To my beloved Via family,
This week our Archbishop has called for a week of prayer and fasting for the dire situations we are facing in North America. Please read his letter and heed this call to prayer. Without doubt, our world is in a time of crisis and that crisis has grown more serious this past week. North America has already lost over 100,000 lives to covid. There are millions of people out of work. Our nation has been plunged into the most serious debt of all time. The death of George Floyd has taken racial tensions beyond the boiling point in the US. This is a time for the church to be at prayer. Let us pray that our nation will become open to God in a way we haven't seen. That where there has been hardness of hearts, God would bring about a softness. Where there is racial injustice, a whole new appreciation for each race, and a desire to assure equal treatment for all. That where there is hatred, that there will come love. Where there is anger, resolve. Where there is sickness, health. Where there is calamity, peace. Where there is distortion, truth. Where there is pain, healing. Where there is loss, restoration. These are turning points in the history of a nation. Please pray that our Lord would intervene and bring about the right kind of turning for Canada and the US.
Grace & Peace,
Dearest People of God in the Anglican Church in North America:
I write you with a tremendous heaviness in my spirit and soul as I observe and participate in what is happening today in the United States of America. If ever there is a time for the people of God to fall on our faces before God and plead for his mercy and intervention, now is the time. As believers, we are given the privilege of coming to the Throne of Grace with our petitions and requests, and he promises to hear us (1 John 5:14,15).
Consider what we have experienced in recent days and weeks:
- Another senseless killing by a police officer of an unarmed black man, George Floyd.
- Hundreds of thousands of people participating in peaceful protests.
- The unleashing of a spirit of lawlessness where rioting, violence, destruction of businesses and properties (mostly minority owned), unbridled theft, personal assaults on bystanders, store owners, the elderly, and police officers.
- Covid-19 closing whole countries down, reportedly killing over 100,000 people in the U.S., over 7,000 in Canada, and over 10,000 in Mexico, and creating an economic calamity with tens of millions of people unemployed across North America.
- Numerous businesses and churches have had to close down and many will not reopen.
- Incredible generosity of strangers helping strangers in the midst of calamity.
Sisters and brothers, I am asking you to join me in spending the next week in prayer and fasting for North America (Wednesday, June 3 – Wednesday, June 10). For those who can fast the whole week, a day, or a meal, I ask you set aside time to intercede on behalf of your community, state, and nation.
Pray in the Holy Spirit and as the Holy Spirit leads you, and as you do, consider these petitions:
- Show me my own sin; reveal to me the darkness of my own heart (Ps.139:24)
- Reveal to me the repentance I need in my own life.
- The ending of the lawlessness and violence.
- Justice for those who have had their lives taken from them, especially George Floyd, and comfort for their families.
- Comfort for the family and friends of the thousands of people who have lost their lives because of Covid-19.
- Help for the millions who find themselves suddenly without a job.
- Provision for all those business owners who have lost their business because of rioting, for those who have insurance and those who do not.
- Strength for the health care workers, nurses, doctors, technicians in hospitals and medical facilities who continue to work fearlessly to save lives.
- Wisdom for our government and civil leaders as they seek to keep us safe both from the virus and from the violence in our cities.
- Food and provision for those who are hungry and in need.
- Fresh anointing for the Church of Jesus Christ to faithfully proclaim the Gospel and reach people who are hurting, suffering, alone, and in need.
- Specific acts of grace and mercy that You want me to carry out in this time.
If you would like some specific prayers to help you pray, consider these from the Book of Common Prayer 2019 on pages 657-661:
#39 – For our Nation
#40 – For All Sorts and Conditions of Men
#41 – For Cities, Towns, and other Communities
#42 – For the Human Family
#43 – For Social Justice
#44 – In Times of Social Conflict or Distress
#45 – For Those Who Serve Others
#46 – For Commerce and Industry
#47 – For the Unemployed
#48 – For Agriculture and Farming
#49 – For Schools, Colleges, and Universities
#50 – For the Medical Professions
#51 – For Those Who Inform Public Opinion
Jesus said: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Luke 11:9,10)
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America