Phase 3 of Praying Our Way Forward Starts June 3

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Council of Bishops and The Upper Room ask members to pray and fast weekly as special session nears

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Council of Bishops, in partnership with The Upper Room, is launching Phase 3 of Praying Our Way Forward.

Phase 1 involved 84 members of the Council of Bishops praying for The United Methodist Church’s way forward for 15 minutes daily, from August to December 2016. In Phase 2, faithful members of annual conferences from around the globe participated in 18 continuous months of daily individual and corporate prayer.

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“Now we are ready to launch Phase 3, which begins June 3 and continues through the Special Session of General Conference in February. In this phase, we are encouraging every United Methodist to fast weekly and to pray daily with the Council of Bishops,” said Bishop Al Gwinn, the prayer team coordinator.

In Phase 3, all United Methodists are invited to:

  • Engage in a weekly Wesleyan 24-hour fast from Thursday after dinner to Friday midafternoon. Those whose health doesn’t allow them to fast from food might consider fasting from social media, emails or another daily activity.
  • Pause and pray for our church’s mission and way forward daily for four minutes from 2:23 through 2:26 (a.m. or p.m. in their own time zone) or at another time. This is because the Special Session of General Conference will be held Feb. 23-26, 2019.
  • Pray using a weekly prayer calendar that will be posted on from June 2 through the end of February. The calendar will list a unique cluster of names each week. The names will balance U.S. bishops and delegates with Central Conference bishops and delegates. It will also include general secretaries, Commission on a Way Forward members, the Commission of the General Conference and the staff of the General Conference.

Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, Council of Bishops Life Together chair, said, “We believe that the acts of weekly fasting and prayer will help us approach General Conference both individually and corporately in a posture of humility and receptivity to one another and to the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit,”


Published: Saturday, June 2, 2018