PRAIRIE HOME — A prayer service from a small country in Europe was recognized by a few churches in Moniteau County last Friday. About 30 locals gathered at Prairie Home United Methodist Church to pray for the women of Slovenia and members of their own communities.
The event was in recognition of World Day of Prayer. Each year, the event takes place on the first Friday of March and is celebrated nationally. A different country is chosen to host the event and share materials with thousands around the world.
Area churches take turns hosting a local prayer. Jackie Bruner is on the local committee and a member of Prairie Home United Methodist church.
“It’s a good time to gather and know that other people around the world are going through hard times too, and we are all praying,” Bruner said. “Then you feel like the whole world will be praying on the same day,” Bruner said.
Through folk song, stories and scripture, the service celebrated the theme “Come —Everything is Ready.”
Stories were sent from Slovenian women who were in need of prayer. Some included a woman in the face of injustice, abandonment and lack of equality.
Attendees offered prayers for the women and their situations.
“We pray for these things, (and) sometimes they’re the same types of things that we’re experiencing,” Joyce Rohrbach said.
She said she believes the services help Christians be united around the world.
In a short play, participants acted out Luke 14:15-24.
The scripture tells the story of a man hosting a banquet and inviting friends. The friends give excuses for why they can’t attend just before the meal. The host then, asks his servant to invite people from the streets who are less fortunate whom he wouldn’t usually invite.
Mary Haldiman played the servant in the play. She said it sends a message to Christian followers about how to get into heaven.
“Those who accept the invitation are the ones who go,” Haldiman said. “We don’t earn our way to heaven; it’s the accepting of the invitation.”
Before the end of the service, a candle was lit and a prayer was said for area residents who died in the last year and their families.
Guest took home resources from Slovenia including recipes, sheet music and a map of the country.
Bruner said it’s encouraging that people all over the world participate in the event.
“It’s encouraging all over the world people celebrate this,” Bruner said. “It’s not just us here, I think sometimes we forget that.”
A short meeting between the local World Day of Prayer committee —Prairie Home United Methodist, Moniteau Evangelical Advent, Grace United Methodist and St. Paul’s Evangelical — churches took place after the service.
The offering raised $366. The committee agreed to split funds between the World Day of Prayer USA committee and the Mustard Seed Food Pantry in Prairie Home.
Last month, the pantry served 47 families, about one-third of which were youth under 18.
Next year, Moniteau Evangelical Advent Church will host the service March 6. The host country is Zimbabwe.