Coronavirus: A Call to Pray

A Call to Pray Ireland’ unites church leaders and churches across Ireland to pray for all those impacted by the coronavirus. This Sunday, 5th April 2020, Christians across the island of Ireland are joining together in prayer from 3-4pm.

The leaders of Ireland’s main Churches, together with other denominations and Christian organisations, issued a call to pray, which will take place on Palm Sunday, 5 April from 3pm-4pm.

Lockdown means we can no longer gather and ‘be church’ in the normal way. However, as the church scattered, Christians are living out the Gospel as agents of God’s mercy and compassion through the sacrifices we make to protect the vulnerable. We are also re-imagining ways to be good samaritans and loving neighbours whilst maintaining social distancing. In that context we are asking people to unite in a moment of prayer.

Peter Lynas, UK director of the Evangelical Alliance commented,

“We are urging churches and individuals to mark this hour, on Palm Sunday 5 April from 3pm-4pm, in whatever way they can. Some suggested resources are available at www.reimaginingfaith.com and we are encouraging people to use #ACallToPrayIreland or #ACTPI. We believe this is a moment for the church to be united to calling out to God. We are encouraging everyone to join us, even if you haven’t prayed before.”

“We are praying for those with the virus and those who have been bereaved. We are praying for the healthcare professionals on the frontline and all those delivering essential services. There are prayers for those who are employed, unemployed, and under-employed recognising the huge economic impact of the virus. There are also prayers for civic and political leaders who are faced with impossible choices.”

“This is a very difficult time for our island and for our world. In the face of tragedy we need to create space to lament, something woven deeply into the fabric of the biblical text. We are called, as the church scattered throughout our communities, to be a non-anxious presence in a world of palpable fear. Finally, we are to be beacons of hope, particularly in this Easter season – not necessarily to explain the trouble but to provide reassurance within it. That is our united prayer in this moment.

One of the organisers, Jasper Rutherford said,

“The simple call behind this initiative is to get as many people as possible across the island of Ireland to pray together, at the same time, during this moment of great need. We would like to encourage everyone who is able to kneel down in an act of humility during the last 10 minutes. We want the heart and climax of this prayer time to be when we all kneel, in our homes, at 3.50pm.”

The Presbyterian moderator, Rt Rev Dr William Henry has commented,

“The challenges faced by our world are without parallel in living memory, and the effect upon our society is stark. No one is untouched by the impact of this virus. I ask you to share this Call to Prayer so that across Ireland we are united in prayer in that hour.”

Though we cannot meet as the gathered Church, we will end the hour united in prayer, asking for God’s healing touch on our land and its people. All are invited to pray, regardless of where they are in their own journey of faith, even if they have never prayed before. At this critical moment we will bring this land and our world before our loving God in prayer remembering that, “We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy” (Daniel 9:18).

Further resources are available at:

www.reimaginingfaith.com/blog/a-call-to-pray-ireland/2020/4

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