Amidst Rising Tensions Christians Assemble Near Temple Mount to Lead Global Prayer for Jerusalem
In the wake of several brutal terror attacks around the Temple Mount over the weekend, hundreds gathered Sunday in the historic Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem to pray. These were joined by millions of Christians united globally for The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) (www.daytopray.com).
Over 1400 global Christian leaders endorse this growing prayer movement calling believers to intercede for the city God calls His own and to invoke God’s blessing, purposes, and provision upon all of Jerusalem’s people. Hispanic evangelical leader the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, oversees more than 500,000 Latino churches globally that participate each year. Dr. Jeff Farmer, President of Pentecostal/Charismatic Church of North America (PCCNA) – which represents over 480,000 churches and nearly 90 million followers of Christ worldwide – has also recently endorsed the DPPJ.
From over 175 nations, believers gathered to pray in their churches and homes from cities to rural villages, from huts to mansions, and from cathedrals to underground churches in China and seven Muslim countries. They also joined in intercession via the prayer app “Instapray
” and on a global 24 Hour Prayer Conference Call.
Broadcast by GOD TV
to 500 million viewers in nearly 200 nations, people were also able to participate in the special Jerusalem DPPJ Celebration - hosted by Eagles’ Wings Founder / Executive Director Rev. Robert Stearns - at Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem. Christ Church is the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East.
Host Pastor Rev. David Pileggi opened the service in prayer and shared that “the very motto of Christ Church since 1830 has been: ‘Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.’ ” Some of the speakers included: Anne Ayalon, President of The Galilean Project & Christian Friends of Magen David Adom Israel (and the wife of Former Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Daniel Ayalon); Ken Howard of Christian Friends of Israel; Rev. Petra Heldt, of The Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity; Rick Ridings, Founder of Succat Hallel, 24/7 House of Prayer; Peter Tsukakira, Director of Or HaCarmel Ministry Center; and keynote speaker Canon Andrew White – popularly known as the "Vicar of Baghdad".
Normally the guest speakers also include many Jewish religious and governmental leaders as well but this year, the first Sunday of October coincided with the holiday of Simchat Torah, which limited Jewish participation.
This multi-national, multi-denominational global prayer movement was started in 2002 and is co-chaired by Evangelical Christian leaders Rev. Robert Stearns, Dr. Jack W. Hayford, and Dr. Paul Cedar. With more than 40 nations represented in the sanctuary and almost 200 nations watching the broadcast, Rev. Stearns issued a strong challenge to the nations: “Don’t ask God to bless your city unless you bless His city – Jerusalem. Don’t ask God to bless your family unless you bless His family – the Jewish people."
He also added, “God has a blessing for both the sons of Isaac and the sons of Ishmael.”
“The Vicar of Baghdad”, Canon Andrew White, who was educated in Jerusalem at both Hebrew University and a Jewish Yeshiva, shared a story from his present work as President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which led him recently to gather key Rabbis and several Islamic Ayatollahs. After 3 challenging days together, the Rabbis said to the Ayatollahs: “We have heard your story and now we love you.”
The Ayatollahs responded to the Rabbis: “We hated you, but we have looked into your eyes; once you were our enemies but now you are our friends.”
White said: “God is at work amongst us. What we know is that The Lord is here. Ultimately, we will see the power of God come forth from Israel to the nations.”
The Jerusalem DPPJ celebration was saturated in prayer for God’s city and people. “We pray that as Christian brothers and sisters we no longer can be silent among the nations…bind us together with our Jewish brothers and sisters, for together we are the family of the One True God,”
prayed Ken Howard of Christian Friends of Israel. Rev. Dr. Heldt prayed for the five orphans who had just lost their parents on Shabbat of Sukkot in a brutal terror attack, lamenting that a high time of praise became a high time of sorrow. “Lord, we beseech you to take the place of the children’s parents who were murdered by the hatred of men. We pray for the nations who are full of hatred against Jerusalem; please make their hearts as tender as the heart of Abraham who served you with all his soul.”
As one of the few Asian Christian leaders in Israel, Peter Tsukakira prayed that God would plant a seed in the hearts of Christians from all of the Asian nations and the Far East, and raise up millions from those lands to “stand as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.”
And as Jesus taught His disciples, Rick Ridings concluded the time of prayer by leading those gathered in praying a blessing even over those who would seek to be enemies of the Jewish and Christian communities in the Middle East.
Throughout the 24 hours of October 4th, over 500 believers from around the world also prayed together through an internet “virtual prayer room” created by the 24-Hour DPPJ Prayer Conference Call (www.greatercalling.org
). Callers representing many states in the U.S. were joined by believers from the nations, praying a total of 17,472 combined minutes of prayer, which is the equivalent to one person praying for the peace of Jerusalem non-stop for more than 12 days.
Social media was also a key part of October 4th with global believers joining one another in prayer for the peace of Jerusalem through the world’s leading prayer app, Instapray
. As soon as one person would release their written prayer for Jerusalem, a multitude of others from the US and places like India, UK, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, Mozambique, Romania, France, Ghana, The Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong, Nepal, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and even Iran, immediately sent back messages saying that they too had prayed that prayer for Jerusalem.
The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem – on the first Sunday of every October - is the largest Jerusalem-focused prayer initiative in the world, involving tens of millions of believers participating each year from over 175 nations. It is endorsed by prominent Christian leaders worldwide, including T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Michael W. Smith, Dick Eastman, Ron Luce, Kay Arthur, Jane Hansen Hoyt, K.P. Yohannan, Ravi Zacharias, Dr. Raleigh Washington, Kenneth Copeland, Lance Wallnau, Larry Stockstill, Bishop Charles Scott, The Newsboys, Dennis Balcombe, Sunday Adelaja, and many more.