Bishop David A. Bard invites Michigan United Methodists to pray along with the delegates and guests of the 2019 General Conference .
Greetings to you in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the peace and power of the Holy Spirit.
On February 20th, as I prepared to travel to St. Louis, I received this invitation to prayer from the Praying The Way Forward Team.
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.
This prayer will be shared as part of the opening worship liturgy of General Conference 2019. I encourage you to share it with your congregation during worship services this Sunday, February 24.
And, as I wrote to you last month, I also invite you to find places of humility, hope, heart, and wisdom, places where you can rest in the grace of God.
Grace and Peace,
David Alan Bard
Michigan Area Bishop