Week of Christian Unity, the World Council of Churches and the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle 

Hi folks! I hope you’re well.

This week has been the annual Week of Christian Unity. We have been asked to pray for this cause. I must admit that I found it a bit difficult at first, because the term ‘Christian Unity’ was rather abstract for me, and to pray properly, in a focused way, I needed more understanding and structure.

I prayed for guidance, and sure enough, the next day an answer was presented to me! It was in the form of day-to-day prayers, readings, reflections, questions and go-and-dos. I found this link when looking for something else in the newsletter of my former church, Our Lady Queen of Peace RC, where I used to attend when living in London (I have since been living in Cordova for the last 33 years). So I would just like to share the link of this day-to-day prayer pamphlet with you which you can access here — it really is worth a browse!

Another site mentioned in the text is the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle. This is also interesting and eye-opening — one which “takes us through every region of the world over the course of a year.

Praying for each place on earth and its people at least once a year, we affirm our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing diverse problems and sharing diverse gifts. Pray with us!”— World Council of Churches.

Every week, prayer is dedicated to different countries in the world. This week (starting on the 23rd of January) the prayers are for Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. See here for the following weeks and countries. (Last week it was the turn of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.)

Below I have copied and pasted part of the prayers and intercessions for this week’s Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. The page and photos can be viewed here.

(As I am not using this blog for commercial purposes, I am not infringing any copyrights, but I did want to provide an example of the important and interesting work that the World Council of Churches are doing.)

Cyprus, Greece and Turkey (23-29 January) Intercessions (From World Council of Churches)

We are thankful for:

  • the 2,000-year presence and witness of the church in Asia Minor (now Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece) – the region in which St Paul and other apostles first planted the seeds of the Christian faith – and for how Greek culture influenced the early church
  • the Church Fathers who came from this area, along with many men and women who were Christian martyrs, and where seven ecumenical councils were convened
  • the pioneering work of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in quest of Christian unity and for protection of the environment
  • those who have reached out to assist people who have fled to, and through, these lands.

We pray for:

  • the healing of memories and wounds inflicted by early 20th century genocides of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian communities, and for current tensions in these lands
  • enhanced respect for all minority groups and their claims,
  • those who work for justice and reconciliation
  • the people who struggle because of economic and political crises in these countries
  • more stable democratic governments that further the good of all.

Prayers

A morning prayer

Our spirit seeks you in the early dawn, O God,
for your commandments are light.
Teach us, O Master, your righteousness
and make us worthy to follow your commandments
with all our strength.
Take away from our hearts every darkness.
Grant to us the Sun of righteousness
and protect our lives from any bad influence
with the seal of your most Holy Spirit.
Direct our steps to the way of peace
and grant to us that this present morning may be peaceful
so that we may send up the morning hymns
to you the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
the only God,
who is more than without beginning  
and creator of all. Amen.

(Excerpt from a morning prayer to the Holy Trinity, St. Basil the Great, 4th century, from Let us pray to the Lord, p. 58, WCC Publications)

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 Here is the Facebook page of the World Council of Churches. https://www.facebook.com/WorldCouncilofChurches. They also have a blog: https://www.oikoumene.org/blog, as well as Twitter and other social media. You can also subscribe to receive their newsletters.

Well, I think that’s all from me for now! Thank you once again for visiting me! Comments and questions are always welcome!

Bye for now and take care! xxx