We are sending you this message to ask for your help. As President and Vice-President of the Conference we have responded to the situation in Iraq and Syria by calling the Methodist people to focus on this topic for a few minutes in prayer during public worship in Methodist churches this coming Sunday, 31 August.
You will find a suggested prayer and some background material, including a call to give to the relevant Christian Aid appeal, in the news release below. This has been sent to those on our media mailing list. But we want to let you know directly, and to seek your help. Not everyone is contactable electronically, and we wish to ensure that every place of worship knows of this initiative. So if you are leading worship this coming Sunday, 31 August, please incorporate this call to prayer in the service. If you are not, please help ensure that the people who are know about it, and encourage them to respond.
With many thanks,
Yours in Christ
The Revd Ken Howcroft, President of the Methodist Conference and Ms Gill Dascombe, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
- Donate to Christian Aid's Iraq appeal here
- Methodists urged to pray for those enduring ‘living nightmare’ of persecution
People are being urged to dedicate a special time of prayer to the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria next Sunday.
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, the Revd Ken Howcroft and Ms Gill Dascombe, are asking Methodists to ensure that they spend some special time in prayer for persecuted minorities during worship on 31 August.
They have written this special prayer for use by churches and groups (responses in bold):
God of love, guide us as we pray:
God of love, guide us as we pray.
God of all nations and peoples, hear our prayers for the people of Syria and Iraq, and for all whose lives are torn apart by hatred and violence, whose heartbreak is more than we can imagine:
God of compassion, guide us as we pray.
For leaders and politicians and those who seek to negotiate for peace, whose responsibility is more than we could bear:
God of wisdom, guide us as we pray.
For aid workers, medical staff, those who care for refugees, orphaned children and older people, whose daily workload is more than we could tolerate:
God of goodness, guide us as we pray.
For those who feel compelled to accomplish their justice through warfare or terrorism, whose motivation is more than we can comprehend:
God of justice, guide us as we pray.
For ourselves, who look on, devastated and helpless, praying to our God whose peace is beyond our understanding:
God of peace, guide us as we pray.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit:
“The situation in Iraq and Syria can only be described as a living nightmare,” said Mr Howcroft and Ms Dascombe, adding, “as Methodists we stand in solidarity alongside all those who are persecuted. As followers of Jesus who was crucified we stand with all those who find their religion twisted by others out of all recognition in order to justify horrific acts of violence. We stand in prayer, crying out together to a God of justice, peace and mercy. May God have mercy on us all.”