Over 150 local residents gathered together on Friday, March 1, 2013 for the annual World Day of Prayer, held at the North Broadway Baptist Church in Tillsonburg.
“We had over twelve churches coming together and working together to look at how we can help people in the community. That’s what it’s all about,” said Donna Acre of the Tillsonburg Salvation Army and one of the participants in the event. “Prayer is one of the most important things you can do. Prayer support is enormous - prayer works.”
The World Day of Prayer first began in 1922 by a group of women in Canada and the United States, and today is observed in more than 170 countries around the globe. Christians around the world, including over 2,000 communities here in Canada participate in the World Day of Prayer every year, and although it was originally created by women, the annual event now brings men, women and children together to pray for people and countries everywhere.
Acre noted the increase in interest and participation by men in this year’s World Day of Prayer in Tillsonburg.
“It was a good crowd today - I really appreciate that more men are coming out. Everybody did a really good job in participating and helping,” she added.
In addition to prayer, the event included music by the Tillsonburg Senior Centre Singers, a time of worship, Bible readings, short drama presentations, an offering to support projects that help needy women and children around the world, as well as a time of reflection, presented by Pastor Alan Adams of North Broadway Baptist Church.
“We’re so tied in our day to day life to our cars, our jobs, and our families, our houses and even our illnesses – that’s so temporary, that’s so small,” said Adams. “Yet, when we praise and when we pray, we move out of that narrow, tiny network into the sense of God and into the great, transcendent reality, and that makes life significant.”
Adams spoke of the important role the World Day of Prayer can have in both communities and in the lives of individuals.
“We need to have these times when the community comes together. To acknowledge God and to acknowledge that we need him - to praise and to pray.”
Each year, offerings collected during the World Day of Prayer provide grants for projects and resources around the world, including a number of them here in Canada.
Last year in 2012, money raised went to help such projects as ‘The Key to Me!’ in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Open Door Ministries - $5,000), ‘The Journey Retreat for Sex-Trade Workers’ in London, Ontario (The Salvation Army Correctional and Justice Services - $5,000), ‘Bridge Funding for Settlement’ in Toronto, Ontario (FCJ Refugee Centre - $5,000) and ‘DAS Drop in Centre’ in Vancouver, British Columbia, (Domestic Abuse Services – Our Lady of Good Counsel - $5,000).