Start Your Week Strong – Pray

Read: Matthew 16.13-20

The question of the ages – “who do people say the Son of Man is?” When the disciples are asked that question they are at Caesarea Philippi near a popular place of pagan worship of several deities. This site near the base of Mt. Hermon is not far from another site of pagan worship at Dan. It is here that Jesus asks this important question that each person must answer. Each person of all history will be required to answer concerning Jesus.

The disciples say there are several possibilities in people’s minds: John the Baptist, Elijah or Jeremiah. So, take your pick. In our day, people might say: a teacher, a do-gooder, a traveling preacher, or an illusion – he didn’t really exist. But the question remains for each of us, “who do people say the Son of Man is?” When Jesus directly asks His disciples, Peter is quick to say, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus, then observes that this insight is given him only from the Father.

So, here is the major fact; we will only affirm that Jesus is truly the Christ (the anointed One + the Messiah) by the work of the Father. That truth is revealed nowhere else! Then Jesus affirms that the gates of Hell will not overcome that truth nor those who proclaim the same truth. Then, Jesus gives the responsibility of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to the disciples. We are given the amazing responsibility of the power and authority (the keys) – that is the giving of His grace and mercy. When we offer His grace and mercy (the keys) we are in effect opening Heaven to those who will receive. And lastly, Jesus was not ready, at that moment, for others to know He is in fact the Messiah (Christ). Why? He is in charge of His own timing. Other things were to be accomplished first.

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 served and entertained at the event “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 + Bill Hodges + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Lindsay Smith + Mike Travis + Griffin Andrews + 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 Preschool (3 & 4yr old) SS Class whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Isaac Drinnon Chloe Vaughn Addyson Gentry Luke Thompson

Elsie Jones Kasen Clary Camden Mullins Daxton Zimmerman

Isaac McMahan Hudson Chandler Audrey Goodman Nathan Gwinn

Tommy Emery Wade Reel James McMahan Braden Rankin

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Reenie Cantwell + Emily Gwinn

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Chuck Starks – Senior Pastor

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!