LONDON – A senior leader of one of the United Kingdom's largest Pentecostal churches has written to church leaders with an urgent call to prayer in the face of rampant secularism and consumerism in the nation.
Dr. Jonathan Oloyede, associate pastor of Glory House in London, told church leaders of all denominations that the United Kingdom "stands at a crossroads," having drifted away from God and the Christian faith.
But the Pentecostal leader said he has a "strong conviction that God is saying that together we can do something about the desperately sad state of affairs."
"As God's representative in your church, community or city – you can turn the tide," he wrote.
In a fast-paced world in which more and more demands are being made on time, Oloyede urged a return to Holy Sabbath.
"There is no lack or want of busy Marthas but that the spirit of Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus simply to hear is becoming scarce – an endangered species. He wants us to repent and recover our Sabbath," he stated.
"It is evident to me that He wants us to repent of our busyness and repair the prayer altars of our lives and of our people and congregations. He wants you and I to stay in His presence more to listen than to talk."
Oloyede, who convened a massive Global Day of Prayer event at West Ham Stadium in London earlier this year, pleaded with church leaders to start making plans to bring more people back to God by organizing regular prayer meetings with other local Christians.
"He wants prayer included in our priority list," he said, encouraging church leaders to hold their prayer meetings anywhere and everywhere, including in offices, pubs, on street corners, in restaurants and in parks.
"May the United Church rise up in the fullness of the Spirit – infused with the breath of Heaven, the inspired Scriptures and the fellowship of the saints," he concluded. "May the legacy of its Christian forebears not be forsaken or forgotten."
Oloyede's call has been supported by the Evangelical Alliance's general director, Joel Edwards, who said, "At a time when it seems there is more bad news in the world than good, it is a matter of urgency that we as Christians pray for those suffering from loneliness, meaningless and anxiety in their lives.
"Being at the heart of the community, the church is in a unique position to awaken people to the peace and fulfillment that comes from a life lived in the secure love of God," he continued.
"The Evangelical Alliance fully endorses this timely call from Pastor Jonathan and it is our hope that church leaders will respond by blanketing the nation in united prayer for revival."
Earlier this month, a poll conducted by one of the largest and best known multi-specialist research companies in Britain found that a worrying 43 percent of U.K. teenagers say they have no religion or faith.
Furthermore, the Ipsos MORI poll revealed a direct correlation between age and levels of faith, with an increase in age corresponding to an increase in the number professing faith. Out of those in their 20s who were polled, just 20 percent answered that they had no faith. In the 65 and above age category, just 8 percent responded that they had no religion or faith.
"Does this mean people tend to find faith or become more religious as they get older — or, alternatively, does it mean that the younger generation are increasingly less likely to follow a religion or have any belief?" posed a British Library spokesperson in response to the results.
Also this month, a poll conducted for the British Broadcasting Corp.'s new The Big Questions show found that four in five people believe Britain is in moral decline.
According to the survey of 1,000 people, only nine percent disagreed that moral standards were falling,the BBC reported.
Religion still kept its place of importance, however, with 62 percent agreeing that religion was an important moral guide for the nation.
On the Web: Dr Oloyede's letter in full at www.gdoplondon.com/.