Monday, 18 February 2008

110 years of the Universal Day of Prayer for Students

I finally got to worship this morning which was prepared and led by members of WSCF (World Student Christian Federation). The worship included a wonderful array of languages, including a sung version of the Lord's prayer in Arabic and the epistle chanted I think in Finnish. The sermon was preached in French by a young woman from Africa.
Today is the Universal Day of Prayer for Students and this is an ecumenical day of prayer going back to 1898 which is very impressive. You can access the full liturgy and preparatory notes here. You can see how you can get involved in the Student Christian Movement here.

The reading from the Hebrew scriptures for the day of prayer is Joel 2.28-29
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

At the Bible study following worship WSCF we heard powerful testimonies about the work of young Christians working together and praying together from SCM leaders in Baghdad and Belarus. Then we were asked to try to answer the following questions:

* What do you hear and learn from your sons and daughters and slaves today?

* How might young people today learn from these texts?

The other text was from 1 Timothy 4-11-16:
These are the things you must insist on and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Pray today for students everywhere and for those who are desperate to learn and have no access to even basic education.