Praying in the new year: a televised week of prayer
CTE Presidents the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pastor Agu Irukwu are uniting with other Christian leaders for a week of prayer to see in 2021.
Taking place from 3-9 January 2021, this special televised week of prayer is aimed at church congregations at a time when it is more challenging to gather as normal.
The event called ‘Declaration,’ is being organised for the first time by Christian relief and development agency Tearfund, in partnership with Christian television channel TBN. It will highlight self-help groups and a range of work empowering people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
Traditionally, the night of ‘crossover’ from one year to the next is a significant time in the Black Majority Church calendar. Almost all churches would usually congregate together to bring the New Year in through prayer, worship, and celebration, often followed by a week of dedicated corporate prayer and fasting.
Declaration will feature the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Bishop John Francis, Pete Greig and other faith leaders taking part in prayer, workshops and discussions on key issues facing Christians in the UK and globally.
Addressing key issues: race and the Church
CTE Presidents the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pastor Agu Irukwu will also be involved in a televised discussion about race and the Church, joined by others including Karen Gibson of Kingdom Choir. In a video shared on Twitter, Pastor Agu describes the episode as “a wonderful conversation about the Church, its response to racism and racial discrimination, and where we go from here”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “This year, longstanding racial injustice has been brought again to our attention as a sin demanding our repentance and urgent action. I'm honoured to be supporting Declaration’s week of prayer, and I'm looking forward to a courageous discussion exploring how we as the Church can become more deeply transformed into a truly Jesus-shaped community.”
Pastor Agu Irukwu, CTE Pentecostal President and Senior Pastor at RCCG’s Jesus House added: “I'm looking forward to being part of a round table debate with the Archbishop and others to explore justice, race and healing. I hope all our communities join us for this week of prayer and begin the year renewed and reawakened.”
Prayer is powerful
Seth Pinnock, Head of African and Caribbean engagement at Tearfund said: “I can see no better way to start 2021 than by taking part in Declaration week to give your new year a head start. My hope is as people gather in their living rooms over the seven days, they'll have something of an upper room encounter, transformed by what they've experienced. Prayer is powerful, prayer changes things.”
A week of programmes
Tearfund is collaborating with Christian broadcaster TBN, the UK and Europe’s most prominent Christian broadcast platform, for seven one-hour programmes throughout the week, from 8-9pm.
Every day sees a different theme and prayer focus including ‘Justice and Restoration’, ‘Church and Community’, ‘Men’, ‘Women’ and ‘Youth’ with TV, Zoom, Youtube and Instagram being used as tools to engage various audiences throughout the day.
For more information visit www.tearfund.org/declaration2021