Members of congregations across China gathered last Friday, March 1, to celebrate the annual World Day of Prayer (WDP).
The international event, this year hosted by Slovenia, falls on the first Friday of March and gathers people together to pray for world peace.
According to Gospel Times, a Chinese Christian daily news website, services in churches and seminaries in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Changsha, Kunshan, Guangzhou, and other cities were held as believers joined those in 180 nations to pray for the women in Slovenia, their communities and other countries.
A Hangzhou pastor led the prayer in the Sicheng Church, "Although we can't go to Slovenia to help those sisters and their families in difficulty, we can pray for them on our knees."
Also, the churches in Kunshan, Jiangsu Provinceprayed for the economy, culture, parents, children, and people suffering from diseases and hardships.
Three women from Yanjing Theological Seminary in Beijing read aloud excerpts of life experiences shared by Solvenian women of different ages. The congregation felt a sense of care, hope, and joy from these female Christians.
In the Gospel Church in Pudong New Area, Shanghai, Rev. Xu Yulan, chairman of the Shanghai Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), preached on the theme of "Come - Everything is Ready" (Luke 14:15-24). She emphasized that Christians who had tasted from the great banquet should care about the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame and should guide more people to come to the banquet the heavenly father has prepared. After the worship, local female Christians gave instrumental music performances to give praise and blessings.
In Guangzhou, the entire male church staff performed a chorus to extol the women.
According to the official website of WDP, "Slovenia is located in Central Europe and is one of the smallest countries in that region. There are four major natural units: the Alps, the Pannonian Plains, the Dinarides, and the Mediterranean Area. Its highest mountain is Triglav. Slovenia has two million inhabitants and the official language is Slovene, with Hungarian and Italian being co-official languages.
After declaring its independence from Yugoslavia on June 27th, 1991, Slovenia adopted a flag with three equal horizontal stripes, white, blue and red with the Slovene Coat-of-Arms in the top left quadrant: the white for Mount Triglav, the blue lines for the Adriatic sea and local rivers, and the golden stars from the coat-of-arms of the Counts of Celje, a Slovenian dynastic house from the late 14th century. Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has continued to be the wealthiest and most politically open country of the former Yugoslav republics."
The "Women's World Day of Prayer" initiative first started from a prayer service jointly organized by Christian women from Canada and the USA with the aim to care for women and children. Founded in 1964, the World Day of Prayer International Committee sets the first Friday of March as the World Day of Prayer.
The program for WDP 2020 written by Zimbabwe will feature the theme, "Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk".