Will you join us in prayer?
Join us for Persevere: World Student Day 2023 on Friday 20 October
World Student Day is 48 hours of prayer that unites our global movement – students, staff, and supporters – to celebrate all that God is doing through IFES, and to pray for students around the world.
When Jesus commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19), he didn’t promise a journey without challenges. Today multiple obstacles can threaten to block the way for Christian student movements around the globe striving to help young people find freedom and purpose in Christ. Inadequate resourcing, isolation, apathy, opposition, and even persecution can make student witness a pilgrimage of perseverance.
World Assembly in August explored what it means to be resilient witnesses for Christ in the face of such challenges. On Friday, 20 October 2023, we’ll unite as a global fellowship to pray for the grace to persevere.
Mark your calendar now and add yourself to the prayer map to let us know you’re praying. Then make sure you’re receiving World Student Day updates by email to get prayer cards, videos, design materials, and everything else you need to help you pray.
Currently 9,741 people will be praying on this year’s World Student Day. Go here to add yourself or your prayer group to the map below.
Plan and Prepare for World Student Day
How you can join in
Share a Prayer Request
How can we pray for you? Share your prayer request so that thousands of fellow students and supporters can pray with you on 20 October.
Promoting World Student Day
Are you putting together your own event poster or setting up a social media event? Download our designer’s kit for images, designs, and text you can use to promote World Student Day.
Joining in World Student Day
On 7 October, we’ll have downloadable packs with prayer requests sent in from students around the world, and PDF maps of each IFES region, to help you structure your prayer meeting.
These videos can help introduce IFES and set the tone for your prayer meeting.
Don’t be alone
Make sure you add yourself to the prayer map to let us know you’re taking part!
Are you planning to join World Student Day as an individual? Perhaps you wish that your student or church group could have a closer connection to students in another part of the world?
This year we are using IFES Connect to help link prayer groups across the world. Join the group, meet your brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, and find another group of students to pray with online.
How to Pray on the Day
- Gather together.
- Invite your Christian friends, your student group, or your local church to join you.
- Get Creative
- Pray as you walk around your campus.
- Put on worship music and praise God. Listen to music from the countries you pray for.
- Use prayer cards or a map of the world to inspire your prayers.
- Tell us about it.
- We don’t want social media to be a distraction, but we do want to hear about your prayer meetings. If it is safe to do so in your region, send us a photo or short video via Facebook or Instagram. Tag any posts with #ifeswsd.
Stay in Touch
Sign up to the WSD emails for updates that will help you plan for the day, including prayer cards, video, and design resources.
Understanding World Student Day
What could your prayer meeting look like?
To inspire your planning, here are some stories of what students in four different countries in Francophone Africa did for World Student Day 2021.
Côte d’Ivoire: This moment: understanding the here and now
In 2021, World Student Day occurred not long after GBUCI Côte d’Ivoire’s National Camp, so there was much enthusiasm for the event. In keeping with the theme verse, which was Esther 4:14, many campus meetings included Bible study sessions on the chapter throughout the day. There was also an online prayer gathering with members of the movements in Gabon, Togo, and DR Congo.
In Abidjan, students also fasted before they gathered in the evening for a moment of sharing, prayer, and testimony. “The involvement of the students at all levels made this day a success”, says Lynda, a member of the movement. “They understood, like Queen Esther, the mission assigned to them in their local contexts. More than ever, they are convinced they have a decisive role to play in this moment!”
Cameroon: A day of sharing, a week of dedication
“It was a day of sharing”, says Laetitia, a staff worker from GBEEC Cameroon. Students shared experiences with those from other movements, shared the gospel on campus, and shared food together. In 2021, there were two main activities.
Firstly, reflection sessions took place. There were times of meditation, sharing, and worship. Throughout the whole week the students were mobilised in online prayer groups and networks. This was a way for students to rededicate themselves to the Lord, praying for non-Christian friends, and the work of God in other national movements.
The second activity was a campus outreach, demonstrating the love that GBEEC members have for other students. We sing a hymn in our groups which has the lyrics “pray, act”. Wonderfully, several students responded to the call to follow Jesus Christ, and some were interested in joining the movement.
Through all of this, GBEEC students have a better understanding of how great the mission really is. But they also saw that through prayer, and the right actions, God graciously brings fruit for the development of the work.
Togo: Broadening the vision
“World Student Day 2021 was a unique experience,” recalls Alexandra, staff of GBUST Togo. It began at 5:30 am with prayer in small WhatsApp groups. There was also a chain of prayer throughout the day across the country.
Later, on campus at the University of Lomé, students gathered to discuss and pray around the theme “This Moment”. At 7pm, the celebration turned to pray for movements around the world. It was an opportunity to develop the students’ missionary spirit and expose them to the realities of other movements.
In an online meeting with the movements in Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, and Gabon, we discussed and prayed for the skills of students to communicate the gospel with creativity in times of crisis. Finally, to connect with other IFES students internationally, they produced a video, which you can watch here.
Madagascar: New ways of meeting to pray
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the university calendar in Madagascar was very disrupted around the time of World Student Day. The majority of universities were still on holiday, and students were living with their families.
Some groups simply travelled to pray together, and while some were unable to meet in person, they shared prayer topics, leaving room for members to pray wherever they were.
The students had to be creative in order to live this exceptional moment in unity. Some groups organised a camp especially for the event so that their members could meet in a joyful way. Others went on a trip to enjoy the majestic landscape in the open air. Nonetheless, the creativity of the students showed that prayer is significant, and worthy of extra effort.
Let us know what you do with your World Student Day 2023 by sharing on social media with #IFESWSD or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about IFES
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