As many of you are aware, The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, to address human sexuality in the Book of Disciplines. The purpose of the Special Session will be to receive and act on a report from the Commission on a Way Forward based on the recommendation of the Council of Bishops.
The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church has asked that Methodists all over the world commit to a prayer and fasting initiative called Praying Our Way Forward prior to and during the Special Session. We are being called to pray for God’s leadership to guide us effectively in fulfilling the mission of the church and to come together in unity. In prayer, we can be one in Christ.
As part of Praying the Way Forward, Gathered In His Name (GIHN) an intercessory prayer group at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park is requesting that our church community join us in 12 weeks of prayer in solidarity with Methodists all over the world. We will include a short suggested weekly prayer for the next twelve weeks in Thursday at Three. We hope that each person will take time to pray.
As members of our Vibrant Family at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park, we are aware of the need appreciating our brothers and sisters in Christ and listening to their stories. We are cognizant that we have different backgrounds, experiences, opinions and beliefs but in spite of our differences we have a common core set of beliefs as United Methodists that serve to unify and bring us together through God’s love and grace.
Week of 12/3/18:
Precious Jesus, we pray for members of our own vibrant family at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park in order that we might hear each other’s point of view, embrace, and love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Week of 12/10/18:
As we pray for our vibrant church family, let us pray for unity. Guide us to remember with gratitude that each of us has unique gifts and stories. Keep us aware of our beautiful differences and show us your way, which is always the best way.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9
Week of 12/17/2018:
Guide us along Your path as we interact with our brothers and sisters throughout our day. Keep us mindful of You. May we follow in Your footsteps and grow in our understanding of our need for unity.
“ Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Week of 12/24/2018:
As we pray for unity within our church family, Lord we ask for your help in remembering that we are all part of the body of Christ together and let us trust the spirit is at work in our conversations and interactions.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16
Week of 12/31/2018:
May we feel your presence throughout our day and may we show compassion to all. Guide us as we interact with others in understanding, peace and love.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39
Week of 1/7/2019:
Let us hear You every time You whisper in our ear. Help us pause, reflect, discern, and act on those whispers as You guide us each day. Guide our hearts in unity as we worship and serve together and keep us focused on our mission to make disciples of all people.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
Week of 1/20/2019:
God of peace and wisdom, equip and inspire us to deliver acts of love in humility and selflessness May we become more sensitive to the voice of Your Holy Spirit, so that all we do will please You and bring You glory. May we walk with You in trust and peace, and with our brothers and sisters in the love and unity you desire.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Week of 1/28/2019:
Dear God of Mercy, we pray for the eight clergy delegates and nine lay delegates representing the Florida Conference of the United Methodist church. We lift them up in gratitude and ask for Divine wisdom that they may discern Your will and the Way Forward.
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind Philippians 2:1-2
Week of 2/3/2019:
Dear heavenly Father, we ask for guidance for our Florida Conference delegation while attending the special called General Conference in St. Louis. May unity replace divisiveness, love replace fear, and Your will replace their will.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew7:1-2
Week of 2/11/2019:
Let us pray for our Methodist brothers and sisters around the world who are serving as delegates to the Special called General Conference. Father, help them to show grace and mercy to those struggling with these divisive issues.
“ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
Week of 2/18/2019:
May the Holy Spirit be hovering over each delegate providing guidance as they gather in St. Louis to determine the Way forward for the global Methodist Church. Pray that they may trust in the will of God and walk in love and unity in confidence of God’s path set before them.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20