This Friday March 6 is World Day of Prayer 2020: Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk, prepared by the women and young adult women of Zimbabwe. Salvationists have a long history of gathering around the globe in ecumenical community for World Day of Prayer. Will you rise with us?
The World Day of Prayer (WDOP) began with one woman's call for the community to pray for mission work. Over 130 years and 170 countries later, these women-led gatherings continue to rise to the call to pray.
World Day of Prayer is held on the first Friday of March and is prepared by a different country each year. WDOP's motto is 'Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action', unveiling the practical and spiritual needs of a country and urging WDOP attendees to rise to pray.
World Day of Prayer Resources to use
The Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada have supplied an entire website of resources to help you plan your day. Included are music, information for leaders, devotionals and background material needed for your gathering to flow. Here is a short video on some of the key features of Zimbabwe to familiarise yourself with, and a short devotional reflecting on the story in John.
We have also prepared the following free downloads for you to use.
World Day of Prayer 2020: Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk
This year's World Day of Prayer is coordinated by the women of Zimbabwe: 'Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk'. In 1962, The Salvation Army's Mai Major Nhari and the Methodist's Mai Rev. Kachidza formed the first interdenominational prayer meeting in Zimbabwe. These two women saw the need of prayer warriors, prophets and members of local church bodies to gather together, hearing the needs of the nation and interceding before God. Since then, the World Day of Prayer has spread to many Zimbabwean churches, schools, universities and girls’ and women’s organizations, because these two women rose to the call to pray.
'In 2020 we pray will all Zimbabwean women, as they continue to their journey to all elements of peace'
A quick look at Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, with an estimated population of about 16 million people and 16 official languages. Zimbabwe is rich in natural minerals and farmland, which the British wrested control of through colonisation in 1890. Bloody uprisings over the next decade eventually resulted in Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. The churches of Zimbabwe called for non-violence and peace throughout the turbulent political transitions, and Zimbabwe continues to navigate this historical socio-political upheaval to move toward a brighter future.
Women and girls face systemic and often violent discrimination, disadvantage and inequality in Zimbabwe. If they are poor, live rurally or are from particular social groups, the inequality compounds. Women and girls face forced marriage, early marriage and obstacles in accessing education and justice. Poor maternal care. cervix and breast cancer, typhoid and cholera have gendered mortality rates for women and girls.
Explanation of the World Day of Prayer Artwork 'Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk' by Nonhlanhla Mathe
The artwork supplied for the posters and book is by Nonhlanhla Mathe, an award-winning Zimbabwean artist who specialises in abstract and semi-abstract figurative paintings.
She says, 'I am very much inspired by people's lives, the way they relate to each other and the way they view things. I focus mainly on women, as a woman myself. Empowerment is also displayed in the work.' Nonhlanhla's painting for World Day of Prayer 2020 portrays people’s lives in Zimbabwean society.