We’re celebrating the World Week of Prayer, the theme of which is Stand up, Speak Up where people across YMCAs and YWCAs across the globe are invited to reflect on their voices, individually and collectively, as they speak out against evil and oppression. Each day at YMCA Wimbledon, YMCA Surbiton and YMCA Walthamstow we will gather together to pray and take part in reflections.
The themes we have been following for the World Week of Prayer are:
Stand up, speak up!
Bring down the walls
A voice in the wilderness
Do not be silent, I am with you
I will put words in your mouth
Lord I have heard, now I speak
The power of resistance
The same prayers take place across the world and questions are posed to encourage us to think about worldwide issues, for example how can we advocate for conflict prevention and resolution and peace building.
At YMCA Walthamstow, there is a selection of activities to take part in each day. Today at 3.30pm the theme is ‘Looking for the Still Small Voice’. There will be a short Biblical reflection with an opportunity for a time of contemplation and personal prayer. On Wednesday at 9.30am in the café the day will start with a thought for the day for the Standup, Speak up theme. On Thursday at 3.30pm in the Resident Zone, there will be a Thinking Faith Special, where everyone is invited to join the weekly faith session to explore the impact when people of faith make a stand. On Friday there will be a prayer walk at 2pm (from reception).
The presidents of the worldwide YMCAs and YWCAs have this to say:
“Hope is not an abstract idea. It is about holding to visions of a new dawn and formulating ways and means to act that alter an unjust reality over time, first in short spurts, and then in a massive, sustained mobilization that humankind has witnessed before. We invite you to analyse the world as we see it today. Not just in our immediate environs but the world over. For, we live in an interconnected world and what happens in one spot of the world has its impact in other corners. How can we begin to change the world and seek to be voices that speak with courage and conviction against injustice? How can we move past our own discomfort in speaking out, to provide comfort for others who have so much more to lose?”