World Day of Prayer – An Invitation to Pray for Taiwan - Hope 103.2

World Day of Prayer – An Invitation to Pray for Taiwan

“Beginning with the first sunrise and ending at the last sunset, our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe.”

By Amy ChengFriday 3 Mar 2023FaithReading Time: 3 minutes

Millions of women around the world will unite in prayer this Friday for the annual World Day of Prayer.

A global movement, World Day of Prayer is a day for “informed prayer and prayerful action”, with a focus on a different country each year.

The chosen country will pick a theme for the year, share suitable Bible passages and will usually write the worship service that other women will use as they hold prayer sessions around the world.

This year, Taiwan has been selected and the theme it has set is ‘I Have Heard About Your Faith’, which is based on God’s promise to the Ephesians; it is an invitation to active listening as the ground of all prayers.

The worship service will also share the letters of encouragement sent to women who have faced suffering and injustice.

“Their stories of faith contemplate issues that are shared by women and girls around the world and that continue to challenge us to prayerful action,” the World Day of Prayer website said.

This year, Taiwan has been selected and the theme it has set is ‘I Have Heard About Your Faith’, which is based on God’s promise to the Ephesians.

Standing in solidarity with Taiwanese sisters

According to a press release from the Australian committee for World Day of Prayer, the day is a reminder of the “urgency to protect the environment” and the need for awareness around the gender stereotypes women face in the workplace and home.

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Taiwan developed its worship service in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking into consideration the limitations and suffering that impacted the world during the years of 2020-21.

“Our Taiwanese Christian sisters thank God for the natural resources of the island and pray for wisdom in face of the political isolation of Taiwan in the international community; they ask for our prayers.”

What happens on the day?

Over 170 countries take part in the day, with various coordinated services of Christian worship and prayer directed by World Day of Prayer International, the international body overseeing the day.

“Beginning with the first sunrise and ending at the last sunset, our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe,” the website said.

During the service, people from around the world will learn about the concerns of Christian women in the focus country and will then pray for their concerns.

“Our Taiwanese Christian sisters thank God for the natural resources of the island and pray for wisdom in face of the political isolation of Taiwan in the international community; they ask for our prayers.”

History of World Prayer Day

The first organised day of prayer was held nationally in Canada on January 9, 1920.

However, it wasn’t until seven years later that Australia had its own day of prayer, led by Queensland and New South Wales in 1927.

They established the Women’s World Day of Prayer in Australia and later formed a national committee in 1968.

During that time, Australia has been selected as the focus country twice and also wrote the worship services for both years – in 1958 with the theme ‘Bread of Life’ and 1986 with the theme ‘Choose Life’.

“Beginning with the first sunrise and ending at the last sunset, our prayers follow the sun’s path around the globe,” the website said.

Why women?

World Day of Prayer has its roots in 19th century women’s prayer groups for mission and women in general.

After World War 1, this commitment to prayer for women around the world became even more important, with women in many parts of the world having particular needs.

“(There is a need for) solidarity and prayers offered by women and men around the world, (so) the service program is therefore put together by women, so that others can join with them in prayer,” the website said.

Australia has been selected as the focus country twice and also wrote the worship services for both years

The name for the day eventually changed from ‘Women’s World Day of Prayer’ to just ‘World Day of Prayer’, with Australia following suit with the change in February 1986.

Today, in Australia, the organising committees are still run by women but both men and women are welcome to join the services.

This year, the Australian committee will make a contribution to the Bible Society program ‘Hidden Women of Taiwan’, a program promoting hope, health and home for immigrant women.

List of services in NSW and the ACT