Start Your Week Strong – Pray – 3-5-17

Read: Matthew 17.14-23

Jesus and His disciples have just come down the mountain from the event of the Transfiguration. They are approached by a man asking Jesus to heal his son. The boy had been having seizures and would fall into the fire or the water. This dad had brought his son to the disciples but they could not help. So, he implores Jesus to do something. Jesus very plainly remarks about this “unbelieving and perverse generation”. Then He heals the boy. Later the disciples inquired of Jesus why they had been unable to bring the healing. And Jesus very forthrightly tells them it all has to do with faith. With just a tiny bit of faith mountains can be moved. Jesus has brought the healing help of heaven to earth.

Jesus is always calling us to change our thinking. He begins to tell the disciples about next things: He will be betrayed and killed. But on the third day He will be raised to life. But, “the disciples were filled with grief”. Why? Could it be because they only want Jesus who “does all things well” to stay with them as He is. And it seems to be Jesus’ desire to see them grow and change and become “one with the Father” so that “they can do what Jesus does and more”. But the disciples are us – we resist growth, we resist change into what the Father had designed us to be from the beginning. God always sees in us more possibilities and potentialities than we see in ourselves.

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 Lent (color is purple) during which we reflect upon our sin and need of the atoning grace of God in Jesus Christ upon the cross.

We give our prayers for persons involved in these events.

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 Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Lindsay Smith + Charlie Seay + Greg Harrell (surgery) + 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 4th & 5th Grade SS Class whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Zach Coffey Dorrah Kate Kelly Audrey Latchford Pierson Layer

Addison McGuffin Gavin Price Lindsee Thornton Peyton Cos

Caleb Jones Ava Cavallucci Isabel DuVal Natalia Marra

Faith Ross Kirsten Sadlon Emily Starnes Megan Vaughn

Lainey Chandler Sophia Simerly

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Jennifer & Rob Gentry

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Scott Layer – Minister for the Connection. Scott is primarily responsible for leading and growing our Contemporary Service of Worship. This includes but is certainly not limited to overseeing the totality of this important ministry from sermon to sound, from liturgy to lighting, from music to discipleship. We give thanks First UMC followed the vision to begin the Connection.

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 (Law Enforcement + Fire + EMS) 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.
  • Our ministries with youth and young adults
  • 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.
  • We give thanks for the persons who joined the church yesterday: Bob & Helen Fitts, Jackie Murray, Regina Lee, and Hugh Hammill. God bless them to be a blessing in His name to others.

God Bless you and Thank you for Praying!