Millions of Christians from dozens of denominations are preparing to unite this October for the sixth annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ), a highly regarded prayer effort gaining momentum in recent years – amid the threats, terrorist attacks and international pressure rising against Jerusalem from many sides.
Driven by more than 1,000 major global church leaders, organizers say that the day of prayer, which this year falls on Sunday, Oct. 4, is happening in local churches all around the world, joined spiritually through simultaneous prayer in more than 175 nations.
“As the Bible declared it would, Jerusalem has become a cup of controversy on the global stage,” said Rev. Robert Stearns, who co-chairs the DPPJ alongside Dr. Jack Hayford, president of the International Foursquare Church. “We believe that God’s peace plan is one of love for all peoples of the Middle East, and we are calling on the God of love and peace for His solution to Jerusalem’s quandary.”
“Even America – a nation historically supportive of the state of Israel – has been changing its rhetoric on matters pertaining to Jerusalem, and America has also seen unprecedented instances of hostile, anti-Israel demonstrations on its university campuses and in the streets of its cities,” said Stearns.
Highly respected Indian Christian leader K.P. Yohannan, of the group Gospel for Asia, which claims to influence tens of thousands of churches throughout India and other parts of Asia, has recently added his support to the global effort.
“As our Lord told us, we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that He will bless her and use her to accomplish much in these days,” he said.
While advocating for Israel’s right to defend itself, Stearns maintains Christians must meet the tensions in the Middle East with fervent prayer.
“At the root, the unrest in the Middle East is a spiritual problem requiring a spiritual answer,” Stearns said. “That’s why God continues to stir energy for prayer in the hearts of thousands of Christians, from Latin America to Asia to all over Europe and Africa, on behalf of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants, Jew and Arab alike.”
Organizers said Christians can make their influence felt this year by encouraging their local pastors to pray on Sunday, Oct. 4, even if for just a few minutes, asking for God’s peace to flood the streets of Jerusalem. Churches can also request free DPPJ packets containing posters, brochures, prayer cards, videos, flyers and children’s resources at the official Web site DaytoPray.com. Materials are available in 20 languages.
In addition to the participation of thousands of praying Christians worldwide, millions more can watch and pray on Oct. 4 by tuning in to GOD TV’s live broadcast on www.God.tv from downtown Jerusalem, where Jerusalem’s new Mayor, Nir Barkat, will give a keynote address, along with many other dignitaries such as Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat and Arab Pastor Naim Khoury of Bethlehem.