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World Day of Prayer

Date When Celebrated : First Friday of March

World Day of Prayer is today. In the U.S., it is sponsored by "Church Women United", a Christian group of women that strives to work for justice and peace.  

The origin of World Day of Prayer dates back to 1887, when Mary Ellen Fairchild James, a Methodist from Brooklyn, NY called for a day of prayer for home missions. Fairly quickly most christian religions began their own Day of Prayer. In 1927 it became World Day of Prayer and the date was formally established as the first Friday in March. Oddly, it wasn't until 1967, as a result of the Second Vatican Council, that Catholics were allowed to participate.

Each year, Church Women United selects a women's group from different parts of the world, to write a prayer service for the day. Then, everyone, men and women alike, are encouraged to attend a prayer service using what the group wrote.

In 2017, women from the Philippines prepared the service. The theme is "Am I being Unfair to You?"

Future Themes:

2018: All God's Creation is Very Good

2019: Come, Everything is Ready

2020: Rise, Take Up Your Mat and Walk

2021: Build on a Strong Foundation

Did you Know? Planning for the prayer service actually begins three years in advance.


Origin of World Day of Prayer:

Mary Ellen Fairchild James of Brooklyn, NY created World Day of Prayer in 1887.


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