Reflecting on the 2023 World Week of Prayer

Date: 20 November 2023

Drawing to a close on 18 November 2023, this year’s World Week of Prayer united YMCAs around the world in prayer and fellowship. Since its inception in 1904, the World YMCA, in partnership with the World YWCA, has dedicated the second week of November each year to this observance.

Held this year from 12-18 November, the Week of Prayer focus was ‘Seeds to Blossoms: Cultivating Hope and Love in Solidarity’.  Emphasising intergenerational solidarity, the chosen theme echoes the belief that justice and peace are intertwined, as suggested by Psalm 85:10.

The week’s resources mirrored the lifecycle of a plant, symbolising growth and transformation. From preparing the soil to harvesting the fruits, each day’s Bible study encouraged reflection on different stages of nurturing hope and fostering resilience. The booklet, available in five languages, can be downloaded from our website.

Observing the Week of Prayer

Around the world, YMCAs embodied this theme through various activities, often with YMCA and YWCA celebrating together. For example:

  • At the YMCA Bombay, over 120 people gathered for a special service, enriched by performances from the YMCA Y Voices and youth delegates from YMCA (CVJM) Stuttgart. This event highlighted the ongoing partnership between these communities.
  • YMCA Ireland shared daily video reflections on their social media, and all are available on their website.
  • The YMCA Harare Branch in Zimbabwe shared how men and women from three organisations – YMCA Zimbabwe, the Bible Society of Zimbabwe and the YMCA Council of Zimbabwe, came together during the Week of Prayer and shared personal stories of resilience.
  • The YWCA of India hosted an online service of prayer and fellowship.
  • The YMCA Bulawayo and YWCA Matebeleland region met for prayer and fellowship. Amid diverse membership, the YMCAs and YWCAs continue to pursue intergenerational solidarity and coexistence.
  • YMCA Kenya attended a joint prayer service with the YWCA Kenya. Pastor Martha Wanjiku, House of Grace Nairobi, preached in line with the theme, “You are a seed in the hands of God, with a purpose and a defined destiny”. (Matthew  13:24-30).

These diverse yet interconnected activities across the globe underscore the YMCA’s commitment to fostering a sense of global community rooted in faith and active service. We look forward to celebrating the Week of Prayer with you again in 2024.


Men and women from three organisations in Zimbabwe came together to share stories of resilience during the Week of Prayer.