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Considering the recent devastating events taking place in the conflict between Hamas and Israel, an alarming rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia across our nation, as well as the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, it is crucial that we come together as a global community to acknowledge the suffering and loss experienced by those caught in the crossfire. Our hearts ache for those affected by the conflict in Israel and Palestine, as the violence has caused immense human suffering, the taking of hostages, and the restriction of vital resources such as water, electricity, and fuel, creating a dire situation. We also grieve for the trauma and senseless loss of life caused by another mass shooting.

It is in these moments that we, as believers and faith leaders, must unite and turn to prayer as a powerful instrument for peace. As the saying goes, “Our silence is not an option,” and it is equally true that engaging in spiritual disciplines such as prayer, without action, is an incomplete expression of faith. Our faith calls us to express our convictions through both prayer and tangible efforts to promote peace, justice, and reconciliation.

Therefore, we urge individuals, communions, congregations, and communities across the globe to join us in a focused week of collective prayer beginning Monday, October 30, 2023, through Sunday, November 5, 2023. Throughout the week, whenever people are gathered for Bible Study, mid-week service, prayer service, outreach ministries, rehearsals, or for other meetings or events, we ask that they pray collectively and individually for peace on earth. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, at noon (ET), NCC will host a virtual prayer service for faith leaders and others to join in prayer. Please use this link to register for the call. We ask those not able to be on the call to join us in prayer wherever they are at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

“Let us humbly approach the throne room of God with faith, so that we will be co-creators with God to bring about healing, justice, and peace. May our prayers transcend geopolitical boundaries and touch the hearts and minds of those involved in the conflict, stirring within them a desire to work for new pathways of understanding,” said Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, NCC’s President and General Secretary. “While we are deeply concerned about what’s going on in the Middle East, we also want to pray for an end to the pervasive gun violence wreaking havoc in communities across the country.”

It is our hope that this week of focused prayer will fuel our resolve to stand against injustice, violence, and their devastating impact on innocent lives. Together let us stand firm in prayer, guided by the belief in a just God who hears our cries and empowers us to make a difference in the lives of others.

May our collective prayers pave the way for reconciliation, healing, and the establishment of lasting peace in the Middle East and other parts of the world, as well as in communities across our nation.