The American response to the first Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) exceeded expectations, said GDOP event planners.
"It was far beyond what we could ask or imagine," said Dr. Robert Bakke, producer of the American arm of GDOP.
According to organizers, the original U.S. goal was to have four large cities and two dozen small communities participate and act as models for "year one."
However, by Tuesday, 182 communities - spanning 38 states and 1 overseas military command - reported holding events.
Participants at each GDOP event prayed for God's mercy and forgiveness, repenting of sins and calling on the power of the Holy Spirit to dawn on this globe in a transformation and spiritual awakening.
The representative American event took place in Dallas, TX. It attracted 12,000-15,000 people, and was broadcasted live in at least 149 countries.
According to Dallas-based Star Telegram, Pastor Jack Grapham of Prestonwood Baptist Church announced at the event, "Tonight we look a whole lot like heaven in this place." The Prestonwood Baptist Church is currently one the largest churches in America with 24,000 congregants.
Other speakers at the Dallas event include Bishop T.D. Jakes of The Potters House Megachurch in Dallas and Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, Ca., who is author of the best-selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life.
During the event, Warren likened the prayer movement to the Protestant Reformation in its influence on Christianity, "but this time it will unify the church," he told the Baptist Standard.
Meanwhile, an event in St. Louis, Missouri gathered 3,000 Christians at the Busch Stadium, stated the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
About 1,000 people gathered at Hulman Center at the Indiana State University to participate in the massive movement for prayer. According to the Tribune Star News, people erased denominational and racial lines as they gathered to pray for their community and world.
In Atlanta, several thousand people filed into Philips Arena. Governor Sonny Perdue, who kicked off the three-hour event said, "Our city, our state, our nation, our world needs God's mercy today," according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Local events also took place, such as the one at Valencia High School in Placentia, CA. which gathered 500 people from more than 30 churches, the Orange County Register reported.
One family, the Kings, set up a prayer tent in their driveway and hung a sign welcoming passerbyers to prayer. Susan King, 48, told the Register, "It just blew my mind when I heard that the whole world was gathering for prayer, not just for a day but for 10 days."
Another individual from Ontario, Canada said his living room - which normally only holds 35 people - was completely packed with 70 people, according to Dr. Bakke. "They prayed in his house all night, and were "filled with the Holy Spirit and the glory of God," said Dr. Bakke.
All ten provinces in Canada reported holding events.
The Global Day of Prayer began on the other side of the world, in Fiji and ended in Hawaii, USA. As the sun moved west, successive time zones would begin worship when another had ended.
"Outstanding," Judith from Hawaii told the television broadcaster, GOD TV. "We are the final place on earth to participate, with major gatherings here. Praise the Lord!"
So far, Cape Town, South Africa reported having had 30,000 in its stadium. Cave Church in Cairo, Egypt - a basilica that seats 20,000 people - streamed a live broadcast across Africa and Europe.
In Asia, Hong Kong and Taipei hosted two of the world's largest gatherings with 40,000 and 50,000 attendants, respectively.
In Southeast Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia reported a total of 120,000 Christians attending a stadium event; 90,000 in the stadium with another 30,000 standing outside in the parking lots. In addition, at least 76 other cities connected to the Indonesian prayer event via live satelite- broadcast. Although Indonesia boasts the world's largest Muslim population, representatives of the government, including Prime Minister Megawati Sukarnoputri, were present at this milestone event.
In Europe, Belfast, Ireland reported 10,000 plus events throughout the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, at a Netherlands stadium event 30,000 participants gathered.
In addition, a telephone-broadcast was achieved with the Greater Calling ministry, which ran a phone line for people from all over the world to call in and join a telephone prayer-room. Participants from nine different nations recorded over 1.3 million minutes of continual prayer.
The American national event in Dallas will be rebroadcast on Daystar Christian Television Network and Christian Broadcasting Network throughout the world. In addition, the movie file of the American Dallas, TX stadium event will be available online at www.GDOPvideo.com shortly.
There has not been a time when the entire Church prayed together since the original Pentecost, according to the American GDOP website www.GDOPUSA.com.
This event is to be followed by 90 days of active service around the world in keeping with the Biblical 90 days after the Pentecost, according to the book of Acts, and communities are already reporting planned activities.
The Global Day of Prayer began when God gave two complimentary visions to Graham Power, of a five-stage global prayer movement. Stage one was achieved in 2001 when 45,000 Christians gathered in prayer, uniting Cape Town, South Africa. The second stage also exceeded expectations when nine cities across South Africa united the nation in prayer the following year. The third stage brought the prayer movement to the continent of Africa with the cooperation and support of the International Prayer Council. In 2004, all 56 African nations united in prayer, reportedly according to God's plan.
This year, the movement went global for the first time and broke records. It was made possible when seventy Christian leaders, representing networks of tens of millions of Christians from all of the major regions of the world, committed themselves to this Gobal Day of Prayer until year 2010, according to www.globaldayofprayer.org.
The story for this event accords with Scriptures: ten days of prayer followed by the giving of the Holy Spirit by God on Pentecost Day, the event which gave birth to the Church, and finally the 90 days of blessing.