Churches unite in National Day of Prayer and Action for coronavirus pandemic

(Photo: Unsplash/Jamie Street)

The major denominations in the UK are uniting for a National Day of Prayer and Action on Sunday in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Christians across the country are being encouraged to light a candle in their front windows at 7pm as a symbol of solidarity.

The Baptist Union of Great Britain will be hosting a prayer broadcast at 7pm led by its General Secretary Lynn Green and Catriona Gorton, minister of Hillhead Baptist Church in Glasgow, to coincide with the day of prayer. 

Its first national prayer broadcast last week was joined by 2,300 people. 

The BUGB is asking people to mark the National Day of Prayer and Action by "praying that the light of Christ would be seen and experienced across the UK and around the world at this time".

The Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff is encouraging people to take part. 

"In our nation, we have seen astonishing answers to prayer at times of national crisis," she said.

"On 4th August 1918, the Queen's Grandfather, George V called for a National Day of Prayer, 100 days later the armistice was signed to end the First World War.

"On 22nd May 1940, George VI called for a National Day of Prayer, thousands queued round the block to pray in Westminster Abbey.

"Two events immediately followed. Firstly, a violent storm arose over the Dunkirk region grounding the Luftwaffe which had been killing thousands on the beaches.

"And then secondly, a great calm descended on the Channel, the like of which hadn't been seen for a generation, which allowed hundreds of tiny boats to sail across.

"They hoped to rescue 30,000 troops, instead they rescued 335,000. This was known as 'the miracle of Dunkirk'. We are asking for miracles again."

This prayer has been issued for use in conjunction with the day: 

For all that is good in life, thank you,

For the love of family and friends, thank you,

For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.

May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,

May those who are sick, know healing,

May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.

Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,

Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being, Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.

And may the light shining from our windows,

across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,

be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.