This article was originally published in Edition (7) of Prayer Magazine,  Jul-Sep 2006.

What happens in Heaven when 400 million people pray ?

That’s one of the better questions I’ve come up with over the years, and the answer is true, we just don’t know.  One thing I am sure of though, Heaven was different the Day after the last Global Day of Prayer.

I love reading Exodus, and am very stirred by the story of Moses, who for the best part was the reluctant deliverer of Israel.

The scene is set in Exodus 3, when Moses on the run for Murder is confronted by an on fire bush which seems to have the ability to speak to Him.  Of course the voice was of God’s and Moses knew right there and then that Destiny and Choice were about to collide.

In verse seven, God says to Moses,

‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering….’

In the following Chapters, God basically explains to Moses that he has been chosen to deliver the people of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh.  Moses tries a few times to get out of that Job, sighting some quite creative excuses, but the bottom lines was God had heard the cry of the people, and things were about to change.

I’m fairly sure Graham Power never fully envisioned the way the Global Day of Prayer is taking shape, both from the volume of people involved and the sheer unity this day of prayer is expressing.

I just wonder how many people have prayed over how many centuries that the Church would be unified in Prayer, and God plants into the heart of a man, a vision to get the world to pray together on Pentecost Sunday.

This year The Global Day of Prayer saw approx. 400 million people praying from 189 countries – it’s getting easier to calculate how many Christians in how many nations AREN’T involved.

From the Raising of the Sun in Fiji to the setting of the same in Hawaii, the Lord brought his people together to pray for His Kingdom to reign throughout the Earth.

In Britain and Ireland we have seen 100% increase in the number of local and regional gatherings, two of the biggest being the second meetings in Stormont, Northern Ireland and also York Minster Cathedral in England.

YORK

The sense of purpose and excitement had been building for ten days as One Voice York prayed round the clock in the St Cuthbert’s Centre Prayer Room. As the crowds gathered there was a sense that something special and timely was about to happen in the ancient nave of York Minster.

Before the service started the crowd had already exceeded the previous year, and by the time we had started corporate prayer there were well over a 1000 praying Christians from churches and fellowships all over the area.

David Casswell, Vicar of Clifton, led some worship songs as people were arriving and also one song at the start of each section as we prayed for our city, our country and the continents.

A trumpeter called us to prayer and then Graham Hutchinson of Elim and Kate Wiley of the Church Army led us in prayer for our community and city of York. Kate had prepared many headlines from the York Evening Press and placed them at ten strategic points around the Minster. People were encouraged to go and find a headline that they connected with and pray through the headline for our city.  The Archbishop of York John Sentamu, had joined the crowds to pray, and was observed quietly taking part, praying through the headlines.

An introduction to the Global Day of Prayer was brought by Juliet Wright the local coordinator, and she read the verse:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

(2 Chron 7:14 NIV)

Stephen Redman of the Ark Church, explained that it was God’s people who had the responsibility of bringing forgiveness and healing to our land by doing what God says – humbling ourselves, repenting and praying. As a symbol of our corporate repentance we put on wrist bands that said “2 Chron 7:14”. We then began to pray in small groups for our nation.

This session was finished by releasing a mighty shout of the name of “JESUS” over our nation, followed by cries of “God save the Queen” and “God save Tony Blair”.

As a large screen showed a Global Day of Prayer video, there was a sense in the room of the mystical link between the hundreds of millions of Christians who were praying all over the world.

Finally John Davies, Vicar of Huntington, led prayer for the continents. He led us to pray silently and also vocally altogether in an Acts 4:24 model. We turned to the East, the South, the West and the North, praying for the nations in each direction. This was a wonderful corporate act as we held our hands out in blessing over the nations of our world.

To conclude the evening, 16 flaming torches were lit, and a precession followed groups of four torches through the ancient gates of the city. At each gate there was prayer offered up for our city and in this prophetic act we believe blessing was released over York.

Many churches groups in York came together to repent and pray in union with almost half a billion other Christians worldwide. Only God knows the magnitude and significance in the long term, but there was truly a tremendous unity demonstrated to all onlookers. This was a unity of purpose and heart-cry and recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ amongst us.

