Eight Days of Bible Readings, Reflection, and Prayer
for the 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18th to 25th
The daily themes, scripture readings, reflections, and prayers were prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches (USA) and the international Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU) Writing Team. The introduction and discussion questions were prepared by the Canadian WPCU Writing and Animation Team. The daily themes and scripture for each day are presented below.
The document with the reflections and prayers can be downloaded here. This is just one of the resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Others, including hymn suggestions, can be found on this website.
How we read, hear, and interpret the Bible is affected by the context of our own lives and communities.
The daily reflections for the 2023 WPCU Eight Days of Prayer were prepared by the Minnesota Council of Churches. The themes for each day should be familiar to everyone who lives in Canada. The issues facing the churches in the United States affect us because of their proximity to our borders and as they relate to our present situation in Canada.
As Canadians we have been struggling with our past, especially in relation to the Indigenous peoples of this country. We are seeking a way forward as we reflect on the 94 Calls to Action from the TRC (the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada) hearings, which ended in 2015. We are asking ourselves how best to implement the UNDRIP (the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) principles, officially passed into law by Canada in June 2021. We as a people are haunted by the Residential Schools legacy and by the horrors examined by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which gave its final report on June 3, 2019.
We are no strangers to the issues highlighted in the 2023 WPCU Eight Days of Prayer reflections!
Although Canadians often speak of building a diverse, inclusive, and just society, we know that racism is deeply imbedded in our society and that we have seen great violence against people of colour and against ethnic and religious minorities.
As we undertake these Bible Studies, let us bring the honest questions and reflections that come when the light of the gospel illuminates the truth of both our past and our present. As we seek greater unity, may it be in service to the love and justice God has revealed in Jesus.
2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
“Do good; seek justice” (Isaiah 1: 17)
BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS FOR THE EIGHT DAYS
Learning to do the right thing
Isaiah 1: 12-18 Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan;
. plead for the widow.
Luke 10: 25-36 He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”
When justice is done . . .
Proverbs 21: 13-15 When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers.
Matthew 23: 23-25 Justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done.
Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly
Micah 6: 6-8 And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,
. and to walk humbly with your God?
Mark 10: 17-31 Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
Look, the tears of the oppressed
Ecclesiastes 4: 1-5 Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the
. tears of the oppressed – with no one to comfort them! On the side of their
. oppressors there was power with no one to comfort them.
Matthew 5: 1-8 … Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted …
Singing the Lord’s song as strangers in the land
Psalm 137: 1-4 For there our captors asked us for songs, and our tormentors asked us for
. mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
Luke 23: 27-31 Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and
. for your children.
Just as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.
Ezekiel 34: 15-20 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the
. injured, and I will strengthen the weak.
Matthew 25: 31-40 I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members
. of my family, you did it to me.
‘What is now does not have to be’
Job 5: 11-16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.
Luke 1: 46-55 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.
The justice that restores communion
Psalm 82: 1-4 Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the
Luke 18: 1-8 Will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night?