Saturday, August 12, 2006

Archbishop of York Calls for Week of Prayer and Fasting

Thinking Anglicans points us to this press release:

The Archbishop of York is encouraging people to join him in a week of prayer and fasting for the situation in the Middle East

The Most Rev. Dr. John Sentamu is to embark on an act of ‘public witness’ to encourage people throughout the country to join him in a week long campaign of prayer and fasting for Peace in the Middle East.

Starting on Sunday August 13th, the Archbishop will forego his seven days holiday to Salzburg in order to camp inside York Minster where he will be asking people from all over the country to join him in heart and mind to pray every hour for peace in the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, and for good community relations in Britain.

“In the Middle East there are thousands of people sleeping in churches, bunkers, underground car parks and shelters in an attempt to escape from the bombs and rockets that are falling on both sides of the border” said the Archbishop.

“This act is a rallying call to people of all faiths and none, to encourage them to feel that there is something that can be done. The UN has a role, diplomacy has a role and our Government has a role to play in bringing this conflict to an end. But we as people also have a role to play in showing our common humanity with all those who are suffering.

“We have an opportunity to stand up and be counted with those in Israel, Lebanon and Palestine and all over the world who seek after Peace. This is what this week will be about, people coming together for one purpose alone – to pray for peace in our troubled world and to pray especially for the Middle East.

“I will be inviting people from all over the country to pause for a prayer and light a candle for peace. I will lead every day, on the hour, every hour for seven days. Just like those sleeping on the floors of bunkers, car parks and churches, I will also spend the week camped out sleeping in the Minster.

“Many thousands of people have been denied access to food and water as a result of the fighting. Why not join me in a spirit of fasting during the week by being prepared to forego a meal and donate the money to charities, like Save the Children fund, who are working in the conflict zone? At a future date we must all give generously to the reconstruction of Northern Israel, Lebanon and Palestine.”
The Archbishop joins other religious leaders in calling us to prayer:

We, leaders of several religious traditions have come together to encourage you, our religious communities to engage in prayer for peace in the Middle East.

We encourage you to do this as you gather for your regular worship or faith observances. We also encourage you to engage with other religious communities in your neighborhood in events offering a joint witness to peace. We will post prayers, litanies, scripture texts, hymns and other prayer aids on this web site.

We also encourage you to send new and creative liturgical material that you have composed or used to post on this web site for others to use.

As religious leaders we are deeply concerned about the escalating violence in the Middle East. We pray for all those who are suffering, both those of our own communities and those we consider the “other.” We pray for an urgent end to hostilities that will both save lives and lead to a just, lasting, and secure peace.

Pray like everything depends on God
Work like everything depends on you.
Let us pray:

Remember, O Lord, the peoples of the world divided into many nations and tongues. Deliver us from every evil that gets in the way of your saving purpose; and fulfill the promises of peace to your people on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Silence)

From the curse of war and the human sin that causes war;
O Lord, deliver us.

From pride that turns its back on you, and from the unbelief that will not call you Lord;
O Lord, deliver us.

From national vanity that poses as patriotism; from loud-mouthed boasting and blind self-worship that admits no guilt;
O Lord, deliver us.

From the self-righteousness that will not compromise, and from selfishness that gains by the oppression of others;
O Lord, deliver us.

From the lust for money or power that drives people to kill;
O Lord, deliver us.

From trusting in the weapons of war, and mistrusting the councils of peace;
O Lord, deliver us.

From hearing, believing, and speaking lies about other nations;
O Lord, deliver us.

From groundless suspicions and fears that stand in the way of reconciliation;
O Lord, deliver us.

From words and deeds that encourage discord, prejudice, and hatred; From everything that prevents the human family from fulfilling your promise of peace;
O Lord, deliver us.

O God our Father: we pray for all your children on earth, and for members of the military of every nation; that they may strive for justice, kindness and peace. (Silence)

We pray for the Church in the world.
Give peace in our Time, O Lord.

For the United Nations;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

For international federations of labor, industry, and commerce;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

For departments of state, ambassadors, and diplomats;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

For worldwide agencies of compassion, which bind wounds and feed the hungry;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

For all who in any way work to further the cause of peace and goodwill;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

For common folk in every land who live in peace;
Give peace in our time, O Lord.

Eternal God: use us, even our ignorance and weakness, to bring about your holy will. Hurry the day when all people shall live together in your love; for yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

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