The annual World YMCA/YWCA Prayer Week being observed this week is calling for prayers for the vulnerable across the world.
The theme of this years prayer week is "Who counts in the eyes of God?" Co-organized by the World YWCA (Young Women Christian Association) and the World Alliance of YMCAs (Young Men Christian Association), the Nov. 13-19 prayer week aims to highlight the plight of the marginalized and to encourage people to act for justice for all, according to a letter from the President of the World Alliance of YMCAs, Caesar Molebatsi, and the President of the World YWCA, Mónica Zetzsche.
People are invited to reflect on "another world is possible" based on the parable in Matthew 20:1-16, according to YMCA/YWCA. It is a world where "every life is precious" in Gods eyes, including those who are disadvantaged and worked less, and therefore they should be given the same. The story helps in "turning the worlds way of thinking upside down and affirming Gods unconditional love for all peoples."
In order to assist people participating from different parts of the world to unite in prayers, a Week of Prayer booklet is published and available for download on the website. The booklet provides resource materials for daily reflections and a suggested service of worship for the seventh day of the prayer week.
The Prayer Week kicked off this past Sunday with a Bible Study, according to the booklet. From Day 2 to Day 6, prayers are to be offered specifically for children and young people, women, the poor, indigenous people and people who are affected by HIV/AIDS accordingly.
Day 7 Saturday, Nov. 17 will coincide with the annual YMCA Peace Day. YMCA/YWCAs worldwide are called to celebrate both events simultaneously and to share their plans together.
This is the 101st year since the World YWCA and the World Alliance of YMCAs first held the annual prayer week jointly within their 150 years of history. Since 1948, the booklets for the Week of Prayer have been presented with pictures, daily messages and appropriate Bible texts and prayers.
The prayer booklet is available in various languages, including English, French and Spanish, according the YMCA/YWCA. The end of the booklet also has attached a year-round bible study plan for 2005-2006 for reference.