A Prayer for Inter Faith Week
Creator God, we thank you for the amazing diversity of your creation.
So much life, expressed in different forms, living in a huge variety of ways.
We thank you that this diversity is expressed in human life, people all made in your image, yet living, believing and hoping in different ways.
Many gather together, expressing shared beliefs, as part of faith communities.
We give thanks for our Baptist churches as gathered communities of people of Christian faith witnessing to the way of Jesus Christ.
In the richness of your creative diversity, we give thanks for faith communities who gather together to express shared beliefs that may be both similar and different to our own.
We confess that this diversity sometimes makes us feel uncomfortable, unsure and reluctant to meet with people of other faiths.
In inter faith week, help us to be Christ-like in meeting those of other faith with openness, warmth, welcome and affirmation.
Help us to have conversations that balance listening and speaking, that enable both involved to grow in understanding and which lay, or build on, foundations of trust.
If we have the opportunity to work alongside people of other faiths, help us to take it, for when we work alongside others, we come to know them.
Help us to be Christ-like, not only in what we say, but also in what we do.
When we have the opportunity to witness to Christ, give us his grace to do so and to allow people to choose what their response will be.
When we witness to Christ, give us the grace to listen to others witness to their faith.
We pray for people of all faiths and none who have fled from their homes because of war and violent conflict.
We pray for those who have left their own country and who seek refuge and safety in other countries.
We pray for families who are homeless, or living in temporary camps. We pray for the nations who enjoy peace and security that their governments and people may respond with compassion, generousity and wisdom.
In our listening, speaking and activities with people of other faiths, may we discover the joy and encouragement of similar approaches, understandings and practices and be ready, recognising great diversity, to accept that we may not agree, but we can be friends.
So help us to follow Christ, stepping out to meet people of other faiths and beliefs this Interfaith Week, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Andy Williams, Moderator, Baptist Inter Faith Working Group