*** DEBUG END ***

Morning Prayer in Urumqi: Preparing petitions when praying for the world by David Goodacre

26 May 2023

It’s more than a global news round-up, says Duncan Dormor

TO SAVE you the time looking it up online: Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang, is in the far north-west of China, and is a city of Uighur people. The title highlights the central challenge: namely, how do we intercede for the wider world in a way that touches on the deeper spiritual issues and really connects to the lives of local communities?

This is a thoughtful and somewhat unusual book on intercessions. Stimulated by a survey, which demonstrated how parochial and limited much intercession is, this book focuses on the preparing of intercessions and how intercessors draw on their own experience and knowledge to shape prayers that can draw congregations into praying for the wider world.

The greater part of the book takes the form of 52 chapters with a vignette on a different part of the world (predominantly organised by countries or regions), preceded by a short summary, which seeks to locate the reader geographically, and a concluding, short intercessory prayer.

The vignettes, each three to four pages, are personal: they emerge from David Goodacre’s experience or knowledge of the area, which, in some cases, is quite limited. But that is almost exactly the point: he is placing himself in the position of the parish intercessor coming to the task of preparing prayers. His reflections, therefore, have a true-to-life, stream-of-consciousness feel to them, while also speaking into the larger themes of the divisions of peoples and nations, the threat of climate justice, and religious division.

This is not a go-to book for a hasty grab of prayers or templates before leading intercessions early on Sunday morning. Rather, it is for the more reflective and engaged intercessor, who will also take the time to read the two other elements of the book: an essay on the theology of intercessions, infused with a mix of scriptural reflection and contemporary references, and a short section on preparing petitions.

Both are worth a careful read and contain a mix of direct advice and points for reflection. In the former category is “Be brief,” for which many of us will be very grateful; in the latter are some helpful reflections, on, among other things, the limitations of “news-based” prayer, and why and how we should pray for leaders.

The Revd Dr Duncan Dormor is the General Secretary of the USPG.


Morning Prayer in Urumqi: Preparing petitions when praying for the world
David Goodacre
Sacristy Press £16.99
Church Times Bookshop £15.29

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)