The ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’ takes place each year from the 18th to 25th January. It is an opportunity for Christians from local churches to come together in prayer.
Horsham Churches Together will be celebrating the week with a series of events Join us if you are able.
– Thursday 18th: Brighton Road Baptist Church (7.30pm)
– Friday 19th: Prayer Walk – Horsham Town Centre (meet at 12 noon, Carfax Bandstand) As part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, there will be the opportunity to take part in self-guided prayer walks around the Horsham town centre. Rev Pete Dibdin, Life Community Baptist Church, will be at the steps of the Carfax bandstand between 12:00pm and 12:20pm with printed prayer walk guides, you can get more information and download a print and mobile versions of the Guide. HERE
Each year ecumenical partners in a different region are asked to prepare the materials. In 2024, the churches of Burkina Faso are inviting us to join with them in a process of self-reflection as they consider what it means to love our neighbour in the midst of a security crisis. Using the parable of the Good Samaritan the reflections explore how we find our common identity in the experience of God’s love. As well as the need to place love at the centre of the quest for peace and reconciliation.
Since the unprecedented incursion of Hamas fighters into Israel on 7th October, the reports and pictures of violence and bloodshed in Israel and Gaza have been horrific and devastating. The ongoing violence in the region leaves us feeling overwhelmed by the impact on neighbourhoods, communities and people. In the face of continuing violence and an unfolding humanitarian disaster we feel stunned and helpless. Events have been rolling out of control.
Nearly two months on (25th November), as a hesitant and hard won moment of ‘truce’ brings the first glimmer of hope, we are praying for release of all hostages and for lasting and just peace for all peoples in the region.
Lord, have mercy.
For statements by Churches Together in England, click here
A prayer for the Middle East
O God of all
Of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, and Ishmael:
Our hearts are broken in pieces at the suffering and murder of your people.
Our voices cry for peace and for justice.
Comfort those who grieve,
Console and heal the injured,
Be close to those in fear,
Restrain with your mighty hand those who perpetrate violence.
Send us your wisdom in all that we say and do,
That our voice may always seek justice, peace and security for all.
Revd Peter Colwell, Deputy General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
We are working with Mark Francis and our friends at Horsham Eco-Churches to host a Service of Lament at the United Reformed Church in Springfield Road on Wednesday 15th November 2023. This will be a 30 minute reflective service giving us time to lament the impacts of the climate emergency both in the Global South and closer to home. Doors open at 6.45 for a 7pm start.
This has been a devastating few days in North Africa. A massive earthquake has rocked the city of Marrakesh and the surrounding towns and villages in Morocco, leaving thousands dead, injured, and homeless. There is a lack of search and rescue capability, but there are huge challenges in providing international support and humanitarian aid. In the same week there have been massive and destructive floods in the wake of Storm Daniel, leaving tens of thousands of people missing and over 100,000 homeless in Libya.
Please pray for Morocco and Libya, especially for access for international support teams to help in search and rescue, and for the provision, acceptance and proper distribution of aid at a time of massive need.
As at 6pm on 12th September, the UK Disaster Emergency Committee are continuing to review their ability to initiate a disaster fundraising campaign for the North African disasters. Member charities , Action Aid , UNICEF and the Red Cross UK are now accepting donations to support their relief activities in Morocco.
From Sarah and Graham White at St Mary’s…
‘For many years we took people – young and older – to Amizmiz, a small town in the Atlas Mountains which is very near the epicentre of the Moroccan earthquake. Scenes there are devastating. Houses are unsafe. Many have died. A village we often prayed round nearby is flattened. The Centre where we stayed is unsafe but the garden is being used to distribute blankets, food, water and dressings for the injured. Over 100 people from Horsham, from several local churches, have spent time praying and serving in the villages in and around Amizmiz, near the epicentre of the earthquake. A fund has now been set up which will directly benefit these villages. The Donorbox link is https://donorbox.org/morocco-earthquake-relief-fund
A Prayer for the people of Morocco from 24/7 Prayer Team in response to the recent earthquake
Heavenly Father, We lift our hearts in prayer for Morocco, shaken by Friday’s earthquake. Hear the cries of the grieving. Comfort those in that place. Guide the rescue teams to survivors. Heal the injured. Strengthen your Church. Aid the nation’s recovery efforts. Give wisdom to political leaders. Swiftly bring aid.
Lord, let your kingdom come, Amen.
A prayer for the people of Libya from Christian Aid following the impact of Storm David which has brought devastation and flooding.
Compassionate God, source of all comfort, we pray for the people whose lives have devastated by rain and flood. Bring them comfort, we pray. Be close to those who mourn. Protect the vulnerable. Strengthen the weak. Keep at bay the spread of disease. Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry. And may our response to their suffering be generous and bring you praise. For we ask it in Jesus name.
2nd July 2023, as Horsham Churches Together, people came from the Horsham District to gather for our second in a series of Prayer and Worship events, at Kingdom Faith Horsham.
A word was brought that it was like the Redwood trees, giants of the forest. These trees often grow to well over 300 feet and many can be found standing strong at 20 feet or more in diameter. However, unlike most other smaller trees, the Redwoods have shallow but widespread root systems, intertwining with the roots of other Redwoods. This increases their stability and survival during strong winds and floods. The trees grow in close proximity to each other so they can share nutrients and physically support each other. A reminder that there is power in connection and in community with one another and the importance that we need one another as we move forward as Horsham Churches Together.
A word with another underground natural phenomenon was given, an aquifer – an underground mass of rock, containing water that can be extracted. Each church in Horsham Churches Together is like a well. Each well goes down to the water in the aquifer. Jesus is that living water. As we come together to worship there is a flow of this living water that comes together like a river that God wants to flow out into the town and surrounding villages an area to bring salvation and healing into many people’s lives.
The Bible, God’s word, often communicates using story and metaphor as a way of explaining spiritual truths in human terms. One such metaphor is that Jesus is the ‘Rock of Salvation’ who gives us ‘Living Water’. Many times in the Bible, Jesus is represented as a ‘Rock’ and stability. In the New Testament, Jesus Himself speaks of ‘Living Water’, the Source of Life, not just as natural drinking water, but also as a symbol, spiritually for salvation (for the Holy Spirit). “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink…” John 7:37. Jesus contrasted our natural need for water with our spiritual thirst. Everyone gets thirsty naturally and there will be a spiritual thirst within us as well for reality, truth and purpose that is found only in Jesus.
The church, as the body of Christ, are ‘water carriers’ for this ‘Living Water’, found in Jesus. Our continued prayers are for the Horsham District to come to Jesus and be satisfied in Him the ‘Living Water’.
Holy God, creator of all there is,
You make all people in your image, each person unique, each life sacred.
In Jesus you reveal yourself taking sanctuary on earth, fleeing with family as a child into exile and sanctuary, enduring false testimony and persecution.
We hold before you all who are deprived of their homes and run for sanctuary, many travelling by unsafe vessels on unsafe routes.
We hold before you the anguish and cries of those in danger, those who drown, in the seas, remembering especially those who even as we pray now are lost in the Mediterranean Sea.
Be the shelter of their souls.
Bless all agencies of rescue and their efforts to save lives.
We pray for an end to the storms of war, poverty, extreme weather and cruelty in policies.
We pray for compassion and peace, so that people may live in their homes and not be afraid.
Strengthen us all to work together to build cultures of welcome, hospitality and safety especially for all who are seeking the sanctuary in human friendship.
In the Name of Christ.
Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal, OBE (Theologian and Methodist Minister), 15 June 2023