Tuesday, 09 May 2017

40 Days of Prayer

Written by Stuart McMillan

To mark our 40th anniversary, I invite all Uniting Church in Australia members and staff into 40 days of prayer.

Every day from 14 May until our historic inauguration date of 22 June, the Assembly will share prayers for the different areas of ministry and mission in the life of the Church.  

I encourage all Uniting Church in Australia members and staff to pray throughout the 40 days as we reflect on our journey together as a pilgrim people, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The prayers will cover the full breadth and depth of our life as a Church seeking to discern the mission of God and authentically participate in it.  

We will pray for renewal for ourselves personally, our communities, our Church, our nation, and our world.

During these 40 days we will participate in A Destiny Together: A Week of Prayer and Fasting as part of National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June 2017.

The first week of the 40 days of prayer is from Sunday 14 May to Sunday 21 May and begins with the prayer from our first President Rev. Dr Davis McCaughey at the Service of Inauguration and ends with us praying for the work of UnitingWorld.

You can sign up to receive the daily prayers via email or keep an eye on on the Uniting Church in Australia Twitter and Facebook accounts using the hashtag #40prayers.

The Assembly’s Worship Working Group has compiled a number of resources to be used in gathered worship and more, including songs by Rev. David MacGregor and Pastor David Busch composed especially for the 40th anniversary.

The group Uniting Prayer and Fasting has developed 40 days of devotionals based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

The Moderator of the UCA Synod of South Australia Rev. Sue Ellis is also sharing daily prayers via email with short reflections on their ministry.

My hope in calling the Church to this season of prayer is that we will draw close to God, who through the Holy Spirit will lead us in our life as a fellowship of reconciliation seeking to witness in our communities to God’s love in Christ and to discern God’s directions for us, including correcting that which is erroneous in our life.

I pray this season will encourage and vitalise us as a community of Christ.

40 hours of prayer

I will be joining leaders from across the UCA in Melbourne on Sunday 14 May for 40 hours of prayer (including, for some us fasting) to begin the 40 days.

We are doing this to indicate how important we believe these 40 days of prayer to be and to encourage all members and staff to join us wherever they are.

The President-elect, Chairperson of the Uniting Aboriginal Islander and Christian Congress, Moderators and General Secretaries will be at Wesley Uniting Church and the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Chapel in Melbourne to pray together.

My prayer is that this time of seeking God together will quicken to our hearts and minds the great love of God, bring clarity for the ministry and mission in which we serve, fill us with expectation and gather us more fully as a fellowship of reconciliation.