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Archbishops invite nation to join them in daily prayer

by Michael Ford last modified 03 Feb, 2021 08:06 PM

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting the nation to join them in prayer every evening, as Covid deaths have passed the 100,000 mark.

Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell are encouraging people of all backgrounds to set aside time each day for prayer – if possible stopping wherever they are at 6pm each evening.

It follows their call last week for people to pause, ‘reflect on the enormity of this pandemic’ and pray for the nation and all those affected, following news that that more than 100,000 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test.

In a letter to the nation last week, the Archbishops wrote: "We encourage everyone who is feeling scared, or lost or isolated to cast their fears on God.

“We also know that poorer communities, minority ethnic communities and those living with disabilities have been afflicted disproportionately and cry out for the healing of these inequalities.”

They added: “One thing we can all do is pray. We hope it is some consolation to know that the church prays for the life of our nation every day. Whether you’re someone of faith, or not, we invite you to call on God in prayer.

“Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.”

The call to prayer is also being supported by a number of prayer organisations and denominations including the Methodist Church of Great Britain and 24-7 Prayer GB.

Daily and weekly prayer resources for homes, churches and schools are available on the Church of England website.

The first prayer of the month, prayed on Monday 1st February at 18:00 on Facebook Live by Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is:

Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.

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