Because we are restricted in how we are able to meet together for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity this year, CTBI have produced resources for download only. They are accessed at: https://ctbi.org.uk/resources-for-week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2021/. For those of you who cannot access online resources, the readings and prayers below are an abbreviated version of the daily prayer resources. Please use each day’s reading to prompt you to wonder about the question posed, and then pray with the assurance that other Christians in the locality are praying with you.
With every blessing, Revd Philip Bee & Rev Nick Biggar
Day 1 Called by God (Monday 18 January)
READ: John 1:35-51 The call of the first disciples
WONDER: Have you ever been aware that God was asking you or someone you know to begin a new journey in life. How did you respond?
PRAY: Jesus Christ, you seek us, you wish to offer us your friendship and lead us to a life that is ever more complete. Grant us the confidence to answer your call so that we may be transformed and become witnesses of your tenderness for the world. Amen.
Day 2 Maturing internally (Tuesday 19 January)
READ: Ephesians 3:14-21 May Christ dwell in our hearts
WONDER: How are you conscious of God’s presence with you in the everyday things of life?
PRAY: Holy Spirit, May we receive in our hearts the presence of Christ,and cherish it as a secret of love. Nourish our prayer, enlighten our reading of Scripture, act through us, so that the fruits of your gifts can patiently grow in us. Amen.
Day 3 Forming one body (Wednesday 20 January)
READ: John 13:1-15; 34-35 Love one another
WONDER: How might the churches in your area to be more compassionate within your community?
PRAY: God our Father, you reveal to us your love through Christ and through our brothers and sisters. Open our hearts so that we can welcome each other with our differences and live in forgiveness. Grant us to live united in one body, so that the gift that is each person comes to light. May all of us together be a reflection of the living Christ. Amen.
Day 4 Praying together (Thursday 21 January)
READ: Luke 11:1-4 Lord, teach us to pray
WONDER: What have you learned from praying with other Christians? What might God want you to learn from the practices and traditions of others?
PRAY: Lord Jesus, your entire life was prayer, perfect harmony with the Father. Through your Spirit, teach us to pray according to your will of love. May the faithful of the whole world unite in intercession and praise, and may your kingdom of love come. Amen.
Day 5 Letting oneself be transformed by the word (Friday 22 January)
READ: Matthew 5:1-12 Blessed are you
WONDER: If your churches were to live the “Beatitudes” each day what difference would this make to the communities they serve?
PRAY: Blessed are you, God our Father, for the gift of your word in Holy Scripture. Blessed are you for its transforming power. Help us choose life and guide us by your Spirit, so that we can experience the happiness which you want so much to share with us. Amen.
Day 6 Welcoming others (Saturday 23 January)
READ: Mark 6:30-44 Jesus’ compassion for the crowds
WONDER: As we pray together for greater unity how are we showing Christ’s welcome to other Christians?
PRAY: Jesus Christ, we desire to welcome fully the brothers and sisters who are with us. You know how often we feel helpless in the face of their suffering, yet you are always there ahead of us and you have already received them in your compassion. Speak to them through our words, support them through our actions, and let your blessing rest on us all. Amen.
Day 7 Growing in unity (Sunday 24 January)
READ: John 17:20-23 As you and I are one
WONDER: What could be the impact on the world of greater unity between the churches?
PRAY: Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us. Renew in us the passion for unity so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you. May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them. Amen.
Day 8 Reconciling with all of creation (Monday 25 January)
READ: Colossians 1:15-20 In him all things hold together
WONDER: How does your church or group of churches care for God’s creation? What changes, large or small, could you make which would make that care more effective?
PRAY: Thrice-holy God, we thank you for having created and loved us. We thank you for your presence in us and in creation. May we learn to look upon the world as you look upon it, with love. In the hope of this vision, may we be able to work for a world where justice and peace flourish, for the glory of your name. Amen.