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Grace and peace,
In a little over a week, United Methodists from around the world will gather together for the 2019 Special Called General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I invite you and your congregation to join me in praying the unison prayer I've written below during worship on Sunday, February 17, 2019. We will pray together for our delegation, the General Conference, and The United Methodist Church.
Please feel free reprint the prayer I've written below in your bulletin, share on social media, and project it on the screen during worship.
Dear God, thank you for your children here in Iowa. Thank you for the tens of thousands of United Methodists across the state who are now in prayer for this General Conference. As clergy and laity, we have surrendered ourselves to your will, and we are seeking an outpouring of the Holy Spirit to descend upon the delegates as they pray for wisdom and guidance.
We thank you for your children around the world who claim the name United Methodist and are living lives of commitment and servanthood. And we are especially mindful of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, whose faith, ministries, and lives will be affected by whatever decisions are made.
Lord, we know that you love each one of us unconditionally, and you want us to be witnesses to the world. You desire for us to be examples of hope, peace, and grace for one another in the midst of our differences. And so, O God, we ask that you would open doors for The United Methodist Church, that we would seek to remain united so that we can best fulfill your mission that we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
We remember the prayer that Jesus shared during the Lord’s Supper, “I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” God, help us to be sensitive and kind to one another, for we yearn to reach the entire world so that all people will know that your name is Love.
Lord, may we be attuned to your Holy Spirit in the days ahead, so that everything we do and say and decide will be pleasing to you and bring glory to your name. Amen.