Leading Church figures urge Christians to take part in week of prayer

by Michael Ford last modified 21 Jan, 2019 04:44 PM

Christian leaders across the UK have issued a joint letter encouraging Christians of all denominations to join in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The letter, whose signatories include Archbishop Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster), and the Revd Michaela Youngson (President of the Methodist Conference) invites Christians to participate in this call to prayer with the “utmost seriousness.”

Read the letter here

The letter’s central message urges Christians to “pray together for Christian unity, in our life together, our witness and our longing to see the Kingdom of God in the midst of our world” and to “find ways to give expression to our search for greater unity in obedience to the command of Christ that we love one another,” citing Jesus’s prayer on unity taken from John 17.

Archbishop Justin said: “Unity in truth and faithfulness in witness are gifts to the Church from the heart of God. Each requires the other. Please join with us and other faithful servants of Christ in churches across England as we pray for the Holy Spirit to work in us to fulfil God’s purpose (Philippians 2.13).”

Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said: “As I meet churches and leaders across Baptists Together it is very clear to me that God is at work stirring up a renewed passion for prayer and a fresh desire to work together because we long to see God’s Kingdom come in our communities and nations. Pray, deepen relationships and be part of what God is doing in these days!”

Commenting on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “We should never underestimate the power of prayer nor our need of the strength that God gives us through prayer.”

In a separate statement The Archbishops of Canterbury and York suggested that this week of prayer is also used to pray for reconciliation and for a fresh and uniting vision for the UK.

The statement said:
"We echo the call of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland to Christians and all those of faith and goodwill to give time for prayer beginning this Sunday in their local churches or as they choose: praying for wisdom, courage, integrity and compassion for our political leaders and all MPs; for reconciliation; and for a fresh and uniting vision for all in our country."

The leaders also encourage Christians not just to pray during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity but also to get involved in Thy Kingdom Come – a global ecumenical prayer movement in which Christians pray for more people to become followers of Jesus Christ that takes place between Ascension to Pentecost which this year is May 30th-June 9th.

Visit the Churches Together website

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