Countdown Begins to Global Day of Prayer

The countdown to the massive Global Day of Prayer (GDOP) event in London began Friday night when hundreds of Christians packed into Westminster Chapel to join in prayer and praise for the capital and the nation.

Around 30,000 Christians are expected to come to Millwall Stadium to pray for the capital and the nation on Pentecost Sunday, May 11, as part of the Global Day of Prayer. The movement brings together millions of Christians each year for a day of repentance and prayer for spiritual revival within the church and the establishment of God's Kingdom on earth.

London organizers include the Bishop of Barking, the Rt. Rev. David Hawkins, and the head of one of London's largest Pentecostal churches, Pastor Jonathan Oloyede of Glory House.

Oloyede shared the verse in the Bible, 2 Chronicles 7.14, which inspired South African Christian businessman Graham Power to start world prayer for revival just over eight years ago.

The verse reads, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Oloyede continued, "If we do what we are supposed to do then God will do what He has to do."

"We have to take London for Jesus. We have to take the nation for Jesus," he added.

This year's event will build on the huge success of the 2007 GDOP which drew 20,000 Christians to West Ham Stadium to pray.

GDOP London will also fall within a sweep of events around the city this year as part of the Pentecost Festival, which is being spearheaded by Share Jesus International (SJI). On May 9-11, Christians will flood to the capital's churches, streets, theatres, pubs and cafes for a number of events including worship, prayer, campaigning and social action.

SJI head, Andy Frost, hit home the purpose of Pentecost Festival when he told believers, "The church is not dead. The church is alive and the church is active. We are going to show this nation just what Christians are doing.

"It is about making Jesus famous again and showing who He is in this city. The church is alive and we've got a message they need to hear."

This year, GDOP is being rolled out across the UK, with events planned for Birmingham, Manchester, Cambridge, Derby and Stoke on Trent, where Christians have already signed up for 40 days of continuous prayer for the nation.

In 2007, churches across London prayed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, for the capital and the UK as part of the Year for London. This year, churches in the city are repeating the yearlong action, this time calling it the Canopy of Prayer.

The long-term vision is to take GDOP to Wembley Stadium in 2010. "It will be done in Jesus' Name," said Oloyede.

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