Start Your Week Strong – Pray – 3-19-17

Read: Matthew 18.1-9

How can a child be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven? Aren’t the greatest people those of position and power and accomplishment? Then why does Jesus elevate the child? The child has not learned from the elders who to hate and to think little of. The child is more likely to express joy and enthusiasm. The child is more likely to be trusting and believe that if Jesus tells him something it will be the truth. In other words the child has not learned to be cynical. And the child is most unpretentious. The child will play with anyone who is willing to play without regard to race or religion.

As we grow up we build walls of law and separation instead of grace. We emphasize ways to separate ourselves as being better than others rather than finding the commonalities. We are prone to begin believing that God is more exclusive than inclusive or that God loves some people more than God loves others.

Jesus is lifting up the energetic trust of the child. And if we decide to exchange that trust for the burdensome walls of religious laws and cause children to dread anything to do with the Father, or worse yet, turn away from Him, then it would be better for that person to have a large millstone (used for grinding grain and turned by a donkey) tied around their neck and cast into the sea. In fact, Jesus concludes it would be better for a person to enter eternity maimed or crippled and be in right relationship with the Father than to be physically whole but wrongly related to Him.

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 our need of the atoning grace of God freely given in Jesus Christ upon the cross.

We give our prayers for persons involved in these events.

We give thanks to God for leading and blessing our 2017 Missions Festival-March 17, 18, 19, 2017

We pray that hearts will continue to 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 + Bill Compton (liver transplant surgery) + Tricia Testerman Walters + Marsha Easley(cancer) + Garrett Frierson + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Lindsay Smith + Charlie Seay + Greg Harrell + Charlotte Sierocinski (5yrs old, brain cancer, from White Pine) + Susan Taylor + Sara Wendling + 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 7th & 8th Grade SS Class whom we love in Christ, to enjoy God’s Presence:

Lydia Fishman Anna Layer Ainsley Murrow Claire Sheedlo

Elly Sheedlo Emma Shipley Kevin Campbell Garrett Frierson

James Ross Dermot Sadlon Harrison Shipley Xavier Simpson

Weston Trent Cooper Wright Lauren Brombach Maddi Engebretsen

Emma Shope Emmalee Stubblefield Kaylee Thornton Christa Vaughn

Isaac Adams Mason Kelley Joel Reed Louis Starnes

The teachers and leaders of this Class:

Sydney Maxfield, Rob Neill, Pastor Scott

Let’s Pray for this First UMC staff member:

Ben Stapleton – Director of Music Ministries: We pray for Ben and all the children, youth and adults who are under his influence and leadership especially those participating in these music ministries. We pray they will open their minds and hearts to receive God’s presence and give Him praise for His goodness through their music. We thank God for His work through Ben.

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 recently joined this church: Terri McIntyre, Bob Trinklein. God bless them to be a blessing in His name to others.

God Bless you and Thank you for Praying!