2023 Week of Prayer: Rising from the Ashes

2023 Week of Prayer Written by Dr. Carlene Beth Wynter (editor) - Week of Prayer Booklet
Year 2023
Number of Pages 12
Book Format EBook
Availability Online, Free

During the first full week of January since 1967, Seventh Day Baptists around the world have united in prayer by sharing meditations centered on a theme chosen by the author of the SDB Week of Prayer booklet. This year, there is a general author, who has solicited the writings of three other authors to complete the booklet. The general author is Dr. Carlene Wynter, President of the British Seventh Day Baptist Conference. The other authors will be introduced later.


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We are encouraging prayers each day of the week for all countries of the world where Seventh Day Baptists exist; not just the countries which are members of the World Federation. Again this year, participants are being referred to the World Federation website (sdbwf.org) where some basic information is provided about the churches in each country. Hopefully, that information can serve as a helpful guide for prayer. 


This year’s week of prayer meditations are based on a collection of reflections, presentations, studies, and sermons from The British Conference’s 2021/22 theme, “Rising from the Ashes.” The subtheme is “How to Rise from Challenging Circumstances.”

The objective of these meditations is to encourage fellow Seventh Day Baptists worldwide to celebrate, rebuild our heritage, support each other, maintain a questioning mind, seek God’s answers in all our activities, maintain an eternal focus, and answer the call to volunteer and serve regardless of our circum- stances. Isaiah 35 is the main scripture passage.

A little bit about the theme. We are all to some degree acquainted with ashes. Ashes are defined as the solid residue left when combustible(burnable) material is thoroughly burned or oxidized (rusted) by chemical means. Ashes symbolize grief, humiliation, and repentance (Merriam Online Dictionary). Ashes are mentioned numerous times in the Bible and are often mentioned in relation to grief, sorrow, mourning, and repentance of sins (See Job 2:8; 42:6; Jonah 3 5-6; Jeremiah 6:26; Psalms 102 9-10). For our meditations, we will limit the meaning to challenging circumstances such as grief and sorrow in our life’s journey. The action of rising suggests moving upward, and growing or increasing gradually. Taken together, we could say rising from the ashes is a gradual moving out or away from our challenging circum- stances, whether grief, distress, poverty, sickness, death, anxiety, etc. The question is how should we behave when shifting from this state. Our theme passage, Isaiah 35 paints an excellent picture of this rising out of these circumstances! We will also look at three supporting passages: 2 Corinthians 1 Nehemiah 4 and 1 Samuel 30 which provide us with additional know-how.

Isaiah was a major prophet, who ministered in the 8th. century. He served amongst contemporaries like Jotham, Ahaziah, and Manasseh. Whilst Isaiah’s prophecies were directed at Judah’s idolatry and oppression, it was also delivered to Israel and all nations. They were mostly of judgment, renewal, and hope. In reviewing the theme passage, note is taken of the vision or imagery of beauty, encouragement, restoration, celebration, renewal, hope, and perfection following God’s judgment. Even though God’s judgment was severe as reflected in Isaiah 1, there is a break! One scholar argues that God was just as thorough in his compassion as he was severe in his judgment. God charts the path for us right into eternal glory! As we traverse this path, we encounter challenges, such as seen in Nehemiah 4 and 1 Samuel 30 for which strategies are given to overcome them. 2 Corinthians 1 calls on us, regardless of our circumstances, to serve each other.

The daily meditations (as listed below) are co-authored by the various presenters: Pastor Norman Fearon, Evangelist Hurley Taylor, Pastor Andy Samuels, and Dr. Car- lene Wynter (co-author and editor).

Sunday – Isaiah 35: 1-2
Celebrate with Joy and Singing

Monday – Isaiah 35: 3-6
Show of Empathy and Compassion

Tuesday – 1 Samuel 30
Rising from Ground Zero

Wednesday – Isaiah 35: 7-10
Rising from the Ashes:
An Eschatological Perspective

Thursday – Isaiah 35:7-10
Rising from the Ashes:
An Eternal Perspective

Friday – Nehemiah 4: 1-3 & 6-15
A Journey of Questions and Answers

Sabbath – Summary
Having Risen, Will I Answer the
Call to Serve?

As we explore these passages, I cannot help but call out to you to celebrate, show empathy, start all over, rebuild, maintain a questioning mind, keep an eternal focus, and be prepared to serve as you are Rising from the Ashes!

God bless you.

Dr. Carlene Beth Wynter (Editor) 

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