Sept 8: Celebrate International Literacy Day with these 3 Prayers

Join us as we pray that people will experience the joy of reading using God’s Word

September 8th is International Literacy Day. Launched in 1966 by UNESCO, International Literacy Day is celebrated to remind the public of the value of literacy for individuals and communities. Teaching people to read and write is about dignity, independence, and human rights. As former United Nations General Secretary Kofi Annan once said, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.”

And what better way to introduce illiterate people to hope than to introduce them to the God of hope in the pages of Scripture.

Conquering Illiteracy with God’s Word

There are nearly 775 million illiterate people in the world. Those who cannot read and write are more likely to live in poverty and are more susceptible to sickness and disease. To combat illiteracy, Bible Societies around the world are providing Bible-based literacy programs. These programs teach people, like *Benitha, how to read while also teaching them about Jesus, through the life-transforming Word of God.

Benitha’s life was changed through a literacy project run by Bible Society of Rwanda. As a mother of four, she often had to depend on others for small tasks such as reading a note. But after enrolling in a literacy class, she has grown spiritually and personally. She can now read the Bible on her own and is planning to use her new skills to start a small business selling fruit.

Benitha is just one of thousands of people whose lives have been transformed through a Bible-based literacy program. Today, Bible Societies are running literacy programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific, the Arab States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

We Need Your Prayers

Millions of people are held back from building a better life for themselves and their families and from accessing the promises found in God’s Word because they cannot read or write. But we can change this. On International Literacy Day, we invite you to join us as we pray for an end to illiteracy around the world. Here are three prayers you can pray.

Lord, grant illiterate people the opportunity to learn to read and write so they may encounter you in the pages of Scripture.

Pray that as people participate in Bible-based literacy programs they will learn to read and engage with Scripture. Pray that their lives will be transformed as they read God’s Word. Pray that they’ll be able to build better futures as they gain life skills to serve their families and communities.

Lord, grant favor to Bible Societies and ministries working to provide access to the Bible through literacy.

Pray for the resources needed to build and sustain literacy programs. Pray for all aspects of these programs including the development of curriculum, recruitment and training of facilitators, and advocacy and promotion of literacy programs.

Lord, let there be global awareness of the challenges facing illiterate people and lead more people to pray for them.

Pray that God would move on hearts around the world to pray fervently for the illiterate population. Pray that global events like International Literacy Day will be successful in raising awareness about the importance of literacy and that actions will be taken to enable literacy learning.

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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.

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