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. The World Day of Prayer motto, ‘Informed Prayer & Prayerful Action’ signifies that prayer and action are inseparable.
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 booklet provides resources for global worship materials.
Worship resources, ready-to-use:
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 2020 ‘Rise! Take your mat and walk! (John 5:2-9) written by the women of Zimbabwe.
Theme 2019 ‘Come – Everything Is Ready’ written by the women of Slovenia. Click here for resources from WWDP-UK.
Theme 2018 ‘All God’s creation is very good’ written by the women of Suriname. The service focuses on issues of environment, climate change and recycling.
Theme 2017 “Am I Being Unfair to You?” prepared by women in the Philippines, arising from 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.
Theme 2016: the women of Cuba prepared material on the theme “Receive Children. Receive me.”
Theme 2015: the women of Bermuda focused on “Jesus said to them “Do you know what I have done to you?”
Theme 2014: 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
A note from the Editor of Worship Words: 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.
History of World Day of Prayer: Click here to read a history of The World Day of Prayer.