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International Day of Prayer for Peace

05 September 2005

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

For the second consecutive year, the World Council of Churches invites all its member churches and all church communities around the world to observe an International Day of Prayer for Peace on 21 September, 2005.

That day is the UN International Day of Peace, on which an ever-growing number of people world-wide are praying for peace and observing vigils in their communities. We believe that for Christians, it is appropriate to join the concern and desire of humanity for peace and nonviolence by applying their most consistent way of intervening in world affairs, that is, by prayer.

As Christians, we can join with one another in prayer even though we may not agree on many things concerning world affairs. Last year, when we launched the International Day of Prayer for Peace for the first time, we pointed out that Christian spirituality is not a call to retreat from social action and public life. As injustice and violence grow and intrude into many of our homes and communities, we have all the more reason to pray with and for one another and for our world. Authentic prayer is not only effective, it is beautiful. It shows us the beauty of peaceful community. Prayer increases our inclination to work together in peace and justice.

This year, in the context of the Decade to Overcome Violence (2001-2010): Churches seeking Reconciliation and Peace, Christian communities all over the world are invited to pray in particular for communities in Asia. The theme set by the Christian Conference of Asia is "Building Communities of Peace for All". That in itself is a prayer which commits us, includes fellow human beings, and expresses hope for the future.

Those wishing to join this invitation will find liturgical resources from Asia on the website of the Decade to Overcome Violence, and in the brochure circulated for the International Day of Prayer for Peace. Please also note the other resources related to 21 September, so as to enhance the coherence and depth of the occasion. We encourage you to be creative in your actions, and communicate your experiences to others by posting them on the website of the Decade to Overcome Violence.

In preparation for the World Council of Churches' Ninth Assembly, we join with you in the prayer "God, in your Grace, transform the world" and transform us in the depth of our hearts.

Yours sincerely, in the name of peace,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches