Tuesday, 2 October 2007

A cycle of prayer

In the ecumenical centre chapel we try to follow week by week the ecumenical prayer cycle, which the WCC instituted. Both the United Reformed Church and The French Protestant Federation also try to follow this in the devotional material they prepare nationally for local congregations. Perhaps because I more or less grew up with it I tend to find the focus of particular countries useful both for my personal reflection and often for sermon writing too.
This week the prayer cycle invites us to pray for Armenia and Georgia and Azerbaijan, in weeks to come Afghanistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Srilanka and Rwanda are among the countries the prayer cycle focuses on in weeks to come. And of course every country even the most prosperous, has its history of tragedies as well as joys to celebrate. Intercession and thanksgiving are linked in the way the prayer cycle is constructed, celebrating resistance and success and praying for those in need.
Maybe the importance of this turning global perspective is a little bit too obvious for people like me who work in international organisations. The strength of the prayer cycle really lies in its local application - think global, pray local. Today more than ever we realise just how intertwined all of our lives are.