Annual motto gives designers ideas

‌“Prayer works!” Our 2024 motto has inspired some creative minds. ‌Here is a look at how the various District Apostle Areas have visualised the motto and the various ideas behind the designs.

The Church in Zambia, Malawi, and Zimbabwe used the classic image of hands folded in prayer, seen from the top, to represent this year’s motto. The neighbour to the north, the Democratic Republic of the Congo South-East, also used folded hands—although viewed from the side—to symbolise active prayer. The circle symbolises the community of believers.

‌The designer in South America created praying hands and the motto text in the form of a seal. The designer explains that the 2024 motto is a powerful statement, a declaration that expresses certainty. “Hence the seal as a unique and genuine signature. The square shape symbolises strength, solidness, and safety.”

The Intercessor in the picture

‌Other designs go beyond the praying and most actually follow a similar vein. The logo of the Western Pacific region depicts a dove floating above an open palm, representing the Holy Spirit and His function as a mediator. This is a reference to Romans 8: 26: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

A dove also crowns the design from East Africa. It shows a man and a woman in a kneeling position with their heads bowed and hands folded, symbolising humility as well as the fact that man and woman have been created equally in the image of God. “Both have the ability to communicate with Him,” the Regional Church explains. And then there is still the symbol of a campfire. It represents our love for God and for one another and that regular prayer keeps this love burning.

The motor in our life of faith

South-East Asia has gone to work with double the vigour. Because this logo, in the form of a silhouette, can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand the silhouette can be seen as an “image depicting the widely acknowledged hand gestures commonly associated with prayer” and, in addition, “as a symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit, who offers ongoing inspiration and guidance in the practice of prayer”.

The image of someone praying, framed by a very graphic cogwheel, is the design from the Democratic Republic of the Congo West. This represents the workings of a motor and underscores the active element of prayer life.

The power of unity

Southern Africa designed a circle composed of abstract figures in different colours surrounding the words “Prayer works”. This symbolises the church, in which the various individuals find unity in prayer.

The European District Apostle Areas presented their tried-and-tested word cloud. For the first time, there are separate logograms for Western Germany, Switzerland, and Northern and Eastern Germany. This way, the annual motto has been visualised in a total of 29 languages.

The design from Canada takes things from a completely different angle. The motto has been visualised as an olive tree that represents the Garden of Gethsemane. Here Jesus prayed intensely for His deliverance while wholly accepting the will of God. This image carries the profound emotion and trusting faith that James 5: 16 conveys.

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Andreas Rother
Media, International, motto, Prayer works!