How has your relation to other Christian communities been changed by praying together?
I have always believed in prayer, and oriented from my childhood through the faith of my parents to believe that prayer changes everything and transforms us into better humans. Prayer being the common factor for all Christian communities, it has helped me change, grow and alter my own perceptions to be able to rise above the differences that exist among the other Christian communities, and align myself with what is most essential, and the foundation of our Christian life. That foundation is faith in the Lord Jesus, reflecting on the word of God, and together following the commandments of Jesus, not only to love one another but also to go out and be the good news in continuing in the mission of Jesus.
The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021 was: “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit.” How do you experience being rooted in Christ’s love – alongside Christians from other traditions? Which fruits have you seen grow?
Being rooted in Christ’s love for me is to have Christ-like qualities of learning to love without conditions, forgiving and letting go, opening myself to the word of God, and allowing it to transform me and walk an extra mile to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
The fruits that I see are that of tolerance, respect, coming together with vision and mission, and the willingness to keep aside differences and focus on what is essential – to empower the weak, seek the lost, and include all irrespective of denomination, breaking all boundaries that hinder us and extend ourselves in fulfilling the mission of Christ.
What are your plans or hopes for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022?
We envisage staying connected virtually and coming together for praise and worship, listening to God’s word and praying for the world to heal; doing our bit in making a difference in whatever small ways we can, in the given context of pandemic and lockdown. We have a Religious Emphasis Committee at our YWCA of Secunderabad that would plan for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and ensure that we are relevant and inclusive in our approach.
Interview with Benoît and Denise Lokila, of the Cana Fraternity in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Sailing on a wave of prayer, by Sister Marlieke, Grandchamp Community
Still together as one, by Rev. James Loughran, SA, Franciscan Friars of the Atonement
Week of Prayer brings fruits of the Spirit despite COVID-19, by Dianet de la C. Martínez Valdés, Student Christian Movement of Cuba