- (Photo: Brad Fenichel)
The president of a Christian publishing company from Maryland points to Britain's "Big Ben Minute" during World War II as a catalyst in the defeat of Germany's Third Reich as a good reason for people in the U.S. to engage in a daily minute of prayer to defeat evil.
"It's imperative that we reach into the arsenal of history and discover the weapon that defeated Adolph Hitler," said Brad Fenichel in an announcement about his "Minute of Prayer" grassroots movement.
Fenichel told The Christian Post that as Christians of all denominations prepare to observe the National Day of Prayer on May 3, more regularly observed prayer during a critical election year is needed.
Last month, Fenichel, the founder of Saddle Mountain Communications, released the republished WWII-era book, The Big Ben Minute. The book authored by Andrew Dakers (London, 1943) provides an insider perspective on the national minute of prayer phenomenon that began in Great Britain, and which was "widely credited, by contemporary people of faith, for the demise of the Third Reich."
The BBC estimates the number of people observing the minute numbered in the millions, Fenichel said.
In his preface to the republished book, Fenichel quotes a high Nazi official under post-war interrogation: "During the war, you had a secret weapon for which we could find no counter-measure … but it was very powerful … 'the Silent Minute.'"
"This is not my own idea," Fenichel told CP. "This is sort of a grassroots movement. In 2008, I received a chain email that Christians should pray one minute a day because there was a history of this phenomenon in World War II."
Inspired by the contents of the email, he republished the The Big Ben Minute and came up with a plan to begin a "Minutemen" movement that would have people praying at 9 p.m. Eastern Time every day.
"The Big Ben Minute was written in pseudo-religious language as a call to prayer for people of all faiths. Its compelling message, corroborated by history, is that each of us can play a meaningful part in defeating Evil – whatever shape it may take – in our generation," Fenichel said.
He also stated in the preface to the book: "Let us acknowledge that, to vanquish the darkness of our own time, all human possibilities have been exhausted. Instead, let us now petition God – humbly, sincerely, relentlessly and concertedly – to intervene and work His miracles.
"With a high-stakes national election upon us, it behooves all Christians to dust off our 'secret weapon.' Let the National Day of Prayer be our opening volley, followed by daily, concerted appeal to Heaven," he appealed.
One day of prayer observance for this nation is not enough, Fenichel noted.
"We can further drive our petitions towards heaven by continuing with the national minute of prayer throughout the year," he explained. "The plan is to call all Americans who would like to participate to simply stop what they are doing at 9 p.m. (ET) every night and pray knowing that other Christians across the nation are praying in agreement with them for our nation."
This is what was done in Britain during WW II when everyone stopped to pray when the Big Ben chimes would ring at 9 p.m. and broadcast over the radio, and the people of faith would use that time for prayer, he said.
"This is obviously not to detract from the enormous sacrifice of an entire generation of people that went to war to defeat evil in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. However, as with anything that involves faith, you can't prove it scientifically. You need to look inside yourselves and just know that prayer played a part in this and I think that the history corroborates it.
"Those of us who believe in God and have a relationship with Him should have no trouble understanding that there was a spiritual war going on."
Fenichel said that he hopes each American will determine the prayer needs for the country.
"I don't want to project my agenda about what needs to happen in this nation. I think each of us can search in our hearts and immediately write down at least a half dozen major things that need to happen in this nation for a turnaround," he said.
"As God reveals to us what to pray for let's all pray for it. I feel that it's never been more critical than now. Our nation is at a turning point. I have hope. I'm not one of the doomsday people that say our nation is gone," he continued. "I believe we can turn it around if we all get praying, but it has to start with people of God."
Fenichel, who authored the book, When We Pipe, God Shall Dance, said he is in contact with at least a half dozen prayer organizations and is seeking endorsement. Having just launched the campaign, his prayer team is still small, consisting of himself, his wife, and a few members of the church they attend.
On the group's website, there are several prayer groups that hold regular teleconference prayer meetings to pray for the nation.
"The circle is growing and the interest is growing," he said.
On the Web: http://minuteofprayer.blogspot.com/