March 29th: “World Day of Prayer and Fasting” declared by the World Evangelical Alliance

In the midst of the current pandemic, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is calling on churches and believers around the world to participate in the “World Prayer and Fasting Day” on Sunday, 29 March.

Efraim Tendero, General Secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance since March 1, 2015
Efraim Tendero, General Secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance since March 1, 2015

The organization, which represents 600 million evangelical Christians worldwide, offers on its website a guide to prayer and fasting, and calls on all Christians to “encourage each other to share stories of faith and hope as we walk together through problems”.

“This crisis has already affected people in all corners of the world with the virus continuing to spread, health facilities are treating an overwhelming number of patients, while millions are confined to their homes and concerned not only about the threat of the disease but also the immediate and lasting economic consequences for their lives,” said WEA Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

“In the midst of this situation, we are reminded how vulnerable man is, as a small virus that is invisible to the human eye stops the whole world. It is a time that demands humility and prayer to our Heavenly Father, the Creator and Sustainer of this world. We pray because we know that God hears and responds,” he added.

The World Day of Prayer and Fasting offers an opportunity to reflect on God’s Word, listen to what God is saying, and pray that the pandemic will pass quickly.

The theme of the initiative is “Lord, help” and it is inspired by Psalm 107. “This prayer initiative will not begin and end with one day; we hope to boost prayer efforts and encourage believers to become part of the global prayer movement to intercede daily,” the WEA said.

“Prayer is still the greatest help we can give. As we pray for people in this difficult time, let us assure them of God’s love and let us take care of those who are afraid. Let us pray especially for all the frontline medical and government workers, for protection, good health and wisdom in all that they do. Working together with God’s help, we will defeat Covid-19,” concluded Tendero.

What is WEA?

More than two billion Christians in the world today are represented by three global church bodies. The WEA is one of those.

Launched in 1846 to unite evangelicals around the world, WEA continues to be a dynamic movement with 9 regional and 134 national evangelical alliances and over 150 member organizations.

WEA’s mission is to establish and strengthen Regional and National Evangelical Alliances, which in turn enable their national Church to advance the Good News of Jesus Christ and effect personal and communal transformation for the glory of God.

On the WEA website there are also links to other initiatives and prayer resources and more content will be added in the coming days.

Other global initiatives

The 24-7 prayer movement also developed special materials for these times of confinement. A virtual prayer room is available on their website, along with prayer guides for the entire family and “a prayer for the release of the coronavirus” translated into more than 10 languages.

The Lausanne Movement urged everyone to “show affection and mutual respect by taking care of each other, especially the elderly and the most vulnerable in the community”.

They shared prayer requests and offered a list of materials published by some of the leaders of the movement.

Historical unity in Europe because of the Coronavirus

In Italy, the Evangelical Alliance and more than 20 evangelical denominations and mission agencies experienced what they described as an “historic unity” on the National Day of Prayer on Sunday, March 22.

In Portugal, evangelical Christians also gathered for a day of intercession on the same Sunday. The Evangelical Covenant encouraged Christians to “pray, act and ask God for mercy”.

Missie Nederland and other Christian organizations in the Netherlands celebrated the National Day of Prayer on March 18, with a special focus on teenagers, with events on Instagram and YouTube.

The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom offers a prayer every Thursday.

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance called on all churches to “ask God to turn this time of crisis into a time of blessing” and suggested ways in which Christian communities could act in the new context of uncertainty.

In France, the National Council of Evangelicals encouraged brothers and sisters to join the government’s Civic Reserve initiative to “volunteer and carry out solidarity actions in their building and street”.

The Czech Evangelical Alliance regularly shares creative initiatives of other organizations in the country with the aim of fighting the virus.

In Bulgaria, the Evangelical Alliance and several church leaders shared video messages. “Now is the time for all believers in the country to unite around the truth that the Lord is close to those who sincerely call upon Him,” they said.

In Norway, the Evangelical Alliance shared an article that recalls similar moments in history. “I hope that our experiences are not so dramatic. It is good to see things from a wider perspective. The Christian faith is and remains a message of hope and that hope is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus,” they said.

In Germany, the Evangelical Alliance encourages Christians to pray every night at 20:20 p.m.

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