Please use the following prayers from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward and the Council of Bishops on Sunday, February 24, 2019, as General Conference begins.
Eternal and loving God, we pray for the United Methodist Church and for the Special Session of the General Conference.
Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for your humility, strength and compassion in our lives and witness.
Holy Spirit, we seek your presence in the worship and presiding leadership of Bishops and in the discernment and decisions of Delegates from around the world.
May your Church be strengthened as our hearts are humbled to serve you with faithfulness, joy, unity and love into the years to come. Amen.
Council of Bishops:
Gracious and loving God, who leads, teaches and guides,
You who offer compassion, grace and mercy, be with us now.
We passionately seek Your presence during challenging times and circumstances and we trust that you are moving in and around our lives.
We, as one part of your Body, the Church, go into the days and weeks ahead seeking to discern Your deep desire for us as The United Methodist Church.
Give us courage as we continue to live and respond to Your invitation to be Your hands, feet and voice.
We ask for a fresh wind of Your Spirit and guidance for each of us as individuals, for the faithful congregations, and for this global community of United Methodists.
We ask for Your wisdom and presence for those among us who have been called to serve as delegates as the Special Session of General Conference gathers today.
Grant them clarity and a discerning spirit as they seek to listen for You in their midst.
Reveal to them Your deep desire for our future as a church.
Give them and us the faith to lay aside our personal wants and needs so that we can be truly present to You, sit with You in reverence and awe, and listen deeply for the still small voice that woos us, comforts us, and invites us to that place where we can live fully and wholly into the Kingdom life that You desire for us.
We lay all this before You as the deep desire of our hearts and minds in the name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.