Bishop Ward invites readers/viewers to pray for their communities as they pray for other situations around the world, as we claim John Wesley’s declaration, “The world is my parish” for ourselves.
We give thanks that, as we read and hear the news each day, that we are encouraged. Pray for people who are in any sort of trouble, whether it be school girls in Nigeria, villages in Sudan, the people in Iraq, townspeople in Nebraska impacted by a recent tornado. Wherever there is concern in the world, God’s people are called to be joined together in prayer.
At Annual Conference last month, we celebrated a prayer baton which began in the Beacon district, moved then to the Sound district, on to Harbor, across to Gateway, up through Fairway, to Corridor, to Heritage, and finally to Capital. The prayer baton was held by the district superintendent on the courthouse steps of every county in eastern North Carolina. And on those courthouse steps in every county in eastern North Carolina, United Methodists gathered to pray for their communities, for their county. Let us continue to pray for the places where we live, for our neighbors, for our families, for those in need close by. And let our prayers always be expansive for the whole world.
John Wesley said, “The world is my parish.” He said this in the context of being invited by the bishop to leave Bristol because his preaching was causing too much turmoil and pushback. John Wesley said, “I do consider the world as my parish” in response to the bishop’s invitation to leave.
But then he said, “God has given me this work to do in this place, and I will be faithful to it.” So we United Methodist people have concern for all the world Christ came to save, and are planted in a particular place. May our prayers reflect both that planting and the expansive love of God for all the world. May Christ be with you as you pray this day.