One Voice have already booked York Minster for 27th May 2007 for another great Global Day of Prayer!

STORMONT

Wondering whether the rain would hold off, 5,000 Christians gathered in the grounds of the suspended Northern Ireland Assembly to pray for unity, peace, repentance of division, and a renewal of the political process.

The gathering started with 200 people waving flags with a large red heart which challenged the people to tune into the Heart of God.  Then came all the official welcomes which ended in the distant beating of Lambeg drums coming from behind the crowd.  Many found this experience quite emotional as the Holy Spirit moved on people’s heart, a few recognising this drum beat as being symbolic of some of the division in Northern Ireland.

Slowly the Lambeg drum and Bodhran joined together on the stage, the sound of each started in conflict and competition and slowly moved toward the same rhythm – which eventually sounded like the profound beat of a heart.  This one short illustration demonstrating how opposing views and division built up over generations can exist together and beat to the same rhythm when there is willingness and desire to unite under a common cause.

In the next segment, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, had prepared statistics on five common themes which affect all of our communities, everyone then focussed on these points and prayed together, that God would come and touch these needs, and bring transformation.

The Bishop of the Church of Ireland earnestly and profoundly prayed for a renewal in the church, and as everyone’s attention turned to the government, we all got onto our knees and in Humility asked God to help Northern Ireland’s political process to succeed.

The Youth finished the day, making prayers of declaration from their own heart on how they desire to serve God and then went onto build an alter of stones from all different places, and as the alter was built blessing was spoken over each area represented, over the city of Belfast, over the Nation of Ireland and beyond.

The Global Prayer used by many nations during the Day of Prayer was used to structure the day in Stormont, the theme of this prayer was that God would touch the Nations of the World, and His Kingdom would reign everywhere.  It was once again an immense privilege and a humbling joy to pray in the grounds of our seat of Government.  We came away being challenged and inspired but if there was anything we carried away with us, it was Hope.

FURTHER AFIELD

It’s difficult to comprehend the sheer numbers of people involved.  We’ve listed below the nations (Nations in Red had not registered an event)

 

AFRICA

Algeria

Djibouti

Mali

South Africa

Angola

Egypt

Mauritania

St Helena

Benin

Equatorial Guinea

Mauritius

Sudan

Botswana

Eritrea

Morocco

Swaziland

British Indian Ocean Territory

Ethiopia

Mozambique

Tanzania

Burkina Faso

Gabon

Namibia

The Gambia

Burundi

Ghana

Niger

Togo

Cameroon

Guinea

Nigeria

Tunisia

Cape Verde

Guinea-Bissau

Reunion

Uganda

Central African Republic

Kenya

Rwanda

Zambia

Chad

Lesotho

Sao Tome & Principe

Zimbabwe

Comoro Islands & Mayotte

Liberia

Senegal

 

Congo

Libya

Seychelles

 

Cote d'Ivoire

Madagascar

Sierra Leone

 

Democratic Republic of Congo

Malawi

Somalia

 

 

ASIA

Afghanistan

Indonesia

Maldives

Syria

Armenia

Iran

Mongolia

Taiwan

Azerbaijan

Iraq

Myanmar (Burma)

Tajikistan

Bahrain

Israel

Nepal

Thailand

Bangladesh

Japan

North Korea

Turkey

Bhutan

Jordan

Oman

Turkmenistan

Brunei

Kazakhstan

Pakistan

United Arab Emirates

Cambodia

Kuwait

Philippines

Uzbekistan

China

Kyrgyzstan

Qatar

Vietnam

East Timor

Laos

Saudi Arabia

Yemen

Georgia

Lebanon

Singapore

 

Hong Kong

Macau

South Korea

 

India

Malaysia

Sri Lanka

 

AUSTRALASIA & PACIFIC

American Samoa

Guam

New Zealand

Tuvalu

Australia

Kiribati

Papua New Guinea

Vanuatu

Cook Islands

Micronesia

Samoa

Wallis & Futuna Islands

Fiji

Nauru

Solomon Islands

 

