World Weekend of Prayer
What happened in 2011 More child ren than e ver took responsibility for planning an d running events, often cong regati leading whole ons of adults in prayer!
children ayed for he WWP r p n e r er t child Lots of ople praying ov of 18. e e p g f a o e h 61% nder t were u
The Bible describes the church as being like a body: it is made up of many smaller parts that together form one bigger entity, a coordinated, purposeful and productive body. Despite being separated by thousands of miles and hundreds of languages, that body was united over the 2011 World Weekend of Prayer and children at risk around the globe are feeling the effects…
6 people An average event saw 50 ree hours th r ove for er eth gather tog activities. and of prayer, discussion
Events took place in 41 different countries around the world – and those are just the one s we know about!
Event organisers in Cuba told us that churches from five different denominations put aside their differences and joined together to pray over the WWP. They were all encouraged by the show of unity, and it has inspired them to find ways to work together throughout the year.
we can do more together
“I liked the part of the event when we joined together in prayer groups. It was in that time that God answered my prayers and I know that he will keep doing it.” 13-year-old Arturo, Peru
Thanks to the networking of a new Christian forum in Nepal around 35,000 people across the country found out about this year’s WWP and had the chance to pray!
People from all over the globe were able to join together in prayer, as we translated resources into 19 different languages this year (up from just 10 in 2009.)
More people, organisations and prayer forums than ever linked up to spread the word about the event – the World Weekend of Prayer was mentioned on at least 60 different websites, radio stations, Facebook pages, newsletters and Twitter posts!
Family and education 64% of people praying said that one of the outcomes they were most hoping for was that children who don’t have families would be placed in loving homes. A young boy preaching at an event in Uganda asked all the children present to tell their parents what they thought about how adults treated them. That’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day and they were keen to speak up! Many of the adults felt challenged to change certain aspects of their behaviour towards their children, and also promised to ask their opinions more often.
At one event in Hong Kong children were particularly moved by the story of Darma in Sri Lanka, who had no birth certificate and so could not enrol in school. The leaders used creative activities to bring her story to life and then the children wrote their own prayer requests for other children like Darma.
“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? That the fruit of the womb is his generous legacy?” (A pastor taught from this version of Psalm 127 at one of this year’s events in Nepal)
Business and government Governments and community leaders were the third biggest focus of people’s prayers - around 40% of everyone praying said that they were hoping to see changes in the law in favour of children or a more effective use of laws already in place to prevent child abuse.
In Peru, presidential elections were taking place on the Sunday of the World Weekend of Prayer. Children at one event prayed that a godly leader and government would be elected, and that the new leadership would make the children of Peru a priority in the months and years to come.
This year’s prayer march in Cochabamba, Bolivia, was attended by the Mayor of the city! He led the opening prayers before the children took to the streets with banners and fliers, raising awareness of child rights. Through our ongoing campaigns, of which these yearly prayer marches are a part, we have seen a huge change in the local authorities’ attitude towards children and they continue to work with the Cochabamba network for the safety and wellbeing of the city’s young people.
“When I prayed I saw a map of Ethiopia, it was full of dust and hard to look at.Then a man who was wearing a very white garment came with a broom and swept the map. After that the map became neat and then he told us that our prayers have been answered.” 10-year-old Yonas, Ethiopia
Media, arts and entertainment 30% of the groups that prayed made use of the children’s resource that we produced, up from 14% last year. Using that, and many of their own creative ideas, they engaged children in prayer through art, music, dancing and drama.
A church worker in Boyarka, Ukraine, reported: “In the beginning the younger children didn’t want to pray aloud. But as we looked at the pictures and stories in the booklet, and discussed how the children felt, the younger kids were so touched by the difficult situations of other kids that they wanted to pray! A four-year-old girl was raising her voice for children to have paints and crayons so they could enjoy drawing! It was so sincere I was almost in tears.”
An event organiser from Jamaica told us: “We asked the children to draw a picture of something from their past or present... several of the youth and children drew pictures of painful situations in their families, but after we prayed they were hopeful that the Lord would do a miracle in their midst.”
“I liked the day because we sang and glorified God, and because I discovered new talents that day and God helped us to lose our fear and to speak in public.” 15-year-old Simón, Peru
Religion 64% of all the WWP events this year were organised by or for churches. The number one outcome that people wanted to see from their prayers was local churches getting involved in meeting the needs of children at risk within their community, which explains why many people’s primary focus was praying for the children in their surrounding areas. World Weekend of Prayer events have been taking place in Argentina for the last 13 years. The organisers say they have noticed a continual increase in the number of churches offering help to children at risk in their local community, and they believe that it is a direct result of the prayer over the Weekend!
At a church event in Cape Town, South Africa, the speaker brought a message about the importance of children and then led an extended time of prayer for any children at risk in the community around them. The congregation were very moved by this and responded by committing to pray for children in a regular basis. They are now also considering how they can offer practical as well as spiritual support to the young people in their area.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and set the oppressed free? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (These verses from Isaiah were brought as a prophetic word at this year’s event in Bologna, Italy)
What next? You have read about some of the amazing things that went on over the World Weekend of Prayer itself – but it doesn’t end there! Those prayers, and their outcomes, will have an effect that lasts far longer than just one weekend. We hope that that these stories will not only encourage and inspire you, but also motivate you to continue praying for children at risk throughout the year.
After an event in India a group of young people from two different churches have been inspired to form an awareness group called ‘Fireflies’ - their aim is to bring churches in their area together to work for children at risk.
“At the end of the event the preacher gave an invitation to those who wanted to accept Jesus as their saviour - to the honour and glory of God 15 people accepted the invitation!” Guatemala City, Guatemala
50 church leaders from different churches in Tanzania were involved in the planning process for their joint prayer event. Many of these pastors admitted that children had not really been a priority for them and their churches in the past, but now they are determined to meet together to pray more regularly and to prioritise children’s issues in their church programmes.
“My son shared some of the stories from the WWP booklet with kids and teachers at his school, which was a powerful witness. Even though he is only 10 he has heard loud and clear that God’s children are around the globe and that he can be a meaningful extension of God’s grace wherever he goes!” Vancouver, Canada
We are so thankful to all those who organised or attended a World Weekend of Prayer event this year. Thanks also to everyone who supported us in some way, whether in helping with the planning, production and translation of resources or by partnering with us financially or promotionally – we could never have seen such amazing stories and answers to prayer come out of the Weekend if we had not worked together in this way.
To find out more about how you can pray for children at risk on a regular basis check out viva.org/pray and to receive our monthly prayer email please go to
SAVE THE DATE! The next World Weekend of Prayer will take place over Please put it in your diary, and tell your church so they can put it in theirs too!
2-3 June 2012.
WWP feedback for 2011