Call to prayer for Iraq and Syria on 31 August

  • Donate to Christian Aid's Iraq appeal here
  • Methodists urged to pray for those enduring 'living nightmare'of persecution

People are being urged to dedicate a special time of prayer tothe ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria next Sunday.

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, theRevd Ken Howcroft and Ms Gill Dascombe, are asking Methodists toensure that they spend some special time in prayer for persecutedminorities during worship on 31 August.

They have written this special prayer for use by churches andgroups (responses in bold):

God of love, guide us as wepray:
God of love, guide us as we pray.

God of all nations and peoples, hear our prayers for the people ofSyria and Iraq, and for all whose lives are torn apart by hatredand violence, whose heartbreak is more than we can imagine:
God of compassion, guide us as we pray.

For leaders and politicians and those who seek to negotiate forpeace, whose responsibility is more than we could bear:
God of wisdom, guide us as we pray.

For aid workers, medical staff, those who care for refugees,orphaned children and older people, whose daily workload is morethan we could tolerate:
God of goodness, guide us as we pray.

For those who feel compelled to accomplish their justice throughwarfare or terrorism, whose motivation is more than we cancomprehend:
God of justice, guide us as we pray.

For ourselves, who look on, devastated and helpless, praying toour God whose peace is beyond our understanding:
God of peace, guide us as we pray.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the HolySpirit: 

"The situation in Iraq and Syria can only be described as aliving nightmare," said Mr Howcroft and Ms Dascombe, adding, "asMethodists we stand in solidarity alongside all those who arepersecuted. As followers of Jesus who was crucified we stand withall those who find their religion twisted by others out of allrecognition in order to justify horrific acts of violence. We standin prayer, crying out together to a God of justice, peace andmercy. May God have mercy on us all."