Continuing a tradition that’s nearly 120 years old, the World YMCA and the World YWCA are coming together to deliver the World Week of Prayer and Fellowship 2022.
Held 13-19 November 2022, the #WWOP22 is celebrated annually in the second week of November. Both organisations work together to produce a booklet with a theme, a set of Bible studies for each day, and an annual Bible reading plan so that communities around the world can unite in prayer for a specific cause linked to current realities.
This year the theme is “Ignite: Praying the Impact”, aligned with the long-term strategies of #YMCAVision2030 and #Goal2035 of the World YWCA. It is a call to act prayerfully, informed by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
To focus our prayers, the values selected this year are:
“Prayer has become a powerful catalyst in our YMCA to encourage one another in spirit, mind and body”, said Tim Hallman, Director of Christian Emphasis at the YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne, Ind., USA. “We want to keep giving our staff and members opportunities to pray more and with a wider global fellowship”. He added that they will share the prayer booklet with its YMCA leaders and church partners and also give staff and members ways to participate online through social media and blog posts.
The booklet (available in English, French and Spanish) includes information on 6 daily devotions and options for a collective worship service on day 7, the latter put together by Jens Christian Kirk, a former vice president of YMCA/YWCA Denmark and a member of the Committee on Christianity & Spirituality. The 6 devotions incorporate Bible readings, questions/reflection points and a prayer of blessing. Also included is a Daily Bible Reading Plan for 2023.
Six YMCA leaders contributed to the daily devotions, which features bible verses, interpretations of the text, reflection points and a blessing. A quick look at each day:
- Change – Claudia Kuhn, Executive Secretary for Sign of Hope, YMCA Germany
“An important part of discipleship today is to minister to those around us, making a change in their life by seasoning it with love, hope and peace”.
- Wholeness – Rev. Dori Gorman, Chaplain of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, USA
“Jesus longs to impact wholeness in all of us, no matter our religious background or spiritual perspective”.
- Hope – Nnaeto Onwuzurumba, Chaplain, YMCA North Staffordshire, UK
“Our current world order desperately challenges us to hold on to hope. We cannot seek to make an impact around us if we are in a scarcity of hope. Hope is not something we manufacture on our own. Instead, we find it in God, who is our living hope”.
- Responsibility – Dr. Muriel Orevillo-Montenegro, Interfaith Cooperation Forum, Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs, Hong Kong
“Caring for people and the planet is a prime responsibility in a world driven by profits”.
- Dignity – Solomuzi Mabuza, Chairperson, National Constitutional Committee and former President, YMCA South Africa.
“As channels and vessels of God’s word, we are called to be advocates of all that is good in the world without fear or favour”.
- Unity – Steve Clay, CEO, YMCA Black Country Group, UK
“Unity is not a passive state but the result of active choices. Choices are often made in the face of significant differences and potential conflict”.
The Bible Reading plan at the end of the booklet offers a 365-day plan to encourage and support reading throughout the year.
Over the past two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought numerous challenges, and many of us are reflecting on where we are now and where we’re headed. As we celebrate this year’s Week of Prayer, the Presidents of both organisations said, “we continue to press forward knowing that we can grow stronger and create a positive impact in the world through unity”.
Said Mira Rizeq of the World YWCA and Soheila Hayek of the World YMCA, “Let us pray and push for transformation and to be “Ignited’ to create a positive impact in communities worldwide”.