3 Ways to Pray on International Mother Language Day

Join us as we pray for everyone to have a Bible in the language of their heart

In 1999, the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization declared February 21, International Mother Language Day. This day was birthed after events that occurred on Feb. 21, 1952 in Bangladesh when students gathered to protest recent language policies. These policies established Urdu as the only language to be taught in schools, instead of Bengali, their mother language. Sadly, four students lost their lives that day. But the world took notice of their sacrifice.

Today, International Mother Language Day celebrates multilingualism and cultural and linguistic diversity. On this day, efforts are geared towards promoting the preservation and protection of all languages.

Preserving Languages through Bible Translation

Language is a significant part of a people’s cultural identity. So, protecting languages, especially indigenous languages, is essential for ensuring continuation and transmission of culture. With one-third of the world’s languages endangered, Bible agencies are working to save lost and dying languages by translating Scripture into the heart language of each people group. This revitalizes languages where they can be integrated into formal education and preserved.

Additionally, completed Bible translations bring spiritual revitalization and hope to unreached communities. People groups who receive God’s Word in their heart language are being transformed through the power of Scripture.

And you can participate! Your prayers can help bring God’s Word to people who have yet to hear the gospel. Please join us on International Mother Language Day as we pray for all people to experience the life-changing message of the Bible in their heart language.

3 Ways to Pray

  • Pray for those still waiting. The Nyaneka-Mwila People of Angola long for Scripture in their native language. While some Scripture portions have been translated, they eagerly await a full Bible. Pray for the completion of Bible translation projects currently underway as well as the start of those yet to begin.
  • Pray for those who now have access to Scripture in their heart language. In late 2020, the Khoekhoegowab speakers of Namibia welcomed the new Khoekhoegowab Bible. Pray that they will encounter Jesus in the pages of Scripture. Pray for God to meet the longing of all those who seek to know him more intimately.
  • Pray for Bible translation agencies and teams. Pray for the alliance of Bible translation partners and resource partners working together to eradicate Bible poverty.

Related Blogs

Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

Give Now

Sign up to receive regular updates on our work and learn how you can pray for Bible ministry in the U.S. and around the world.


Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive regular updates on our work and learn how you can pray for Bible ministry in the U.S. and around the world.