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/ 23 March 2015

Week of Prayer 18 – 23 May 2015

The Bishop of London in front of the 'prayer map'.

Over 100 years ago in the Azusa Street Revivals in Los Angeles, many churches began to hold ‘Tarrying Meetings’. These sprang out of Jesus’ words to his disciples just before his ascension: “but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke XXIV.29) The disciples were to wait prayerfully for that first Day of Pentecost and many of our Pentecostal brothers and sisters can trace their origins to some of those meetings for prayer.

Whatever our church tradition, we know that authentic prayer – listening deeply and responding obediently – takes time. Our busy city life will eat up all available hours and it is a good discipline to remind each other of the importance of prayer by having deliberate seasons of waiting upon God.

So in May we will hold our third Week of Prayer in preparation for the great Feast of Pentecost, praying that we may be strengthened in our inner being with power through his Spirit. (Eph. III.16)

As we continue to pursue Capital Vision 2020, there is much for which to give thanks to God: many thousands not only in London but across the globe have downloaded the PrayerMate App. This year our prayer theme is one of journeys:

  • Praying for and giving thanks for those we encounter in our daily personal journeys as well as those who have inspired us as we look back on our faith journey.
  • Reflecting on the diversity of London – the hopes and needs of those who live, study, work, travel here, visit or hope to make a new life here – we will pray for local, national and global needs.

I hope that once again, many of you will come to St Paul’s Cathedral, to pray during this week. As well as the Cathedral’s regular pattern of worship there will be dedicated space in the Chapel of St Michael and St George to support your prayer journey over the week in creative and different ways.

I am grateful again to 24-7 Prayer for setting up and hosting the prayer space within the Cathedral. To give us that sense of prayer without ceasing, they are providing the online booking facility for one-hour sessions, either in the Cathedral (during the day), or for local prayer or private prayer across the Diocese throughout the day and night. If you would like to draw on the material being used at St Paul’s for your local vigil, please request resources by email.

In whatever ways you are able, join us in prayer between Ascension and Pentecost, for I am convinced that there is nothing that is impossible for a Church that is confident, compassionate and creative in the power of the Spirit and in union with Jesus Christ our Lord.

About Richard Chartres

The Rt Revd Richard Chartres KCVO was the 132nd Bishop of London from November 1995 until March 2017.

Read more from Richard Chartres

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