustworthy to also supply the need for these 4000 + women and children. When Jesus asks vs. 34 how many loaves they have, the disciples replied 7. Remember, 7 is a Biblical number of completion. So, Jesus takes the 7 loaves and the “few small fish” in vs. 36 and “gives thanks and breaks them and gives them to the disciples to give to the people”. Everyone eats and is satisfied. And the disciples get to pick up 7 baskets full of leftovers. Will we ever learn that faith is not about an event but it is about a person. The best place to lodge our faith is in the person of Jesus. Why? Because …. God has a passionate and undeniable heart for all people. God is upon His throne forever. He will not be deposed. He blesses His people! He always desires to draw His people’s hearts again to Himself and assure them that He will love with a love that never falters nor fails. It is true that God deserves our gratitude and praise as none other does.

This week continues the Season of Epiphany (color is green) during which we celebrate the early life and ministry years of Jesus.

We give our prayers for persons involved in these events.

Our youth who will be serving and entertaining at the “A Night to Remember” Feb. 12.

Our 2017 Missions Festival-March 17, 18, 19(Fri-Sun), 2017

We pray that hearts will be open to receive God’s blessings and that they will choose to bless others.

Give thanks for each person across this congregation who is praying today so that we are encouraged by God’s Spirit moving among us. And let us pray for: Mitch Robinson + Tricia Testerman Walters + Marsha Easley(cancer) + Garrett Frierson + David Helfenberger + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Kyle Hale + Lindsay Smith + Mike Travis + Griffin Andrews + Joyce Jolley + Reenie Cantwell + Charlotte Sierocinski (5yrs old, brain cancer, from White Pine) + Susan Taylor + more workers for the Jail Ministry Team + the events of violence across our nation + we pray for eyes of faith to see God at work in people’s lives. We give thanks for God’s abundant goodness!

Pray for the Tapestry SS Class whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Mary Jane Bailey Russell Bailey David Bell Julia Bell

Anthony Cavallucci Lisa Cavallucci Hall Cook Kim Cook

Amy DuVal Chris DuVal Katherine Engebretsen Tasana Holan

David Johnson Patisa Kielau Steffen Kielau Darius Marra

Caroline McKinnish Tim McKinnish Keith Murrow Tina Murrow

Susan Orr Jennifer Shope Mark Shope John Surber

Jennifer Thornton John Thornton Lisa Trent Rick Trent

The teachers and leaders of this Class

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Hope Ross – Media Specialist for the Connection. We pray for Hope as she goes about faithfully performing her tasks of making videos, cutting and splicing items for projection, running the projection screens and training persons to do these tasks in order to broaden the leadership. God Bless Hope.

We also Pray for:

  • Our brothers and sisters in a variety of countries who are being persecuted for honoring the name of Christ. We pray they will choose to continue to be bold in making Christ known (Phil. 1.14).
  • Father Tom, the Roman Catholic Priest kidnapped from his chapel in Yemen by an ISIS branch after they had murdered 15 within the Roman Catholic home for the mentally challenged and aged
  • A permanent resolution of the hostilities within and between Ukraine and Russia and within Syria.
  • A permanent defeat of ISIS in all its global forms and groups
  • The conversion of all members of the documented 892 active hate groups in the USA
  • The peace of Jerusalem
  • Our leaders in these areas:

+ In our City of Morristown, especially Mayor Gary Chesney and the City Council members

+ Hamblen County, especially Mayor Bill Britton and our County Commissioners

+ State of Tennessee, especially Gov. Bill Haslam + Our state legislators and justices

+ Our nation, these United States of America, including our President Donald Trump

+ Both houses of the United States Congress, especially Del. Phil Roe and Senators Lamar

Alexander and Bob Corker + Our Supreme Court Justices

+ All who are entrusted with elected or appointed leadership, that they will be moved to humble

themselves before You, Almighty God, and seek Your wisdom

  • We pray for the wisdom, strength and safety of our First Responders (Fire + Law Enforcement + 911) and the several branches of our military who are serving on our behalf at home and abroad
  • We pray for the prosperity of Morristown and Hamblen County for good quality and good paying jobs so that workers will be able to provide well for their families and build the kind of community we are all glad to call home.
  • We pray for leaders of government and business around the world to be responsive to God’s will. We pray they will conduct their responsibilities in government, business and commerce with the ideals of truth, justice and fairness.
  • Aseri UMC, Estonia – Our sister Connecting Congregation and Pastor Demitri
  • Varna UMC, Bulgaria, Our In Mission Together Partnering Congregation and their District Superintendent and Pastor, Daniel Topalski, our Keynote Speaker for 2017 Missions Festival
  • We pray for teachers, students, administrators and staffs of all our schools and for the cultivation of healthy relationships.
  • We pray for people to open their hearts, minds and souls so that Holy Spirit can turn them toward the love of God. We pray for people to be sick of their sin. We pray for people to willingly receive all their healing and hope found only in the grace-filled atoning love of God.
  • We give thanks that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church meeting in May 2016 decided to retain our current denominational stance on human sexuality.
  • We pray for Revival in the best sense of the word. We pray that our desire will be to receive the same joy of Jesus that He found in being rightly related with the Father.

God Bless you and Thank you for Praying!