World Day of Prayer is a global, ecumenical movement of Christian women joined together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday of March. Our motto of Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action signifies that prayer and action are inseparable.World Day of Prayer International Committee
While the language used in the annual liturgy is not always inclusive, there is a commitment to including children and the attempt to interlink on a global level is inspiring. The annual service booklets can serve as resources for global worship materials.
Each year the women of a different country chose a theme. They then write the liturgy and choose the music to highlight the joys and struggles of their land.
Theme 2017 “Am I Being Unfair to You?” The liturgy has been prepared by women in the Philippines. This year’s theme arose from a conversation about Matthew 20:1-16 in which Jesus sees no wrongdoing in giving generously, while the workers who feel entitled to receive more, strongly complain. A traditional cultural practice of communal labour and benefit, known as dagyaw, is introduced in the program. The theme artwork (pictured above) entitled “A Glimpse of the Philippine Situation was painted by Rowena “Apol” Laxamana-Sta.Rosa of Cavite, Philippines.
- 2016 Theme: the women of Cuba prepared material on the theme “Receive Children. Receive me.”
- 2015 Theme: the women of Bermuda focused on “Jesus said to them “Do you know what I have done to you?”
- 2014 Theme: the women of Egypt chose “Streams in the Desert” for the theme.
Radical love is the theme that weaves together all the components of the worship resources. They eloquently tell us that Jesus is God’s presence of radical love in the world. Following Jesus’ example of washing his disciple’s feet, we are asked to continue the gesture of love in Bermuda and in our own communities. That is how the spiral of informed prayer and prayerful action moves around the globe.World Day of Prayer Journal 2014
With roots in the late 1800’s, this special day defies wars, political unrest and historic enmity. I was first introduced to the Women’s World Day of Prayer (“Women’s” has since been dropped from the name) in the 1980’s in Melmoth, South Africa where the service, in the midst of apartheid, brought women of all races together for worship and fellowship.
Click here to read a history of The World Day of Prayer.