LIMA — “Hear, O God, hear our voices from the deserts in our lives.”
So began the order of worship for the 2014 World Day of Prayer service Friday, held locally at Zion Lutheran Church in Lima and Trinity United Methodist Church in Ottawa. The World Day of Prayer is a yearly time to pray concerning justice and equality for women throughout the world, with each year focusing on a different nation or region. This year’s service, entitled “Streams in the Desert,” centered on the women of Egypt.
“The service talks about the River Nile and how important it is for the country’s growth,” Sue Archer, the organizer for the Ottawa service, said.
During the service, certain participants would portray Egyptian women from varous backgrounds, including a poor villager, a government official and a member of Egypt’s tech-savvy youth. Throughout the service, the emphasis was placed on praying for disadvantaged women, both in Egypt and around the world.
“There’s a need, not only for the women, but for the whole community,” Archer said. “This service gives us an opportunity to see what other people are experiencing in different parts of the world. We get a feel for their culture and way of life. We also see how fortunate we are in the States. It calls us also to be accountable and to realize that without the power of prayer, we’re nothing.”
As well as praying for justice and equality for the women of the world, this service offered an opportunity for women within the community to come together, both in prayer and fellowship.
“For me, it is a time to pray and worship God,” Roberta Higgins, an organizer for the Lima service, said. “All of these ladies are from different churches, all different denominations. Sometimes we get so involved with our own church, we can forget about other churches. Each church is doing good, but as a community, we can do so much more. We can share ideas that can be taken back to other churches. It’s nice to get to know other ladies in the city.”
Higgins noted that with women from different churches can have different persepectives on their faith, not all of which agree. However, each of these women come together to pray despite those differences.
“Sometimes we agree to disagree,” she said. “Each church has its own doctrine, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong. We all have the same God.”
For those participating in the Lima and Ottawa services, Friday’s event was an opportunity to join with other women around the world in common cause.
“We’re just one piece of the puzzle, but together, we can move mountains,” Archer said. “It’s a valuable program, and I feel that everyone who comes out is blessed. It’s a very gratifying experience.”