Start Your Week Strong – Pray – 3-27-17

For the Week of March 27, 2017

Read: Matthew 18.10-14

Jesus cautions not to ever disparage one of the “little ones”. And He assures us that “their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven”. Does this indicate a long-held belief in the church about guardian angels? Many so think. But if we understand it in that manner we should not understand it only in terms of those of young age but little ones in terms of believers in general. Why? Because Jesus has just said in the previous passage that unless we become as a child, vss. 2-4, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

What a great comfort! To be assured that we are not on our own in this world. Rather, “those who are looking upon the face of the Father” are on our side. Are they interceding for us? Are they cheering us on?

In vss. 12-14 Jesus is not implying that the shepherd is uncaring about the 99 sheep. It should be understood that the shepherd has provided for their care. But, the shepherd is concerned for the “lost one”. And the shepherd goes in search. It reminds his hearers of God’s assurance from Ezekiel 18.30-32. God’s desire is that all should “turn” and “repent”. Why? Because God “takes no pleasure in the death of anyone”. What a great and loving God we serve!

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 + Phyllis Hime + Garrett Frierson + David Silvers + Ashley Foster + Joy Carpenter + Lindsay Smith + Charlie Seay + Judy Stroud + Taylor Jolley + Donna Thompson + Jerry Cranford + Greg Harrell + Charlotte Sierocinski (5yrs old, brain cancer, from White Pine) + 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:

Soeun Soun – Custodian: We pray for Soeun as he goes about faithfully performing his many tasks of cleaning and setting up various rooms. He takes his responsibilities very seriously and takes personal pride in his work. God bless Soeun.

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!