Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Proclaiming God’s acts with a Latvian focus

Old downtown of Latvia at dusk

This year, Christians will turn to Latvia for daily inspiration during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Photo by Michael, courtesy of Flickr

Beginning MONDAY, JANUARY 18: The world’s more than 2 billion Christians are urged to participate in this eight-day observance that is more than a century old—the international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Between the Feast of the Confession of Peter and the octave of Sts. Peter and Paul, a concept that inspired Father Paul Wattson in 1908 has become a worldwide observance that unites Christians annually. Turning to a new region and theme each year, 2016 biblical resources were provided by the diverse Christian churches of Latvia (access the 2016 Week of Prayer Twitter wall, here); the theme selected, which draws from the First Letter of Peter, is “Called to Proclaim the Mighty Acts of the Lord.”

Note: In the Southern Hemisphere, where January is typically a time for vacations, churches may celebrate the Week of Prayer at a different time, such as around Pentecost.

Looking for 2016 Week of Prayer resources? Access materials here.

Today, Latvia is a crossroads of Christian faiths: No one Christian denomination is dominant, which makes it a prime example of the Week of Prayer’s intent, to unite all Christians. In Latvia, Roman Catholics, Protestants and those of the Orthodox tradition coexist in a fraternal manner, with congregation leaders meeting  regularly and several denominations joining for the celebration of significant remembrance days and holidays. Each day of the 2016 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has materials prepared by a different group of representatives from Latvia.

BIBLE APP: BRINGING THE WEEK OF PRAYER TO 200 MILLION+

This year, the enormously popular YouVersion Bible app will feature materials for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, providing a personalized version of the daily inspirations. Currently, more than 200 million smart phones, computers, tablets and other devices have the Bible app installed, consisting of more than 1,200 Bible versions in over 800 languages. (Christianity Today reported on the Bible app.) A collaboration between the World Council of Churches and the developer of the YouVersion Bible app have translated the 2016 Week of Prayer material into a shareable, free format.

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