Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power (Exodus 15:6)
The Church Unity Octave, now known as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, goes back more than 100 years. The Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII) tells us the Church Unity Octave was first celebrated in January, 1908 in the chapel of a small Atonement Franciscan Convent of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The chapel stood on a remote hillside 50 miles from New York City. The prayer gesture eventually captured the hearts and minds of people beyond the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement. It’s rooted in the Biblical narrative that a people united in a sacred covenant with God is integral to the Lord’s plan of salvation. The observance gained momentum and “gradually blossomed into a worldwide observance involving many nations and millions of people.”
This year’s theme, “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power,” carries on the annual eight-day observance. Today, we share this prayer from the GEII website, with the intention that we can move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper, “that they all may be one.” (John 17:21)
Eternal God, You belong to no culture and land but are Lord of all. You call us to welcome the stranger in our midst. Help us by your Spirit to live as brothers and sisters welcoming all in your name and living in the justice of your kingdom. This we pray in Jesus name. Amen.