Prayer is at the very heart of the ecumenical movement.
Jesus prayed that we – his followers – may all be one. When we pray with and for one another, we can feel God’s gift of unity. Prayer sustains us on our way towards a unity that all can see, “so that the world may believe” (John 17:21). Prayer is a powerful experience and tool to raise awareness and foster transformational relations and ministry. There are a variety of resources and observances that aim to enhance our prayer together, in a spiritual ecumenism. Worship and prayer are but one way of expressing commitment, and we encourage the Methodist ethos of ‘word and deed’ – prayer joined with action in a social gospel and transformation.
On this page:
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Week of Prayer for World Peace
World Day of Prayer
“We have learned the great lesson of praying with, rather than for, our sisters of other races and nations, thus enriching our experience and releasing the power which must be ours if we are to accomplish tasks entrusted to us.”
The World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement led by Christian women who welcome all to join in prayer and action for peace and justice. The invitation is to join in prayer and action for peace and justice.
Held on the first Friday of March, each year resources are developed by a national committee and shared internationally. The service is usually organised ecumenically by women from across local churches, and hosted on rotation by one of the local churches.
The theme chosen each year is intended to inspire informed prayer and prayerful action.
2021 – ‘Build on a Strong Foundation’ (Matthew 7) from Vanuatu
2022 – ‘I Know the Plans I Have for You’ (Jeremiah 29:1-14) from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
2023 – ‘I Have Heard About Your Faith’ (Ephesians 1:15-19) from TaiwanLink: World Day of Prayer international website including the annual resource material
World Day of Prayer international website including the annual resource material.
Asia Sunday is observed every year on the Sunday before Pentecost, and it coincides with the official inauguration of the Christian Conference of Asia. Each year’s observance of Asia Sunday is marked by a focus on a specific theme. This special occasion reminds member churches and councils as well as other partner churches and ecumenical organisations around the world to reflect on a theme and hold worship services to offer special prayers relating to that area of concern.
2020 – ‘God, Heal Us as We are Vulnerable’
2021 – ‘I am the Lord who Heals You and Restores Your Health’ (Exodus 15:26)
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
With more than 100 years of history, this annual observance involves Christian communities throughout the world. Its current form arose in 1968 from an initiative organised by the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. The WPCU is offered to take time to listen and hear from sister churches and fellow Christian in diverse parts of the world that take turn in preparing the theme and material.
2021 – ‘My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit’ (John 15:8) from the Monastic Community of Grandchamp in Switzerland
2022 – ‘We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him (Matthew 2:2) from the Middle East Council of Churches
There are two observances formally recognised – in the Northern Hemisphere it tends to be in late January between the feast days of St’s Peter and Paul. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is commonly between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday.
Season of Creation
The Season of Creation focuses on the affirmation that the Earth belongs to God, and each beloved creature belongs to this common home. As followers of Christ from around the globe, we share a common role as caretakers of God’s creation. We see that our wellbeing is interwoven with its wellbeing. The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together; to join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.
The Season of Creation is a global movement, an annual month-long season when Christian communities pray and act to protect creation. The season starts 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends 4 October, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. There are many ways in which to mark this season – with worship focused on one Sunday or over a series of Sundays; and there is also the possibility of sharing the Season ecumenically with neighbouring churches.
Resources based on an annual theme is to be found on the Season of Creation website: including a full guide, ideas, themes based on the lectionary readings, and calls to action.
Ecumenical Cycle of Prayer
The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle takes us through every region of the world over the course of a year. Praying for each place on earth and its people at least once a year, we affirm our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing diverse problems and sharing diverse gifts. Pray with us!