Preparing for Minnesota's 24-hour prayer vigil

March 21, 2016

Praying for General Conference 2016

Each day this year, a different annual conference from around the world has been praying for delegates, for the process, and for the wisdom and love of God to prevail when the denomination gathers in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20 for The United Methodist Church General Conference.

On Wednesday, March 23, Minnesota United Methodists will come together for a 24-hour prayer vigil. There's still time to sign up for a 15-minute prayer slot if you haven't already done so. Churches, groups, and individuals are all invited to participate in the Minnesota prayer vigil.

Thoughts from Bishop Ough: Them and us

Like many previous General Conferences, the 2016 conference will be confronted with several difficult and divisive issues. The United Methodist Church is fraught with many “them-and-us” controversies—controversies over whom we will include or exclude, issues over biblical authority and biblical obedience, tensions over how we witness to a broken world, struggles over how to create an authentic global church, disagreements over how and who will lead the Church. “I believe God is calling all of us, and particularly those we have elected to represent us at General Conference, to listen, deeply listen—not to the voices of self-interest and power politics, but to what the Holy Spirit is speaking deep within each of us,” says Bishop Ough.  Read article

How to participate in Wednesday's prayer vigil

  • Check the Minnesota Conference's Facebook page and Twitter page often throughout the day. Every hour all day long, we'll share a prayer written by a clergy or lay person from one of our churches. Take a moment to pray the prayers as you read them, and if one really speaks to you, share it with others. 
  • Print off this wallet-sized prayer card, keep it with you, and let it remind you to pray throughout the day.
  • Make General Conference part of meal-time prayers. This allows us to be in unity with one another as we give thanks for the food that sustains us and invite God to guide the leaders who will gather in Portland for General Conference.
  • Read and pray over Psalm 133.
  • Place reminders in car, home, and work space that encourage “prayer without ceasing.”

Here are some ways to focus. Pray for:

  • Safe travel for the delegates and visitors to Portland, Oregon
  • Health, energy, and safety of all who gather
  • Clear discernment and wisdom of God’s guiding
  • Kindness and grace with which all should be treated
  • Staff of the convention center who will serve the conference
  • People of Portland as the United Methodists who gather become a living testimony of the grace and love of God
  • Bishops who will preside over the gathering
  • Translators, volunteers, and agency staff who attend to details
  • International delegates and guests who will be present in unfamiliar cultural settings
  • Leaders of the worship services

In your time of prayer, be sure to allow for some silence so that you might be open to hearing and receiving what God speaks to your heart and mind.

Thank you for joining us in prayer on Wednesday.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058