Pope: Pray with me for humanity’s challenges

Pope Francis appeals directly for us all to join him in prayer
Pope Francis appeals directly for us all to join him in prayer

The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network has launched ‘the Pope Video’ through which Pope Francis invites men and women of the world to unite in prayer for his intentions related to the challenges facing humanity. This global multi-media initiative builds on the network that has grown as the Apostleship of Prayer since 1844; its first statutes were approved by Pius IX in 1879 and its promotion was entrusted to the Jesuits as an ecclesial ministry of the Church throughout the world. Since 1929, the Holy Father has also given a specific mission intention to the faithful for their prayerful attention. In 1985, Pope John Paul II described the Apostleship of Prayer as "a precious treasure from the Pope's heart and the Heart of Christ."

A different video will be available every month, in which the Pope will focus on a particular theme for prayer. In its first edition in January, the Pope Video focuses on inter-religious dialogue. Fr Frédéric Fornos SJ, Managing Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, says: "In a world where everything pushes towards fragmentation, opposition, and division, it is more necessary than ever that members of different religions and all  peace-loving people mobilise in common cause.  Pope Francis proposes a monthly challenge that concerns humanity worldwide. Religions must show that they can act together for peace, brotherhood and solidarity to address the common challenges facing humanity.”

The Pope’s own concerns

Father David Stewart SJ who is the Director of the Pope’s Prayer Network for the Jesuits in Britain says that early in the morning is a good time to allow the Spirit to take us to a place of interior silence in which we become aware that God is looking at us, smiling. “Spend a few moments soon after waking up to make the Morning Offering of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network,” he says, “uniting your prayer to the Pope’s and that of Christians all round the world. Before logging on to your email or social media messages, make a point of going to the new video channel to hear Pope Francis himself presenting his concerns for our prayers this month. Make an offering of your day … Offer each new day to the Lord, offering yourself for the service of His mission in the world and uniting your prayer, with Apostles of Prayer everywhere, to the Holy Father’s intentions.” To order materials to accompany your daily prayer, please email Fr Stewart.

The Pope Video is one of the projects scheduled in 2016 to raise awareness among people of good will of all religious traditions of the issues that affect all of humanity.  Visitors can interact with the community engaged in this initiative via its Facebook page, thereby reaching 30 million people in 10 languages.