Prayer for the Olympics

The Church of England has released a prayer for those preparing for the 2012 Games.

It asks God to be with the athletes, their supporters and families, and the thousands of churches preparing events in their communities in the run-up to and during the Olympics.

With just 400 days to go until the Games begin, the prayer has been read out on a new podcast by British 400m Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu MBE.

The Rev Duncan Green, the Church of England's Executive Olympics Coordinator, said: "More than Gold are resourcing and equipping the Church to respond to the tremendous mission and outreach opportunities afforded by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"It has been wonderful to see so many attend the More Than Gold training conferences and leave excited and enthused by what they have heard. This prayer will encourage churches and all those preparing for the 2012 Games."

The Church of England is a member of the More than Gold ecumenical initiative coordinating the Olympic-related outreach of churches and ministries across the UK.

Many of the 16,000 Church of England churches are planning events to coincide with the Games.

They include St Barnabas at Bexhill-on-Sea, which is putting up a big screen for the opening ceremony.

The Diocese of Oxford has appointed an Olympics chaplain, the Rev Janet Binns, and set up a dedicated Olympics website (

It is encouraging churches to connect with people through community events, hospitality and service, particularly at the rowing Olympics venue at Eton Dorney.

In Weymouth and Portland, churches will be launching their Olympics outreach with a themed festival in Portland in August.

During the Games, they will be offering foot massages and drinks in Bedouin tents along the beach. There will also be big stage events, bands, and clubs for children.

The Church of England's Olympics prayer has been composed by the Rev Christopher Woods, the Church of England's National Worship Development Officer.

It is available in full below.

A prayer in preparation for the 2012 Games
Eternal God,
Giver of joy and source of all strength,
we pray for those
who prepare for the London Olympic and Paralympic games.
For the competitors training for the Games and their loved ones,
For the many thousands who will support them,
And for the Churches and others who are organising special events and who will welcome many people from many nations.
In a world where many are rejected and abused,
we pray for a spirit
of tolerance and acceptance, of humility and respect
and for the health and safety of all.
May we at the last be led towards the love of Christ who is more than gold, today and forever. Amen