Otherwise, I get to open Annual Conference with prayer. The prayer below was for our Conference, but it could be for any Annual Conference or maybe, even, whatever season you may find yourself.
My prayer to start the 145th meeting of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church is here:
The strawberries are winding down, blueberries are not quite here, and the time is perfect to plant your spirit in our souls. What better place to gather together to plant the seeds for your Kingdom in the United Methodist Church, than at Birmingham-Southern College.
Some would tell us it is too late for planting. Spring is almost past. Decisions have already been made. There are already wars and rumors of wars. Some would say we should be about cutting our losses and making the best of the situation.
I refuse to believe that whatever angst, fear, or indifference has taken root in our hearts could be stronger than the resurrecting power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sins and hurts still can’t choke out your plans to mend the garden. We are not here to uproot weeds but to plant faith, hope, and love that will grow among the thistles and ultimately become the branches upon which tomorrow’s birds will dwell.
We may do the planting but you do the growing. You are the vine, we are the branches; those who abide in you bear much fruit, for apart from you we can do nothing. Forgive us when we think we do the growing and you simply plant where we desire. Apart from you, we can do nothing - not the other way around.
So do something in our lives, in our annual conference, and in your Church. Plant within us your holy spirit, that we can bear much fruit for your kingdom. Bless us with your presence so that everything we do these coming days - whether worshiping, voting, laughing or crying - we can say we did them together in Jesus Christ.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.