Theme for the World Day of prayer 2023 was ‘I have heard about your faith’ (Ephesians 1:15-19).

Each year the service is written by Christian women from a different country. This year it was the turn of Taiwan.

The Salvation Army in Tenby hosted the World Day of Prayer the first since before the pandemic. Five churches from Tenby were represented and people from each church took part, as shown in the picture.

Major Linda said: ‘It was a blessing to see our building full with 35 ladies and one gentleman. There was a lovely relaxed and warm feeling amongst the group, with plenty of chatting and laughing afterwards while cake and drinks were being served’.

The Meditation was as follows:

Paul’s letter to the Christians in Ephesus was written to them as a source of encouragement at a time of great adversity. Yet, throughout all that they faced, they still lived out their love and faith in their daily lives. Paul gave thanks to God for this and prayed they would receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation and would come to know God through the light and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In everyday life we are often frustrated by difficulties, obstacles and challenging situations. Many people are bowed down and under heavy emotional loads and are weary of life’s struggles. At times, we may even lose our hope and faith, relying on our weak human nature. However, we are called to keep our hope and faith in God’s kingdom and promises.

Today, as Christians in many parts of the world continue to face adverse circumstances, suffering from hardship and persecution, they still need to be surrounded in prayer and encouraged to hold steadfast to their faith just like Paul encouraged the Ephesians. As sisters in Christ wherever in the world we live, we need to keep each other in prayer and be encouraged to keep on whatever our personal circumstances. So, be encouraged, keep on even if progress is slow. Keep each other in prayer and, through prayer, demonstrate the love of God. Have conversations. Encounter God-appointed moments.

It is so important to have encouragers in our lives, people who are there for us when the going is tough. This is even more noteworthy when the Lord brings Christians into our lives; people who strengthen us in our journeys of faith. Strategic, person-centred Gospel ministry – everyone has a part to play and everyone must play their part.

Even in the face of adversity we need to remain focused and faithful and align our will to the will of God. For Christians, opposition and difficulty are never far away. Spiritual advancement will always face opposition but if we, like Paul, encourage each other, the people of God, we in turn will also be encouraged.

In the eyes of God we are not pieces of confetti that go with the wind without specific direction: we are irreplaceable pieces of a puzzle pieces were used to compete the map of Taiwan so, despite our different social backgrounds, regional contexts and diverse cultures, we uphold each other in prayer. For those who are persecuted for their Christian faith, we pray that they remain strong and faithful. May all of us live out and share our Christian love and faith in our daily lives.