21 Jan 2012

From Jerusalem, the call for an Extraordinary Action of Prayer by the Church for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace

On January 28 2012, Christians are invited to join again in a great intercessory prayer for our time held at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St Anthony, close to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

With Our Lord’s help, on January 28, 2012, at 5 pm Holy Land time, all Churches will join again via a four continent live broadcast by Christian channels in a great intercessory prayer for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace for our time, beginning from Jerusalem.

In a spirit of communion, the seventh Extraordinary Prayer of all Churches for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace coincides, as in January 2011, with the Jerusalem Week of Prayer for Unity. It also coincides with the start of the 4th International Intercessory Prayer Day for Peace in the Holy Land, an initiative that gathers prayer groups in over two thousands cities all over the world and is patronized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The Catholic Church, promoter of the latter initiative, chooses with this coincidence to be in communion of prayer with all the participating Churches.

In these times of change, more than ever, it is urgent and necessary to ask for Our Lord’s Mercy. May He, insistently requested to do so, touch our hearts and inspire in them the irresistible desire to convert and to renew our faith, to reconciliate, to unite, and to live in the interior Peace of Christ, both as single Christians and as Christian Churches.

The Coptic Orthodox Church, who has often and also recently given witness of her profound faith in Jesus Christ, up to martyrdom, will propose a simple and very intense celebration, reflecting her rich and profound tradition.

May the intense call of the Church to Our Lord and Father be heard! May He bless His sons and daughters, those who hear the Word, those who listen to the Spirit of Life.


Background to the Extraordinary Prayer by the Church for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace beginning and proceeding from Jerusalem

All Christian communities and all individual Christians are invited to participate in the extraordinary prayer of the Church for Reconciliation, Unity and Peace, beginning in and proceeding from Jerusalem (Luke 24:47), with trust that these prayer intentions will then be realized in the entire world, in accord with the unique vocation of the Holy City: that of being the historic and symbol departure point of the most beautiful promises and prophecies of the Scriptures, and of being a place of particular grace for the human family (Is 2: 1-5).

For the Christian, the division of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, profoundly conditions the general lack of Peace. The Mother Church of Jerusalem calls, therefore, the whole Church to an extraordinary action of prayer for the grace of Reconciliation, Unity and Peace, beginning in the Holy City: an action of prayer which manifests, by its very nature, the adhesion to Unity that is requested thereby. The Mother Church of Jerusalem calls to a great intercessory prayer for our time, spontaneous and joyful, born in the heart of Christians inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The foundational principle is that all Christians pray together, at the same time, for the same intentions. If the union of prayer in the name of Christ comprises the promise of His presence with us (Matt 18:19-20), the communion of prayer of Christians truly prefigures Reconciliation and Unity in Spirit within the Church: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13: 35).

All Christians are strongly encouraged to further diffuse this prayer of deep and intense faith, in this spirit, so that the prayer of the whole Church might be fully realised.The basic proposal is to practice one hour of prayer every Saturday between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Holy Land, or between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time, throughout the rest of the world. For those who are unable to participate fully, a reduced participation (of even a few minutes!) is suggested, but preferably, at the indicated time.

« The more an epoch is submerged in the night of sin and distance from God, the more it needs people of prayer united to God. And God does not allow them to fail. From the most obscure night advance the greatest prophets and saints. For the most part, however, this river of mystical life which is formed remains invisible. To be sure, the decisive turning points of human history are essentially conditioned by souls who are addressed by no history books. And we ourselves will not know to whom we owe the decisive turning points of our personal life until the Day on which all that is hidden is revealed.»
Edith Stein

Further information available HERE and HERE

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