World Day of Prayer traces its roots to the 19th century when Christian women of Canada and the United States became involved in missions at home and worldwide. Since 1812, women have encouraged one another to engage in personal prayer and lead communal prayer within their mission groups. Presbyterian women in the United States then called for a national day of prayer in 1887, and Anglican women in Canada established a national day of corporate intercessions for mission in 1895.
On October 19, 1918, Presbyterian women in Canada called together representatives of five Women’s Missionary Boards – Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian – “to promote the spreading of Christ’s kingdom through united prayer and action.” That first inter-church meeting gave birth to the Interim Committee on the Federation of the Women’s Missionary Society Boards of Canada, which organized a national and inter denominational day of prayer on January 9, 1920.
In 1922, the Canadian and U.S. committees agreed to use the same theme and day for the Day of Prayer as U.S. women. This annual event became the Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1927.
This year the focus is on Slovenia and a simple invitation. Come. And to enable the response – Everything is ready. Come to praise, thank, and proclaim the kingdom of love. The invitation is grounded in the parable that Jesus told about a great dinner which was attended by the ones called off the streets, as the ones invited excused themselves. The parable you can find in Luke 14: 1-24. It you would like to know more about how it relates to this World Day of Prayer they have some information for you in; Come, Everything is Ready – and: There is Still Room. A Bible Study on Luke 14:1-24
You can also find a recipe to a traditional Slovenian dish in the above link as well as information about the image which began this story; by artist, Rezka Arnuš, who wanted to present two topics with her artwork. The country of Slovenia and the main biblical story of the worship service. At the top there are women dressed in national traditional costumes. The semicircular ornament with Slovenian folk embroidery represents a plate or a table with their best known national dish – potica – and grapes from various wine producing vineyards. Partly under the table, one can see the children from the margins of the society. They heard the invitation to the feast. The red and white colors used reflect Slovenian folk embroidery. The green background color emphasizes the green Slovenia, fields and forests. The warm colors of children express the joy of heartfelt invitation. A beautiful piece.
If you would like to know more about the World Day of Prayer you can find it at wicc.org including an easy way to find some of the nearly 2,000 worship services that will be taking place. Including those in Brantford at St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Church, 50 Palace St. at 1:30 pm with their afternoon service, and at Fairview United Church, 49 Wayne Dr. with their evening service at 7:30.
Other services will be held in Brant County, see the website for more, and beyond including at Jerseyville United Church where they will be joining together with Alberton Presbyterian and Jerseyville Baptist for their 2 pm service.
Whether you attend a service or participate at home it is important to take the message from this day and know that you are not alone in your service, there are Christians around the world who all make up one big community, no matter the denomination.
Image by Rezka Arnuš, from wicc.org