The World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical movement inspired by the motto “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action.” It was formed in 1887 to support women’s involvement in missions. August 20-27, 2023 delegates traveled to Foz do Iguacu, Brazil to pray together and make decisions for the future of the movement. These delegates selected the theme for 2024, “I Beg You…Bear With One Another in Love.” (based on Ephesians 4: 1-7).
The focus was to be on Palestine. The program was written by a group of ecumenical Christian Palestinian women. They reflected collectively on the theme from the context of suffering as Palestinian Christian women. It was their hope to inspire other women around the world to bear with one another in love during trouble times. Their message, challenge, and plea cannot wait until August of next year when the conference will be held.
Halima Aziz is the passionate Palestinian artist who designed the theme’s logo (above). Three Palestinian women pray together in nature in a peaceful place. Olive tree and its branches are a sign of peace, and everlasting and abundant life because they live for thousands of years. The golden roots are underlining the fact that the Palestinians will always exist. Poppy flowers are abundant and meaningful to Palestinians. They represent loved ones who have given their lives for their country. The women are wearing traditional Palestinian embroidered dress.
As we gather to give thanks for the gift of prayer—may we use the logo for next year’s World Day of Prayer as a prompt to pray for these dear women who crafted and designed the emphasis. Imagine what their lives must be this day (compared to what it was in Brazil in August).
Lord God, we turn to you in these trying hours when conflict is a daily reality
for our sisters and brothers in Israel and Palestine. We very much need the
strength of your presence amid all involved if the obstacles are to be overcome.
So our prayer at this moment is that you add your support to all efforts for
peace, that you show yourself as a tower of strength in those moments when
the barriers seem impassable. With your aid and mercy beacons of hope
for just and peaceful societies in the land so very dear to the peoples of your
covenant can be achieved. Amen.
So may we join people of good will – in the Middle East and throughout the world – who raise before Jerusalem’s gates their insistent Shalom and Salaam: “Peace be within your walls…Peace be within you.”
See you in church!