Millions of Christians from 220 nations will unite in prayer and repentance on May 31—Pentecost Sunday—for the annual Global Day of Prayer (GDOP). Event organizers say the day will mark the first time there has been continuous prayer in every nation of the world.
GDOP founder Graham Power told Charisma the prayer day is being held to “saturate the nations of the world with prayer.”
“We believe that as we humble ourselves, seek our Father’s face and turn from our wicked ways, God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and heal our land,” said Power, who will be praying in Hong Kong on Sunday. “More than ever before the nations of the world are needing God to heal their land. It is as we actively engage in acts of repentance and prayer … that we prepare the way for God to save the lost and transform our nations.”
On Sunday, Christians will gather in venues ranging from stadiums to huts in locations from Hong Kong to Toronto. God TV will air a three-part live broadcast from several prayer services beginning in Bela Horizonte, Brazil, on Saturday at 8 p.m. (EDT), then moving to Hong Kong at 3 a.m. and concluding in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, at 11 a.m.
God TV founders Rory and Wendy Alec will host the broadcast from Washington, D.C., and will interview Power and several Chinese leaders participating in Hong Kong’s GDOP service.
“Last year it is estimated that 500 million Christians prayed the same prayer on Pentecost Sunday, and we encourage many more to participate this year,” Rory Alec said. “This is a unique opportunity for the body of Christ to come together to petition the Father in heaven for our nations.”
Participants in each venue worldwide are being asked to recite a written prayer of praise, repentance and salvation during their GDOP services. “Come and finish Your work in our cities, our peoples and our nations,” the prayer reads. “We lift our voices in unison with believers from Africa and Asia, from the Middle East and Europe, from North and South America, and from Australia and the Pacific Islands-together we cry.”
During the 10-day run up to Pentecost Sunday, participants have been repenting and asking God to move mightily during the GDOP services, patterning themselves after the early believers who prayed in the upper room in Acts 1:14. In London, Christians are praying the Lord’s Prayer every day until Sunday.
GDOP participants will pray not only for global needs, but also for local issues. “This year we want to focus our prayers on the needs of each borough of London and its many social issues, whilst also recognizing the desperate state this country is in, both in terms of those suffering from the credit crunch, and also the apparent lack of respect for our parliamentary system, rocked to the core by allegations of financial misconduct and lack of integrity,” said Jonathan Oloyede, GDOP London coordinator.
Christians from all 33 London boroughs will unite in prayer on Sunday, with many of the services linked by video. London Mayor Boris Johnston is scheduled to speak. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also has spoken out in support of the event.
“Christians across Britain and the world will be coming together once again in a spirit of fellowship and social witness,” Brown said in a statement. “By offering prayers for your communities and nations you are continuing a long-standing Christian tradition of prayer and action for the common good, and I am pleased to send my best wishes and support.”
Although Sunday will mark the fifth GDOP, the idea was birthed nearly 10 years ago when Power, a Christian businessman from South Africa, had a vision to unite all of Africa in prayer. In 2001 the initial event, dubbed the Day of Repentance and Prayer, brought 45,000 people to a stadium in Cape Town, South Africa. Last year millions of Christians from 214 nations gathered for prayer, and this year every nation is expected to participate.
Minnesota pastor Bob Bakke, a North American director of GDOP, said the unified prayer efforts will be life-changing. “All these great breakthroughs, whether we call them revival or awakenings or major moves of God in a society or in churches or in communities, are preceded by moments like this of united prayer and of earnest pursuit,” he said.