January 17, 2018
The Council of Bishops is urging all United Methodists to join with other Christians throughout the world to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity promoted by the World Council of Churches.
This year’s Week of Prayer (January 18-25, 2018) uses Exodus 15:6 with the theme “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power.”
Christians are reminded of Jesus’ prayer for his disciples that “they may be one so that the world may believe.” (see John 17.21).
*Praying our Way Forward UMCPrays.org
A prayer for the unity of Christ’s church
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins Thursday, Jan. 18. Bishop B. Michael Watson, ecumenical officer of the Council of Bishops, and the Revs. Drs. Jean Hawxhurst and Kyle R. Tau, ecumenical staff officers of the Council of bishops, offer this prayer.
Eternal Creator; immortal, invisible, God only wise:
With these words, we quiet ourselves before you again with awe and reverence.
We thank you for this day, a day that is new and fresh, a day we do not deserve, but a day you have given us. We praise you for your graciousness and your steadfast and generous love.
We confess we have not always used the days you have given us to further your Kingdom. We have been selfish, focusing on our own needs and our own advancements. Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience to walk in your ways and to further your love in this world.
This day we thank you for our sister and brother Christians within our own faith community and throughout your world. In your creative genius, you have made all of us with different gifts to bring to your table, and your Spirit has given us the unity to appreciate and celebrate all those gifts. Thank you for that unity in the midst of beautiful, challenging diversity. Thank you for the many expressions of following your son’s Way that are making a difference around your world.
Today, we pray for your universal church. We pray for our shared mission to your world. We pray for open eyes and open hearts for those who need to hear your message of grace. We pray for kindness among our faith communions, even when we disagree with each others theology or opinions. We pray for wisdom and insight to maintain unity without demanding uniformity; to celebrate our diversity instead of making it a cause for division, to claim that diversity as a part of your gracious gift to us.
Grant that we may speak, and act, and live, so that the world may see in us the promise of your will, and so that the world may be challenged to move toward that vision, in and through the Christ, who is our source and our goal.
Bishop B. Michael Watson
Council of Bishops, Ecumenical Officer
Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst and Rev. Dr. Kyle R. Tau
Council of Bishops, Ecumenical Staff Officers