"Let Justice Prevail"
On March 2th, 2012, millions of women and men from 170 countries and islands will pause to pray, commemorating the annual World Day of Prayer. From sunrise to sunset - the same divine service is celebrated all around our world the same day, the first Friday of March. The same divine service in New Zealand, Australia, Asia; Europe; America right up to Hawaii: A ring of sisters and brothers all around our world - in intercession for solidarity, peace and the unity of Christian people.
Prayers are said in more than 1000 languages with beginning at dawn in Tonga and is finished more than 40 hours later in Alaska.
World Day of Prayer is about Informed Prayer which flows into Prayerful Action. After hearing the voices of our sisters, experiencing their pains with them, and feeling their hopes and fear, we are empowered to act. Prayer and action are not two different things connected by a string but rather inseparable realms of our faith experience. To pray truly is to be changed. To truly let in a new perspective is to be changed. To act in accordance with these shifts happens organically. Action continues our prayer.
Why The Women's Day of Prayer? The simple answer is that it began among women and spontaneously has engaged new constellations of women. The Swedish Ecumenical Council of Women has got many evidences of what this community and the following responsibility means for women all over our world, especially for women in the Third World but in our own country too. But the completing name "World Day of Prayer" points to a wider goal than just a day when women are activated. All who are interested are welcome in the community.
The "World Day of Prayer" is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year - a commitment which is growing every year and celebrated in more than 1000 different languages.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER...
is a movement initiated and carried out by women in more than 170 countries and regions.
is a movement symbolized by an annual day of celebration --the first Friday of March-- to which all people are welcome.
is a movement which brings together women of various races, cultures and traditions in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (WDP) is a worldwide ecumenical movement of women of many faith traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March.
Throughout the entire day, we collectively pray all over the world, beginning with the first sunrise and ending at the last sunset. Our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe.
Christian groups of women in one country have the responsibility for the shape of the service. The countries are different each year. Every year there is a new program, mostly in English, which then is translated into different languages, and is completed with local features, for instance propositions of songs and hymns in connection with the subject.
Those programs can give you an idea of the special impression of this day. Each program has an assembling theme and gives proposals of subjects of prayer from the actual needs or Bible passages. They have their root in the situation in the actual country of the year, remind us of the possibilities of prayer, express the gratitude for the worldwide fellowship over all borders of rase, nation and denominations by the community in the overarching faith in Jesus Christ, and finally formulates a willingness to use this day for elevate and strengthen the consciousness of the Christian unity.
It began in a small scale in USA for more than a hundred years when groups of women agreed to regularly meet in prayers for the missions. Sweden joined in 1931.
The Committee of Women’s International Day of Prayer was formed 1968 in Stockholm. It consists of representatives from all Committes for The Women’s International Day of Prayer in the world, is responsible for the basic planning of the Day of Prayer and assembling for considerations every fourth year. At those occasions they determine about the coming years, such as the subjects and the writers of the united program the next years.
In Sweden we celebrate the Day of Prayer in about 400 places. Local Ecumenical Prayer Committees are responsible for the arrangements. The Swedish Ecumenical Council of Women has the international contacts and is responsible for the translation and the distribution of the program of the year.
This year 2012 the program is written by women in Malaysia and the theme of the service is "Let Justice Prevail!".
World Day of Prayer Logo
The symbol of the World Day of Prayer was designed by a young Irish artist in 1982, the year when the service was prepared by the women of Ireland, and adopted as the International logo.
The design comprises arrows converging from the four points of the compass, four figures kneeling in prayer, the Celtic Cross and a circle representing the world and our unity through all our diversity.
The WDP Committee in Malaysia sees the theme question, "Let Justice Prevail!", as an invitation to enter a process that draws us into the Bible, and into the real situations of our lives and communities. This year's Bible studies come from the Gospel of St Luke 18:1-8
Through World Day of Prayer, women around the world
- affirm their faith in Jesus Christ
- share their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, their opportunities and needs
Through World Day of Prayer, women are encouraged
- to become aware of the whole world and no longer live in isolation
- to be enriched by the faith experience of Christians of other countries and cultures
- to take up the burdens of other people and pray with and for them
- to become aware of their talents and use them in the service of society
Through World Day of Prayer, women affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and both have immeasurable influence in the world.