United Methodist Men join international prayer effort
Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett and Bishop Al Gwinn, co-chairs of the Praying Our Way Forward Initiative, have invited every United Methodist around the world to join the Council of Bishops in prayer. Beginning January 1, 2017, each annual conference has made a commitment to come together in prayer during a designated week.
“We want the church and the ‘Commission on a Way Forward’ to be led by God. This prayer emphasis puts us in a posture where as a church we are asking and listening for God’s leadership,” said Bishop Wallace-Padgett. “Our prayer focus is twofold: We are praying that God will help us to fulfill the mission of the church more effectively. And we are praying to be one in Christ.”
She said they are inviting persons to
- pray daily for the church’s effectiveness in fulfilling its mission of making disciples and for the outcome of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward
- participate in their conference’s week of prayer
- fast weekly as they are able for The United Methodist Church and our future
Bishop Gwinn said the Council of Bishops is working in partnership with The Upper Room, which has developed a website called umcprays.org. “The website features many tools and resources to help you plan your week of prayer,” said Bishop Gwinn. “Each week will feature information about what is happening in the conference that is praying that week, including a prayer-focused blog written by the bishop in that area.”
In addition to the Upper Room, both United Methodist Women and the General Commission on United Methodist Men have joined this opportunity to pray and fast for our church.
The General Commission on United Methodist Men has notified the five jurisdictional presidents of UMM who will be in touch with the presidents and prayer advocates of the annual conferences scheduled to begin this important and holy pursuit. The commission will encourage the men of conferences outside the U.S. to participate through contacts requested from other agencies and episcopal offices.
“I expect that every annual conference will lead their men into prayer in many different and unique ways. But the focus will all be the same; in that we are united,” said Gil Hanke, general secretary of Nashville-based commission. The prayer site is now updated with schedules and helpful resources, and additional resources will be coming from the GCUMM and the Upper Room.
“We are praying that God will help us to fulfill the mission of the church more effectively. And we are praying to be one in Christ.”