All round the world today Christians gathered together in prayer and celebration of all that God provides. Starting in Tonga and New Zealand in the east, services were held in churches, halls, hospitals, care homes, universities, schools, and homes throughout the world, ending in Samoa and Alaska in the West.
The World Day of Prayer is an international, ecumenical prayer movement that was initiated and led by Christian women, dedicated to joining together in prayer to petition for the needs of that year’s chosen country and the needs of the wider world, coming before Almighty God knowing He hears and answers those prayers.
Our modern day World Day of Prayer evolved from Mrs Mary Ellen Darwin James’s belief that the persistent prayer of faithful believers enabled men and women of God to become ‘advocates for the powerless’. In 1887 she issued a call to set aside a ‘Day of Prayer for Home Missions when there shall be confession of individual and national sins, with offerings that will fitly express the contrition”. In Jerusalem, in 1928, at the International Missionary Conference, it was agreed that the Day of Prayer would henceforth be known as World Day of Prayer, and it was United Free Church member Mrs Mary Grace Forgan who brought news of this back to Scotland. Read more about the history of the movement HERE.
More than 180 countries join together and services are held in over 1000 languages.
This year’s service was brought to us by the Christian women of Suriname and they based their service on ‘All God’s creation is very good!’
The Republic of Suriname is part of the north east area of South America. The country has around 540,000 multi ethnic inhabitants, including indigenous people, Creoles, Maroons, Hindustani, Javanese, Chinese, Lebanese, and European.
Throughout this evening’s service in Dunbeg Church we heard from the women of Suriname who shared how they live and work in their country, and asked for prayer as they try to provide for their families, ever mindful of the impact man has had on God’s creation. As we read from Genesis 1:1-31 the women of Suriname told us ~
“What God creates is always good!
In the first five days,
all that is needed is made ready
until humankind is created.
We are created in God’s image.
We are worthy because God loves us.
But the Creator holds us accountable for how we care for the environment
and all the beings on earth.
We cannot be careless or wasteful.
It is time to seriously think about
what we have done to God’s creation.
What is our contribution to help restore it all?
Am I aware that I am part of God’s perfect creation?”
As the service came to a close we all stood with the Christian women of Suriname in affirming our determination to advocate for God’s Creation, to protect it, to take responsibility for our contribution to the damage carried out on the land.
“God invites us to have a prayer relationship with Himself, but He also expects us to have concerned relationships with our neighbours, throughout the world. Prayer must be accompanied by action, as God moves our hearts and directs our thoughts.” ~ Scottish Committee for World Day of Prayer
Thank you to all who took part in this evening’s service and to all who came along.