Praying Our Way Forward Phase 2 Commences January 1

December 20, 2016

Nashville, Tenn.:  The second phase of the 'Praying Our Way Forward' initiative will be launched New Year’s Day with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. The effort will begin January 1 in the North Carolina Conference, and wrap up in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018. "The aim of 'Praying Our Way Forward' is to ask and listen for God’s leadership at this critical time in the life of our church,” said Bishop Al Gwinn, who co-chairs the initiative. Co-chair Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett adds, “In addition to participating in a designated week of prayer, individuals are invited to join the initiative by praying daily and fasting weekly for our church, mission and future.” “Praying Our Way Forward” was created by the Council of Bishops as a part of their larger commitment to “lead the church in every part of the world in times of worship, study, discernment, confession and prayer for God’s guidance.” To achieve this mission, they invited The Upper Room to help engage every annual conference around the world. United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and United Methodist Communications have recently joined the partnership. Each annual conference will take one week to have intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward, which begins meeting in January. United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men will encourage their constituencies to pray throughout phase two, and especially during their annual conference sponsored week. Resident bishops are invited to reach out to UMW and UMM leaders in their areas to involve them in developing plans for the “Conference Week of Prayer.” The Upper Room has developed, a website where spiritual leaders and intercessors can share prayers, information and resources. The site has prayer resources for individuals, families, small groups, districts, and annual conference events, as well as promotional ideas and information about the Commission members and the weekly prayer schedule. There is also a place for the bishop of the annual conference scheduled to pray during the coming week to share a prayer. This year, 5,000 people joined the website, formerly, to connect intercessors around the world to pray for the work of the 2016 General Conference. The group has continued to pray together and remains a valuable spiritual support network of The United Methodist Church. During phase 1 of the new initiative, 84 bishops of the church spent 15 minutes each day for four months in prayer for the selection and initial work of the Commission on A Way Forward. For more information, visit