The United Methodist Church is now engaged in a world-wide discussion about our understanding of human sexuality. More than 12 million United Methodists in a 120 countries speaking dozens and dozens of languages all coming together to discuss one topic. Their views on human sexuality vary. Their reading of scripture varies. Their cultural backgrounds vary. Their countries and the laws and customs of their countries vary. Their approach to controversy varies. Seems like an overwhelming task, except for one thing:
All 12 million pray.
The discussion of human sexuality is called Finding Our Way Forward and it is being led by a commission which was established at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in 2016. Their work will take several years. As they carry out their work they have asked that United Methodists blanket their efforts with prayer. Every conference worldwide is dedicating itself to a week of prayer. We will be Praying Our Way Forward.
The Iowa Annual Conference will be Praying Our Way Forward
- Our goal in Praying Our Way Forward is not to win the debate.
- Our goal is be faithful in a time of controversy.
You and your church are invited into this holy season of prayer. This is an excellent time to renew your commitment to prayer. Paul says we are to “pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Every breath should be prayer, but that is not easy in our distracting world. We have to be intentional about praying. We encourage you to set aside special times and opportunities for prayer during the week of May 21-27.
During the week of May 21 we will be Praying Our Way Forward:
- With Daily Devotions. Our Praying Our Way Forward team of laity and clergy have prepared daily devotionals. These will be in your email inbox every morning during the week of May 21.
- Through A Prayer Vigil. A prayer vigil is really a blanket of prayer, hour by hour, moment by moment, covering our church worldwide in prayer. You and your church will have an opportunity to sign up to pray at a specific time.
- By offering a time of prayer at your church. You may want to hold a special prayer service in your church or you may want to simply open the sanctuary for an evening giving the people of your faith community an opportunity to come and pray. We have offered worship suggestions and prayer resources on our website.
- By Announcing Praying Our Way Forward week. In order to help you and your church focus on prayer, we have provided bulletin inserts and prayer signs to post around your church. You might encourage people in your church to create more signs. They might look good on t-shirts. Feel free to have some fun with these. Download these posters and bulletin inserts.
A week of prayer, sounds amazing doesn’t it?
As I write this the New Mexico Annual Conference is praying for us. A few weeks ago United Methodists in Sierra Leone were praying. Germany, Mozambique, Oklahoma, the Desert Southwest, all around the globe, prayers rise to God. “Lead us forward,” we pray.
Prayer always carries us forward. No matter what we are facing, joy or sorrow, darkness or dawn, prayer turns us toward God and offers a way forward.
And nothing is impossible with God.
Rev. Cindy Hickman
Praying Our Way Forward Coordinator
Praying Our Way Forward Coordinator
- Praying Our Way Forward Home Page
- Praying Our Way Forward Weekly Devotionals
- Praying Our Way Forward Prayer Suggestions
- Praying Our Way Forward Resources
- Praying Our Way Forward Printouts
- More information and resources for organizing prayer groups within your congregation are available at umcprays.org.
Bishop Laurie encourages you to sign up for a day of prayer either individually or as a congregation. You can use the use the Register Now button below to register your commitment to prayer during this week.