Reflections on how Christians help each other to grow and mature in loving God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Prayers for Annual Conference Sessions

As we prepare for our respective annual conference sessions, I hope we all will take time to pray and to fill each conference with prayer. As we prepare to elect clergy and lay delegates to the 2008 General Conference, pray for discernment and a spirit of unity that those we elect will work to help The United Methodist Church move toward its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ who will be his witnesses in the world and follow his teachings through acts of compassion, justice, worship, and devotion under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

To that end, here are some prayers (found in The Book of Common Prayer) for us to pray together, with the saints, as we gather for confernece:

For the Church
Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy catholic Church.
Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace.
Where it is corrupt, purify it;
where it is in error, direct it;
where in any thing it is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, strengthen it;
where it is in want, provide for it;
where it is divided, reunite it;
for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior. Amen.

For the Mission of the Church
Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you
through your Son Jesus Christ:
Inspire our witness to him,
that all may know the power of his forgiveness
and the hope of his resurrection;
who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Clergy and People
Almighty and everlasting God,
from whom comes every good and perfect gift:
Send down upon our bishops, and other clergy,
and upon the congregations committed to their charge,
the healthful Spirit of your grace:
and, that they may truly please you,
pour upon them the continual dew of your blessing.
Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator,
Jesus Christ. Amen.

For a Church Convention or Meeting
Almighty and everliving God,
source of all wisdom and understanding,
be present with those who take counsel
in the Annual Conference Session,
for the renewal and mission of your Church.
Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory.
Guide us to perceive what is right,
and grant us both the courage to pursue it
and the grace to accomplish it;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Unity of the Church
O God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
our only Savior, the Prince of Peace:
Give us grace seriously to lay to heart
the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions;
take away all hatred and prejudice,
and whatever else may hinder us from godly union and concord;
that, as there is but one Body and one Spirit,
one God and Father of us all,
so we may be all of one heart and of one soul,
united in one holy bond of truth and peace,
of faith and charity,
and may with one mind and one mouth glorify you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

May your conference session be a time of true Christian conferencing that is a means of grace that lifts your spirit and heart to Christ and brings glory to his name and his mission for the world.


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