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Feb23MonAnnual day of prayer to take place on March 29. February 23, 2015
Every year The Salvation Army sets aside the last Sunday in March as the International Day of Prayer for Children. The date for this year's day of prayer is Sunday, March 29, under the simple theme "Pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17 New International Version). Salvation Army corps and centres are encouraged to place a special emphasis on this day on praying for children all around the world.
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To help with preparations for the 2015 day of prayer, discussion and information resources have been prepared by Major Michelle Woodhouse and Captain Teresa Everett (officers serving in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland) and a poster has been created at International Headquarters (IHQ) to ensure that all Salvationists and friends are aware of the occasion. All of the resources are available on the IHQ website, at sar.my/dopchildren2015.
The day of prayer gives opportunity to remember that The Salvation Army's work with children is truly worldwide (this link, for instance, shows the spread of the five zones which oversee The Salvation Army's work in 126 countries – use the "select your country" drop-down menu to find out which country is in which zone).
The Prayer Passport resource is easy to share with congregation members or with friends and individuals linked to The Salvation Army. Participants in the day of prayer may want to write a specific prayer for children in each of the five zones where The Salvation Army is at work. Alternatively, the interactive web page enables people to pray for topics shared by Salvation Army children's workers around the world or add their own specific prayer requests to the discussion page so that others can pray for these particular concerns and needs.
The online resources page includes simple ideas that may be helpful as people think about ways to get involved. Major Janet Robson (Youth and Children's Officer, IHQ) says that, importantly, "the resources can be used with children themselves so they can join in and pray for other children."
The 2015 day of prayer falls on Palm Sunday, but Major Robson sees this as a positive thing. "The value that Jesus gives children is made very clear on Palm Sunday," she explains. "In Matthew 21:15-16 we read that the chief priests and teachers of the law became angry about children shouting 'Hosanna to the Son of David' in the temple courts. Jesus had no time for this attitude, and reminded them of the psalmists' words: 'From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.'
"'The fact that children played a significant role on the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem can serve as an encouragement (and challenge) to us all. Let's align ourselves with Jesus' response to children and affirm them in every way we can, including through our prayers."
Note: IHQ has created a poster, in English, to raise awareness of this year's Day of Prayer. There is also a version without text (PDF, 1.5Mb) and the Adobe InDesign files (30Mb) can be downloaded here, so that Salvationists can create posters in other languages.