World Day of Prayer
First initiated by American and Canadian Christian women as a Day of Prayer for World Mission in 1884 to unite women in support of women’s mission projects, the World Day of Prayer has exploded into a global ecumenical movement of women guided by the belief that prayer and action work together to influence the world.
Celebrated the first Friday of March, the World Day of Prayer relates primarily to women’s mission activities, issues, and projects, including concern for women, children and youth and the role of prayer in mission work.
As of 2005, World Day of Prayer incorporates more than 170 participating countries of women from all race, ethnic and faith backgrounds.
The aim of the movement is to unite women of all traditions in a common day of prayer and connect them to each other in closer partnership for action and service.
Every year, the World Day of Prayer worship services focus on a specific country in the world and a theme. For 2009, the country is Papua New Guinea, and the theme is “In Christ, Many Members but One Body.”
*Leigh Rogers is a public relations executive with the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.