“Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk”




Nonhlanhla Mathe

World Day of Prayer 2020

The World Day of Prayer 2020 host country is Zimbabwe and the theme is “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk”.

Program written by the ​World Day of Prayer Committee of Zimbabwe for WDP 2020

John 5:2-9a New International Version (NIV)

2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The painting portrays people’s lives in the society.

The country of Zimbabwe has been in the news recently. The newly elected president has been sworn in after a tense and disputed election. Churches and ecumenical organizations are actively promoting peace education and civic awareness to engage the communities in peaceful participation. Prayer vigils, election monitoring and dialogues between civil society and the government were organized to have political transparency, and to promote healing in a country that searches for peace and reconciliation.

This historical moment may express one of the contexts for the Zimbabwe theme. The WDP 2020 program is based on Jesus’ encounter with a person who, although positioned for healing, had not acted upon the opportunities given (John 5:2-9a). Jesus asked –“Do you want to be made well?” You are faced with this life-changing question. What are you going to do? Use this opportunity to reflect with your WDP group, community and ecumenical partners. Prayer and action are what links us together around the globe.

“Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk,” said Jesus. Our sisters from Zimbabwe are taking Jesus’ encounter to be a call to act in love for peace and reconciliation. “The action verbs suggest that we should not be afraid to act on the word of God. God is offering us the steps for personal and social transformation.” This is the time for change!

We are empowered to take up our mats. No more waiting powerlessly on the mat. As expressed in the WDP 2020 painting by Nonhlanhla Mathe, let us give a healing hand to the needy, let us embrace children with love as their future is ahead, and let us open our arms in joy as the time to rise up has come.​ This is the time for change!​

May we hear the words of this compassionate God and the Prince of Peace to act upon the healing of ourselves and our communities to bring peace and reconciliation into the world.

Listen to the theme song “Rise! Take Your Mat and Walk” composed specially for the 2020 program by WDP Zimbabwe Committee liaison, Sylvia Marowa.

Holy Name Catholic Parish Mabelreign English Choir

The WDP Zimbabwe Committee

​In 1962, Mai Rev. Kachidza of the Methodist Church and Mai Major Nhari of the Salvation Army Church formed the first interdenominational prayer committee meeting. These two leaders saw the need for the reverends, bishops, ministers and pastor’s wives to meet, pray, know each other and strengthen one another in doing God’s work.

​We have seen the growth of World Day of Prayer Zimbabwe from churches to schools, from universities to girls’ and women’s organizations. It is with deep gratitude that the growing power inherent in World Day of Prayer and the Mibatanidzwa prayer meetings are recognized.

To this day, World Day of Prayer and Mibatanidzwaye Madzimai follow the tradition of praying and helping the needy in their communities rotating the giving to the needy in the different provinces as identified by the local women in the provinces.