Global Day Of Prayer
  By Dave Butts

    Last fall, I had the privilege of going to Pattaya, Thailand, where I met with the International Prayer Council, a group of prayer leaders from around the world. It was an exciting time of reporting, praying, and strategizing for the prayer movement worldwide. During this meeting the IPC announced the plans for a Global Day of Prayer to take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2005. The goal is to raise a canopy of prayer over all the continents, involving the Church of Jesus Christ in all nations for revealing the glory of the Lord in the earth. We will be connected by a worldwide television broadcast of this powerful prayer event.

    One of the most significant aspects of this event is its origin. In 2001, a group of South African businessmen rented a stadium in Johannesburg for prayer. Forty-five thousand Christians filled the stadium for three hours of dynamic prayer. The next year there were six stadiums in South Africa. In 2003, all of Sub-Saharan Africa joined in. On May 2, 2004, every nation in Africa had come on board, with over 20 million Christians praying together all over the continent.

    For 2005, Africa has invited the entire world to participate. At the time of this writing, the Church in 121 nations has already agreed to sponsor prayer events on May 15th. Conservatively speaking, we hope to see 100 million Christians seeking God together that day in prayer.

    The Global Day of Prayer is more than just a single day of prayer. The International Prayer Council is calling the Church worldwide to set apart the ten days preceding May 15th for prayer and fasting. What would happen in the Church around the world if the Holy Spirit led us to drastically curtail our normal church activities for those ten days and instead, seek the Lord in an upper room experience? I was impacted several years ago as I read a similar idea from Hudson Taylor. Taylor wrote, "Since the days of Pentecost, has the whole Church ever put aside every other work and waited upon Him for ten days, that the Spirit’s power might be manifested? We give too much attention to method and machinery and resources, and too little to the source of power."

    When this amount of prayer ascends to our Heavenly Father, what might His response be? Obviously, that is not for us to say. It is completely in the hands of God. However, we can look to the Book of Acts and see what happened when 120 believers met for ten days in the upper room, giving themselves completely to God in prayer. As a result of His visitation to them through His Spirit, over 3,000 came to Christ. What might happen with over 100 million believers spending ten days in prayer? Could we see half a billion people giving their lives to Jesus? Could this be the event that prompts the great harvest of souls that so many have been praying for?

    Here is my plea, brothers and sisters. Please go to the website at: www.gdop-usa.com. If you want more information, you can visit the worldwide website at: www.globaldayofprayer.com and get the larger picture. Download the resources. There is a wonderful ten-day guide for prayer that can be used to focus our times of intercession. There is also a great video that gives the background of this movement of prayer. After you see these resources, prayerfully begin to consider how you might join us in calling the Church in your city, region or nation to spend those ten days in prayer, leading perhaps to an even greater Pentecost!

    The United States has a unique opportunity leading up to the Global Day of Prayer. Our National Day of Prayer is set by an act of Congress to be the first Thursday of May each year. In 2005, the date will be May 5th. What amazing, God-ordained timing! We can use America’s National Day of Prayer to launch ten days of prayer culminating in the Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost Sunday, May 15th.

    What happens after the Global Day of Prayer? We are encouraging Christians and churches everywhere to take the following 90 days to earnestly seek to be the answer to their own prayers. We pray, and then we act. In a very real sense, this ought to simply be normal Christian behavior. The website will be posting specific ideas for follow-up to our time of concerted prayer together. It is also important to note that the International Prayer Council is planning on encouraging this pattern of prayer for the next five years.

    The purpose of a "day of prayer" is not to collectively gang up on God. It is not somehow to feel that if enough of us pray, we can get God to do what we want Him to do. A season of prayer for the Church is a time of humbling ourselves before the Lord. It is seeking His face and longing for His glory to be seen. The Church at prayer is a time for unrealized possibilities to be poured out upon a desperate world.

    Can you imagine living in a "prayed for" nation? A "prayed for" world? Might "…the earth be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD , as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. 2:14)?

    Join with your brothers and sisters around the world as we pray for the glory of God to be revealed in our day! "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn" (Isa. 60:1-3).