Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022


The week of Jan.18th-25th every year has been designated by many Christian churches as the ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’, when we pray along with Jesus in John 17, that we will be one, as the Father & He are one. 

The work of building unity between Catholics and other Christians can be a slow, long and hard process, because of the history of misunderstanding, suspicion and distrust.  Occasions for encouragement in this area can be few and far between, when disunity is so entrenched and formidable at times.  As Pope John Paul II said in his encyclical ‘That They May Be One’, “Christians cannot underestimate the burden of longstanding misgivings inherited from the past and of mutual misunderstandings and prejudices” (Ut Unim Sint 2).  We might even ask the question if such a unity is possible. 

It is important to acknowledge that the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-21 is beyond human energies & abilities.  And yet we hope for it on the basis of it being God’s expressed will for us in Jesus’ prayer and that nothing is impossible for God.  The basis for our hope is the prayer of Jesus for the Church, the love of the Father for us and in the power of the Holy Spirit active in us.  “And hope does not disappoint us because the love of God is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5).  Let us then continue to persevere in prayer for this unity, joining our brothers and sisters around the world during this week of prayer.

The material for this year’s week of prayer has been put together by the Middle East Council of Churches based in Beirut, Lebanon. They have chosen the theme: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). More than ever, in these difficult times, we need a light that shines in the darkness and that light, Christians proclaim, has been manifested in Jesus Christ.

A prayer booklet to guide you in your prayer during these days is available in downloadable pdf format here: Prayer Booklet. Check it out; then ask God about how he might want you to join in this time of prayer – either on your own or together with others who carry this vision in their hearts.

Explore More

What’s your understanding of the church?

The Bible uses various images to describe the church, to help us understand its many facets. When I came across this meme a few years back, it stayed with me, because it helped me better understand the church as a type of ‘spiritual gym’ which I am a part of, because it’s a space where I can receive God and other people’s help, to keep working on my many dysfunctions and become healthier over time. It also helps overcome false images of the church – like the understanding that it is an exclusive club for those who claim to be perfect or morally superior than others.

Growing in a Relationship of Mercy as couples

Through experiencing my wife’s love when I fail /least deserve it, has made me more grateful for our relationship, because it has taken away the fear of being punished /rejected for my failures. I also feel closer to her as a result. And it has helped me to become more merciful myself.

Witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection

The theme of ‘witnesses’ – people who’ve experienced something – speaks to something that is really distinctive to the Christian faith. Christianity is not a philosophy – though it can incorporate philosophy; it’s not primarily a mysticism – though it can incorporate mysticism; it’s not a religion that comes welling up out of natural experience – though it can accommodate that. Christianity is about something that happened; and there were witnesses of it. Without that, Christianity falls apart.