Credit: Featured artwork by Farid Fadel.
The World Day of Prayer is an international ecumenical Christian laywomen’s initiative. It is run under the motto “Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action,” and is celebrated annually in over 170 countries on the first Friday in March. In 2014, it took place on Friday, 7th of March, the day before International Women’s Day – 2 days of celebration for Christian women.
This day of prayer aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common Day of Prayer, as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.
The Women’s World Day of Prayer started in the USA in 1887, as Mary Ellen James, wife of a Presbyterian minister from New York, called for a day of prayer for home missions, and Methodist women called for a week of prayer and self-denial for foreign missions. Two years later, two Baptists called together a Day of Prayer for the World Mission. The Day of Prayer initiated by these two women expanded to Canada, then to the British Isles in the 1930s. The movements focus on ecumenism and reconciliation led to growth after World War II. Since 1927 the March day is known as Women’s World Day of Prayer. Catholic women were allowed to join the movement after the Second Vatican Council, beginning in 1967.
United Methodist Women Fellowships in Abengourou have been observing this day for a couple of years now. On this day (first Friday of March), a special service is organized during which prayers focused on the women in Egypt. Read more about 2014 Egypt Women Day of Prayer.