I remember “See You at the Pole” and “National Day of Prayer,” but this was the first time I’d heard of “Global Day of Prayer.” Here’s the skinny (from their website):
In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chron. 7:14. The vision had three clear instructions:
- To call Christians from all denominations in Cape Town for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium.
- To challenge Christians across the rest of South Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
- To challenge Christians in Southern Africa to unite in a Day of Repentance and Prayer.
In March of 2001 more than 45 000 Christians united for a Day of Repentance and Prayer at Newlands Rugby Stadium in Cape Town. It was a day of intense intercession that transformed lives and was reflected in a changing city in the months to come. Testimonies of transformation caused the vision to be spread into the rest of South Africa and planning immediately started for similar prayer gatherings in 8 provinces of South Africa for 2002.
In February 2002 Graham Power had a second vision. This vision had an even bigger challenge: The whole of Africa was to gather in a Day of Repentance and Prayer, changing Africa to become a “light to the world”. Eventually, Africa was to invite all the nations of the globe to unite in this move of transformational prayer.
The overall takeaway, I believe, is that “Graham Power” is an awesome name…. Just kidding, but it’s, perhaps, a close second to this deep longing for unity (as I wrote about here). More specifically, the significance of such an event is as follows:
- The gathering of a unified celebration and reverence for God in a give region of 35 different churches (b/c we all know that denominations kind of seem counter productive)
- The exposure and interactions with local political figures commissioning people to care (it’d be nice to see Christians undoing their stigma through collaborative efforts of generosity and kindness)
- The cultural integration of many walks; in particular, Josh Fox’s contemporary Christian style in harmony with a Baptist gospel choir (seriously, why avoid each other, b/c one group does something somewhat differently?… Don’t we all want to see the same things happen?… And I don’t believe working against each other, nor working as if others don’t exist seem optimal.)
It was through this event that I met Pastor Brandon Johnson from Gathering by the Bay, and well the adventure continues. I’ve been hanging out with his young adult bible study and church group ever since. The two primary Christian communities I’m currently part of have unity as a major pursuit, but it seems just as difficult today (for them) as it was back when I was an undergrad at Delaware trying to “Unite the Campus in Christ” with Isaac.
Global Day of Prayer was an admirable endeavor. Seeing all the pastors of all the different churches together was a glimpse of how things are meant to be. Being commissioned by the mayors of the surrounding cities gave a great sense of purpose. Being able to share in our separate styles of worship was upliftingly humbling. Overall, something was still missing though, the commitment of all those believers who are too busy to care. Someday, I hope to be able to give people reasons to care.
Pastor Brandon is also an artist, and his young adult group is primarily artists and musicians as well. Their creativity has definitely rubbed off on me, as I’ve started my own sketchbook. I met many of them for the first time at this event. This time, I was just a choir member, who knows what I’ll be doing next year.
As far as unity goes, The Call in Sacramento is coming up. I’m trying to find my way there, especially after getting a message from Hazen. Hazen is from Atlanta House of Prayer, but that is a story for another time. Additionally, the church that I’m with, the one with the choir, is trying to do a unity event on 10/10/10, I’ll let you know more about that one too. Finally, I’m doing a unity event with graduate and professional students at Stanford for Universities in the bay area.
You may be asking why I care so much about what Christians do. Well, I guess I have a hunch that unity is an inherent longing of human beings. I mean, how else do you explain stuff like this?
Much of our motivation is rooted in our desire to be part of something. Why deny ourselves the actual things that we long for? Cheap imitations are lame.