Start Your Week Strong – Pray – 2-6-17

Read: Matthew 16.5-12

How easy it is to misunderstand the meaning of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus has just finished observing that the Pharisees and Sadducees did not recognize His truth and the fact of His life being a sign from God. His observation is that they can interpret the weather signs but not the deeper spiritual signs.

So, as they are going across the lake the disciples said, “oh shoot, we forgot to bring bread”. And Jesus responds with a word of caution about the “yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees”. The disciples heard nothing deeper than thinking that Jesus was upset with them about forgetting the bread. Why did they misinterpret Jesus’ comment? Jesus shows His disappointment. He essentially says that the bread is not the important thing. Why? Remember the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000. Remember how few loaves were used to feed so many and abundance left over. Something much more important than the amount of bread and the number of people is on the table. What could that be?

The more important thing is the thing that will last longer than physical bread. It is spiritual teaching. Here it is. The Jews had, for a long time, believed that yeast was bad, even a symbol of evil. It is something that is hidden and “works” in such a way that big change is brought about in the bread dough. There were times in their celebrations that they were mandated to “sweep the house clean of all yeast”. Jesus is comparing the working of the yeast with the working of the Pharisees and Sadducees teaching. Be careful of who you give yourselves to and receive their teaching.

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 + Shelly Helfenberger(death of her bro. Scott Haley) + Tiffinie Pollock(death of Mother-Betty Bridges) + Bill Hodges + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + 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:

Evelyn Britton Layla Wyatt Layla Thompson Sophia Robertson

Sadie Mosley Bradyn Emery Raleigh Gillett Everett Gwinn

Owen Reel

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Shelly Seals + Becky Epps + Amanda Osborne

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Cheryl Rager – Administrative Assistant in our Church Office. Cheryl is on the “front line” day in and day out. She is generally the first voice a phone caller will hear. She deals with staff, members, guests, visitors, and persons seeking help of various kinds. Cheryl handles all our scheduling and is directly involved in most forms of communication that goes to both members and others. God Bless Cheryl!

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!

Note: we will be on the school schedule only in terms of weather + if school is closed (for weather) then we will not meet.