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Prayer at Saul27/05/2013
Neighbours, Transform Your Street
Rebekah Brettle & Lyndall Bywater
An excellent book for those who are wanting to see prayer at work in their neighbourhood. Packed full of ideas, some so simple you wonder why you never thought of them before. You can read it cover to cover or just dip in, either way you can’t help but be encouraged.
In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chron. 7:14. The vision had three clear instructions:
- To call Christians from all denominations in Cape Town for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium.
- To challenge Christians across the rest of South Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
- To challenge Christians in Southern Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
In March of 2001 more than 45 000 Christians united for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town. It was a day of intense intercession that transformed lives and was reflected in a changing city in the months to come. Testimonies of transformation caused the vision to be spread into the rest of South Africa and planning immediately started for similar prayer gatherings in 8 provinces of South Africa for 2002.
In February 2002 Graham Power had a second vision. This vision had an even bigger challenge: The whole of Africa was to gather in a Day of Repentance and Prayer, changing Africa to become a “light to the world”. Eventually, Africa was to invite all the nations of the globe to unite in this move of transformational prayer.
In May of 2002 Christians in South Africa gathered in 8 different venues for a Day of Repentance and Prayer. Again, the testimonies of church unity and the healing of communities inspired leaders to expand the vision into the rest of Africa. At a Summit in September 2002 leaders of 9 African countries agreed on the vision “Africa for Christ”.
At the same time, it was clear that different prayer streams from across the globe were flowing in the same direction with a similar vision of community transformation through prayer. God was busy raising up a church of intercession in order to prepare communities for the revelation of His glory.
Across the African continent millions of Christians were inspired to participate in the process of transforming Africa. 77 South African regions and 27 African countries (66 cities) committed to a Day of Repentance and Prayer for Africa on the 1st of May 2003.
On 2 May 2004 history was made when Christians from all 56 nations of Africa participated in the first ever continental Day of Repentance and Prayer for Africa. Numerous communities, villages, towns and cities united in non–denominational prayer gatherings at different venues. In South Africa 277 communities participated. A flame of prayer was burning in Africa!
At a meeting of the International Prayer Council in Malaysia in November 2004, the invitation from Africa went out to the nations of the world to participate in a Global Day of Prayer process. On Pentecost Sunday, 15 May 2005, Christians from 156 of the 220 nations of the world united across denominational and cultural borders for the first Global Day of Prayer. In the months following this day, Christians were overwhelmed by the testimonies of God’s powerful work in answer to these prayers.
This move of prayer is still miraculously expanding. In 2006 millions of Christians from 199 nations united in prayer, in 2007 even more Christians from 204 nations participate and 214 nations in 2008. 2009 saw all 220 nations involving millions of Christians – possibly the biggest prayer meeting in the world EVER!
23 May 2010 saw the 10–year celebration of the Global Day of Prayer. Whilst Christians from around the world united in prayer in Cape Town, where everything started, millions from 220 nations once again gathered in their own nations. The urgent call from Joel 2 echoed throughout the nations to return to God with repentance on a level never seen before. Yes, this was a time of rendering our hearts to God and to see the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit on all flesh.
The growing momentum of the first 10 years laid the foundation to saturate nations in prayer. From 2011 we started to shift our focus from 220 nations to facilitate a lifestyle of prayer with as many people in as many places as possible. In this new season, we no longer aim at the goal of having organized events in every single country of the world, but rather to increase the number of gatherings on Pentecost Sunday in smaller settings, such as local churches, family homes and businesses instead of stadiums and assembly halls.
12 June 2011 and again on 27 May 2012 saw participation from many nations, cities, towns, communities, local churches and prayer groups where believers have never had the confidence to register an event, either because they weren’t able to gather in large public places because of fear of persecution, or because they don’t have the resources to plan such gatherings.
The Lord has indeed done many things through the Global Day of Prayer, and we are certain that these will continue for many, many years to come as nations continue to observe this one day of unified prayer.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14).