Prayers for world peace, for use by parishes, congregations and individuals around Epiphany, are available on the Church of England's website: An Invitation to Prayer. This website was originally created to stimulate prayer following the tragic events of September 11. Epiphany, on January 6, celebrates the arrival of the wise men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. Dr David Hope, the Archbishop of York, has written to parishes saying "This is an appropriate season in which so to focus our prayer." The website address is www.invitationtoprayer.org and it received 26,500 page requests on its first day. So far it has received more than 140,000 page requests. This new initiative is set against the background of the breakdown of the peace process in the Holy Land and violence between Jews and Palestinians as well as the situation in Iraq. In recent debate, the House of Bishops "urged the British Government and the International Community to continue to pursue all available peaceful means towards resolving the crisis with Iraq." This November, the General Synod heard specific calls for prayers for peace this Epiphany and the eight prayers on the website are the result. There are short prayers....A better way "God of peace, overturn our warring; God of mercy, awaken our forgiveness; God of healing, guide us to a better way." [From Hasten the time: Prayers for mission. Pub. By USPG. Compiled by Christopher P Burkett. Use with permission] .....as well as longer ones. Prayers calling for help for "encouragers and reconcilers," and prayers for the peoples of Iraq which recognise "the scale of human suffering that war brings," More prayers will be added to the site during Epiphany. In a letter, the Archbishop of York says: "Advent, Christmas and Epiphany all provide us with poignant reminders of God's profound and deep love for his creation. Each season is pregnant with hope and the possibility of reconciliation, and the making of a new world, one in which God's justice and peace come "on earth as it is in heaven."
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