French Polynesia

New Caledonia

Tonga

 

EUROPE

Albania

Faeroe Islands

Lithuania

San Marino

Andorra

Finland

Luxembourg

Serbia & Montenegro

Austria

France

Macedonia

Slovakia

Belarus

Germany

Malta

Slovenia

Belgium

Gibraltar

Moldova

Spain

Bosnia

Greece

Monaco

Sweden

Bulgaria

Hungary

Netherlands

Switzerland

Croatia

Iceland

Norway

Ukraine

Cyprus

Ireland

Poland

United Kingdom

Czech Republic

Italy

Portugal

Vatican City / Holy See

Denmark

Latvia

Romania

 

Estonia

Liechtenstein

Russia

 

LATIN AMERICA

Argentina

Colombia

Guatemala

Paraguay

Belize

Costa Rica

Honduras

Peru

Bolivia

Ecuador

Mexico

Uruguay

Brazil

El Salvador

Nicaragua

Venezuela

Chile

Falkland Islands

Panama

 

CARIBBEAN

Anguilla

Cayman Islands

Guyana

St Kitts-Nevis

Antigua & Barbuda

Cuba

Haiti

St Lucia

Aruba

Dominica

Jamaica

St Vincent & The Grenadines

Bahamas

Dominican Republic

Martinique

Suriname

Barbados

French Guiana

Montserrat

Trinidad & Tobago

Bermuda

Grenada

Netherlands Antilles

Turks & Caicos Islands

British Virgin Islands

Guadeloupe

Puerto Rico

Virgin Islands of the USA

NORTH AMERICA

Canada

Greenland

St Pierre & Miquelon

United States of America

 

Reports are now being complied from around the world, video clips, testimonies, stories where Government leaders opened ceremonies, or stood with Christians in their Nation to pray.  There is so much to tell.

 

Over the coming day’s why not visit the Global Day of Prayer International website www.globaldayofprayer.com and see what God continues to do with this quite incredible move of prayer.

 

We have listed below the International Prayer, which you could continue to pray over your Nation and the Nations.

How ever we pray, millions of people are joining together and we must if we believe that God is going to bring transformations to Nations of the world, we must press on toward that Goal, an believe that God will answer our prayers.

For the three months that follow the Global Day of Prayer, people will be involved in blessing their communities. 

In Britain the 2007 Prayer Line up looks like this :-

Trumpet Call VI (6) – May 19th at the NEC which launches Prayer Week May 19th – 27th ending in the Global Day of Prayer on the 27th – What a great way everything is connecting.

Websites to Watch

www.globaldayofprayer.com (International Site)

www.globaldayofprayer.co.uk (British Site)

www.worldprayer.org.uk (For Trumpet Call Information)

www.prayerweek.com (For Prayer Week).

A Prayer for the Nations

Our Father in Heaven, as we join with your church around the world today, we pray your mighty blessing on the nations.   We thank you for what You are doing in many of the nations of Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia.   We praise you, Oh Lord, for the growth of the church – where the darkness has been darkest, there the brightest lights are shining.  

We pray that you will continue to pour your Spirit on all flesh, so that every tribe, language group and nation may know that You are God and there is no other.

We ask for a fresh visitation throughout Europe.   Lord, this Continent needs your healing.   Wounds have been inflicted on and by these peoples and nations for centuries.   We have turned away from your ways and pursued humanism and materialism.   Lord God, Heavenly King, Saviour of the World, Holy Spirit – we need you.   Europe needs you.

Lord come and cleanse us.

Lord come and heal us.

Lord turn us again towards you.

In your mercy,

Hear our prayer, in Jesus’ name.   Amen.

Let us once more together pray the Lord’s prayer, this time with the nations of our world in mind.

Our Father in Heaven,

Hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come, your will be done

Throughout the earth, as in Heaven.

Forgive us our sins,

As we forgive all who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

For ever and ever – AMEN

Let’s lift our voices in spontaneous prayer for the nations of the world, and particularly for those most on our hearts.

 

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