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World Day of Prayer: Creating a World of Justice and Community

By Mary Beth Coudal

The women of Malaysia invite you to the table for worship by joining them in the World Day of Prayer, held, as always, on the first Friday of March.

“Christian women should support one another. We all worship the same savoir. The idea is, who is my neighbor? They may not look like me or dress like me or talk like me. But the World Day of Prayer allows ecumenical women to get to know one another and to be in support of one another,” said Linda DuRant, the president of the South Carolina Conference United Methodist Women. “Our world needs prayer so much.”

The South Carolina United Methodist Women celebrates the World Day of Prayer each March by rotating worship at one another’s churches every year.

In 2012, the World Day of Prayer service will be guided by women of Malaysia who have prepared and provided the worship, titled “Let Justice Prevail.” The worship book inspires and informs. The book tells us that “Malaysia is the largest destination country in Asia for migrant workers. It also has become a temporary home for refugees feeling war-torn and troubled countries.”

“While most Malaysians are Muslims, there also is a large non-Muslim population,” reads the Call to Worship. Followers of faith in Malaysia include Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and traditional religions. This diversity creates a need for tolerance and fairness—keys to unlocking hospitality and welcome. The service can be adapted to fit different time frames and locations.

Within the worship is a call to maintain the world’s variety of faiths and actions for justice internationally and locally. For example, “We further invite you to reflect on a situation from your own life, your own community or in the nation about a situation that cries out for justice,” reads a passage.

“We look forward to the mission study on immigration,” said Julia Tulloch, executive for leadership development in the Women’s Division, reminding readers of the 2012 Schools of Christian Mission theme on immigration and the bible. “The World Day of Prayer is a great preface to this: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’”

Julia and the ecumenical women in New York City invite everyone to join in a noontime service on Friday, March 2, 2012, in the chapel at the Interchurch Center in New York City, the building that houses the national offices of the World Day of Prayer USA and United Methodist Women, or join or hold your own local service.

This annual celebration of World Day of Prayer is a legacy of late 19th century mission women who initiated the worship as a Week of Prayer and Self-Denial for Foreign Missions. United Methodist Women and its predecessor organizations have funded and supported World Day of Prayer since its inception.

The World Day of Prayer collects offerings that are disbursed by each country and given to women’s work in their own country or in other countries.

To read more about or to get involved with the World Day of Prayer, visit: wdp-usa.org.

Last Updated: 04/10/2014

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