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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    Perspectives: CLT Prayer Initiative

    CLT Prayer #5 during coronavirus pandemic

    May 11, 2020 / By Rev. Harold Wheat

    Pray,
    Pray now,
    Pray for the Others.

    Love one another. The command echoes through Scripture and awakens us to life. Jesus intended for the world to verify the truth of his message by observing us in our love for one another and all God sends into our lives (John 13:35, 17:22-23). Because praying is an expression of loving that is accessible to all, our Conference Leadership Team (CLT), calls all who are able, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, to pray with them.

    The CLT invites you to continue to pray with them in the coming weeks as they share prayers designed to be used however the Spirit calls you to use them. If the Spirit places it on your heart to include these prayers in your daily devotions, publish them on your social media page, or jump off from their movement into your own inspiration, go with God and with their blessing.

    This week's prayer is provided by the Rev. Harold Wheat:

    “May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.”

    (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 from The Message)

    Our circumstances of physical separation were not unfamiliar to Christians in the first century. Paul wrote often of his yearning to have in-person time with those whose faith he was nurturing. In 1 Thessalonians, “Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face” (1 Thessalonians 3:10 NRSV). Below is a prayer inspired by Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the prayer Paul and Timothy offered in a time when they were experiencing the pain and stress of being physically separated from loved ones in faith.

    A Prayer for Spiritual Union in a Time of Physical Separation  

    May the Beloved, our Holy God, personally show up with Jesus the lover of our souls to deliver us back to each other. And, may Jesus our bright and morning star so fill our hearts with love that our cups overflow with grace to each other and our hurting world. May our love be purely focused on the well-being of others, our hearts be pleased to stand before God, and our hands be strong for the work that is ours to do; so that when we are reunited with each other and our Master Jesus, our joy will be complete.

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    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."