When delegates to General Conference 2016 meet in Portland, Oregon, this May, they will know that United Methodists around the world have joined together in an unprecedented concert of prayer, seeking God’s will for their decisions. The Upper Room, by invitation from the General Conference worship team and the Council of Bishops, has created resources for the prayer movement, including a daily prayer book, prayer vigil guides, and a supporting web site with prayer wall.
“I’m personally convinced that the one thing every United Methodist can do to influence the outcome of General Conference is to pray,” said Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of The Upper Room Chapel. “When we pray, we can be convinced that God will hear and respond.”
Rev. Albin, along with Rev. Dr. Denise McGuiness, Executive Director of Living Tree Counseling Services in Vancouver, Washington, are co-chairs of the General Conference Prayer Team. The team’s desire is to encourage United Methodists to pray for God’s will, to be done in God’s way, and in God’s time, regardless of the issues.
The Prayer Team invites you to participate in the following ways:
- 60 Days of Prayer. This daily prayer book starts March 31 and goes through May 29, which are the 40 days prior to General Conference, the 11 days in session, and the nine days following the event as we live into the priorities established. By using the prayer guide, United Methodists will connect through the same scripture, meditation, and prayer for each day. 60 Days of Prayer is available free as a PDF download, a daily email service, or at the web site. It’s also available free on the General Conference app. A print copy of the book and e-book formats in English are available at a cost here.
Guidelines for using 60 Days of Prayer with your Sunday school class, small group, or family are available here.
- 131 Days Prayer Vigil. Initiated by the Council of Bishops, each annual and central conference has been invited to host a 24-hour prayer vigil on a specific date. To see the prayer vigil calendar and find resources to use during a prayer vigil, go here.
- Prayer Room. Located in Ballroom 204 at the General Conference venue in Portland, this room will be a sacred place of beauty, peace, and prayer. Open to all – delegates and guests – to visit and engage with a series of multi-sensory prayer experiences. Spiritual directors and trained volunteers will also be available for holy listening and intercessory prayer. Volunteers can apply here.
- Protestant Prayer Bead Strands. Prayer beads are a wonderful tool to help us stay focused while praying for our church and its leaders. Kristen Vincent, a United Methodist and author of A Bead and A Prayer, offers instructions on how to make a prayer bead strand using the General Conference medallion and how to use beads in prayer. Make a set to send to delegates as a physical reminder that they are supported in prayer or make one for yourself to use in prayer. To learn more and to order, visit here.
- Prayer Trainings. Host a prayer event in your church or annual conference. During this time, you can conduct a prayer vigil, use the prayer book, create a strand of prayer beads, and learn more about this expanding prayer network. For more information, contact Tom Albin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Prayer Wall. There are many ways to love our neighbor, but intercessory prayer—praying on behalf of other people—is surely one of the most powerful. At the online prayer wall, you can post concerns and needs or respond to others who have posted and shared their specific requests.
We are delighted to help you engage in prayer for the global family of the United Methodist Church. Pray fervently and intentionally. May the peace of grace of Christ be with us all during this season of General Conference.