To pray, to witness and to encourage others in faith
In calling the church to pray the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are reaffirming, for all Christians in all times and in all places, the priority of prayer for new disciples of Jesus, and encouraging many ways in which this prayer takes shape.
For the Task Group this is just the beginning of a process to encourage everyone in the Church, young and old, to consider how best to witness to the love of God in Christ amongst families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and to hold them before God in prayer.The call to prayer is not a one-off, but a call to a continuing openness, dependence upon, and imploring of God to work among us for the sake of others. Rather than launching a programme or a campaign, the Church is seeking to respond obediently afresh to the last words of Jesus, in both the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-30) and his charge to wait on the empowering presence of the Spirit (Acts 1:8).
The Church of England's vision is to motivate regular worshippers to pray, articulate and live out their faith seven days a week through six priorities which can be found on the Church of England website.
In 2013, all the Bishops of the North of England met with a group of young adults from across the Province of York to pray and take counsel together ‘towards the re-evangelisation of the north of England'.
It was wonderful to tread in the footsteps of St Aidan and St Cuthbert, who in their time told the people of the north the good news of Jesus Christ, rooting their proclamation in the practice of fervent prayer and praise.Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu
Praying for others to come to know Christ is a privilege and a joy – and loving our neighbours and making disciples of Jesus is exactly what we are called to do. At Pentecost we recall the wind and flame of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples, so let’s commit ourselves afresh to pray, for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and for boldness, simplicity, wisdom, and compassion in the proclamation of the Gospel.
Bishops and their teams from the northern half of The Church of England led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu have been sowing the seeds of the Gospel and encouraging people to learn more about the Christian faith. Northern Bishops Missions have taken place in Sheffield in 2015, Blackburn in 2016, Durham in 2017, Cumbria and Newcastle in 2018, and Liverpool in 2019. A mission to the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham is due to take place in September 2019 and to York Diocese in March 2020.