Having a Virtual Wycliffe World Day of Prayer Event

Wycliffe World Day of Prayer – 11 November 2020

Photo: Rodney Ballard

Having a Wycliffe World Day of Prayer event when we cannot meet together in person

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed so much in our lives. Many of the changes have been painful or challenging. As we come to plan our World Day of Prayer events, some of us may still face restrictions meaning that gathering together in large groups will not be possible. However, with some forward planning, we can still hold a meaningful collective time of prayer and worship.

Here are some suggestions of ways to pray together:

  • If you have access to a paid Zoom account and those who will ‘attend’ have a steady internet connection, Zoom offers many features that mimic the experience of a physical meeting. Zoom prayer times generally work well when they are interactive and structured.
    • Include as many participants as possible by asking them to prepare Bible readings, prayers and testimonies within your overall plan.
    • Ask different ones to read one or more of the ‘Shalom stories’.
    • Breakout rooms are a useful tool for open times of prayer. This feature allows meeting in smaller groups within the main zoom meeting. This way more people can pray at the same time. It may be helpful to have someone other than the leader managing the technical side of the breakout rooms.
    • The chat feature allows people to write prayers as others pray aloud.
  • Other video conferencing platforms are available. These include Google Hangouts, Messenger and Skype. Use whatever works well in your context.

We recognise that in many parts of the world video conferencing is not supported by the available internet networks or may not be available. There are still ways to have a communal prayer experience. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Put together a programme and email it to all the staff. Ask them to pray alone, with their families in their homes or those with whom they can safely interact within government guidelines. This can include:
    • an audio devotion on the theme which can be recorded on a phone and sent via WhatsApp if bandwidth allows.
    • Shalom stories
    • Prayer items for yourselves, partners and even your ‘partner in prayer’
    • Suggested worship songs to sing, Bible readings and meditations.
  • Create a WhatsApp group purely for the event. Assign an administrator and for 12-24 hours on a designated date (usually 11th November) use this to host prayer requests and prayers written by participants as they interact with the materials. The administrator will need to curate the group and ensure that people do not post links or inappropriate content.
  • Alternatively, create Google documents on specific topics to which you invite participants to add their prayers. Encourage them to read out loud the prayers of others.

By holding a virtual event, or a combined virtual and in-person event, we can include those who would not normally be able to join our physical day of prayer. Consider inviting staff members assigned in remote parts of the country or even in other countries and exchange prayer resources. Consider whether to invite ministry partners to join as well.

We encourage each one not to miss the opportunity of taking time out to connect with God, to be refreshed and renewed and to offer our prayers to him. We may need to be more creative as we plan our World Day of Prayer events this year. In this season of uncertainty, change and challenge it is more important than ever to prioritise listening to God and gathering to seek his face.

 

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