World Day Of Prayer
What makes World Day of Prayer special?
- We are women calling out to God for people in need throughout the world.
- World Day of Prayer is the only place that women’s voices are heard in some countries.
- We are linked in strong international relationships of mutual sister resourcing.
- We use ecumenical, lay leadership by women, so this helps us in growing understanding of other cultures and denominations.
- We support aid projects through the giving at the yearly Worship Service.
- We aim to help the world, one powerful prayer at a time.
When is this Day of Prayer? Friday 3rd March 2017
It’s always the first Friday in March, each year. It uses the locally adapted Order of Service which comes from a designated country. It takes place at some time on that day, not usually all day for one Worship Service, unless people decide to do that. Since there is the same basic Service repeated throughout the world during the same 24 hours, it’s the World Day of Prayer!
Is it a fund-raising organisation?
No. Giving to charities is a lovely by-product (usually between $30,000 - $55,000 p.a. in New Zealand) of our national and international response to becoming informed. Our primary function is to pray with informed prayer, and then to take prayerful action. It costs a bit to run, but all of the workers are volunteers, so that the travel, printing and copying expenses are all as low as we can make them.
Is it a new idea?
It depends how old you are! Its history began in the 19th century with various Christian women’s groups in Canada and the States. There was strong concern for women and children, whether at home or in other parts of the world, and a search developed for ways to provide appropriate support. Slowly this concern and commitment to prayer grew until in 1928 there was born the World Day of Prayer. The International Committee co-ordinates the production of the Worship Service and the links between all countries, and is based in New York. Nowadays 170 countries and islands celebrate the first Friday in March in united prayer. The first New Zealand Service recorded was in 1931, in Christchurch.
How is it organised in New Zealand?
We owe a lot to our history: first the National Women’s Committee of the National Council of Churches, who made it a priority to organise World Day of Prayer here. Then the National Committee of Church Women United did sterling work, growing the nation-wide awareness of the prayer-and-giving opportunity. Just at the beginning of 2009 World Day of Prayer was registered as a separate charitable entity, and there was for the first time a dedicated group specifically set up to do the work. The National Committee is at present based in Christchurch.