Start Your Week Strong – Pray – 1-30-17


Read: Matthew 16.1-4

Surely the Pharisees and Sadducees had heard of the miraculous events that had accompanied Jesus’ ministry! Yet, they come to Him and ask for a sign from heaven. Apparently, the many healings and the repeated multiplication of the fishes and loaves didn’t qualify in their minds as “signs from heaven”. Notice that Jesus did not argue with them. He simply stated the truth: they could interpret the common weather signs of everyday life but they refused to interpretively see the “signs of the times”. Therefore, they would receive no sign but the “sign of Jonah”. What was “the sign of Jonah”? Jonah was three days in the belly of “a great fish” and when set free went to give a message of redeeming grace to people who were despised and hated by the Jews. Remember, Jesus will be in the embrace of death and on the third day He will be raised up. By the grace-filled power of God’s Holy Spirit, Jesus will be proclaimed to all those whom the Jews despise and hate – the “dogs” – the Gentiles. It is crucially important for us to remember that Jesus Himself is THE sign from heaven. The last sentence in this passage in vs. 4 is truly a sobering and frightening statement, “Jesus then left them and went away”. We are people of free will. We are given the responsibilities of making our own decisions. Jesus never argues and never cajoles. He never makes our decisions for us. He offers Himself full of grace whom we do or don’t choose to receive by faith. Choosing Jesus opens the heart to a depth of insightful understanding that can be acquired nowhere else.

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 + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Kyle Hale + Lindsay Smith + Mike Travis + Griffin Andrews + 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 Crib Nursery & Walkers (ages 1 &2 years old) SS Class whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Bryant Chandler Hudson Chandler Clover Cunningham Audrey Goodman

Nathan Gwinn Austin Hyslop Sophie Kielau Abbigail Knight

Dani Nissen Ryder Preston

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Shelly Seals + Jennifer Thornton + Alyson VanOsdell

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Brad Jones – Organist. Brad plays pipe organ, piano and harpsichord for the Traditional Services of Worship. This also involves playing for all rehearsals. At times Brad also directs the Chancel Choir when Ben is not able to be present. He also takes care of many details making the sanctuary is ready for use.

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!