Dear gracious and merciful God, as we bow before in you in prayer, our hearts seek to draw ever closer to you. You are the creator God, who first breathed life into Adam and Eve, and continue to breathe life into each of us, pouring out the gift of your Holy Spirit upon all who come before you with repentant hearts and confess your Son Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
What a glorious gift it is to be in communion with you and in fellowship with others seeking to be faithful disciples of Christ. For those of us blessed to have been led by your Spirit to call Genesis UMC our spiritual home, what a gift it has been to grow together in our faith as we have gathered for worship, Bible study, choir practice, working down east or serving at Dorcas or tutoring Kingswood to name a few. In so many ways the seeds planted over 30 years here continue to blossom, bearing rich fruit in us and through us, as we strive to live lives of faithful discipleship that glorify the name of Jesus Christ your Son. We have been blessed to have the opportunity here to praise your name, grow in our knowledge and understanding of your holy Word, to discover and nurture our spiritual gifts, and to serve within and outside the walls of Genesis in all the ways you have called us to shine your light brightly as we have sought to embody the goodness, mercy, and grace of your Son, Jesus Christ, to bring justice and healing and peace to a hurting, broken world..
As the season of Thanksgiving is upon us and All Saints Day has just passed, we give thanks for our Christian faith and each person who has mentored and discipled us, walking alongside us, nurturing our faith, and encouraging us to draw closer to you and deepen our relationship with your Son Jesus. And as we come to know Christ more fully, we cannot help but extend the love we have received to others in His name.
O God, your goodness and faithfulness are unending, and just as you guided the early church as found in Acts, and the early Methodists seeking to faithfully proclaim your gospel message out in the streets and countryside, you continue to call us to seek out the lost, the lonely, the down-trodden, the sick, and wounded, and tend to their needs as Jesus modeled for us, excluding no one and extending the mercy and grace of Christ to everyone so that all may come to know you as Lord and so your Son may be glorified.
Gracious God, you who first called us to go and make disciples, continue to call us each and every day to deny ourselves, to take up our cross, and follow you wherever you lead us. At times, the path ahead may seem easy, and at other times it is hard, even painful, as the weight of the brokenness of the world can be difficult to bear and our focus on you may be clouded or we become unsure of which fork in the road to follow.
Holy One, we as your faithful followers seek your wisdom and guidance for the future of Genesis, where the message of your gospel will continue to be proclaimed in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Fill us with your strength so we do not lose hope, help us to remain steadfast and ever focused on Christ and His call upon us to be people of peace, extending mercy and grace and acceptance to all. Give us discerning hearts full of faith, and continued reminders that you who have formed us and called us by name will never leave us or forsake us, for you know the plans you have for us, for our beloved church called Genesis, for the United Methodist Church and the Church Universal, to have a future full of hope. Even in this season of disunity and uncertainty of what tomorrow holds, give us discerning hearts attentive to your still small voice, as you speak into each of us the ongoing call to discipleship and the path we are to continue to follow as we seek to faithfully follow where you are leading us. Remove any fear within us that may cause us to stumble or lose sight of your glory. Fill us once again with your peace, assurance, and hope that you who have been faithful to those who call upon the name of Christ will continue to be faithful, and provide for us and guide us, even in these uncertain times. Let us not get caught up in the worries of this world or issues that seek to take us away from our calling to live lives of faithful discipleship in the name of Christ, ever trusting in your continued provision, providence, and outpouring of grace in our lives.
Thank you, gracious God, for hearing our prayer this day, and every day, when we humbly and earnestly bow before you. May all that we say and all that we do glorify you and your Son Jesus Christ, and may we come through this unified in heart, mind, and soul as we seek to share your heart, your desires, and your will for our lives and in the way you are calling us to be your hands and feet in this world. We pray all of this in the name of your Son, our Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, and Friend, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer written by Ivy Parker