The Global Day of Prayer is important because these are the Days of Global Prayer. GDOP is not just an annual event in a big stadium somewhere: it’s a move of God, complementing other international prayer movements, bringing Christians together in earnest and focused prayer for their localities, London and the UK.
As Jonathan explains, “The Global Day of Prayer is not just about the day itself – it’s about a continuous movement of prayer”.
GDOP began in Cape Town with one event in 2002 – last year, every nation on the planet held a GDOP event. God is up to something!
The simple inspiration for GDOP can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, which says, “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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Global Day of Prayer boroughwide events on Pentecost Sunday, 23 May
In 2009, the 33 boroughs of London and a few more on the outskirts – including Thurrock – held their own ‘mini’ GDOP events. The result of not having a single stadium event was that many more people were able to access the GDOP. At Millwall in 2008, some 12,000 people came to the stadium event, but last year around 50,000 people were involved in a whole host of cross-denominational gatherings. In Thurrock, we held not one GDOP event, but three! (The picture shows John Burt of Grays Baptist Church driving into the ground one of 3 symbolic stakes claiming Thurrock for Christ, the others being at Hardie Park in Stanford and at Aveley Christian Centre.)
In 2010 it would be great to join with the London and Home County boroughs by having one centralised event in Thurrock; one which celebrates Jesus Christ as our one, fixed, central point of reference; one which expresses the many traditions, cultures and expressions of the Christian faith across the borough; one which joins us together to intercede on behalf of those who don’t know how to pray for themselves; and one which engages the wider community through follow-up missional action.
What’s truly awesome about marking this day is the fact that we’ll be a part of something taking place not just across the UK, but also across the entire world. As the 24 hours of this day roll by, beginning at the islands of the Pacific Ocean, GDOP events will take place in each of the 220 nations on Planet Earth.
The M25 Nutcracker 24-7 prayer week will commence immediately after these events.
The M25 Nutcracker 23-30 May
The vision: to see London cracked open like a nut by simultaneous, concerted, focussed and united prayer encircling the capital.
In 2009, eight groups set up prayer rooms around the M25 region to intercede for London in the lead up to Pentecost Sunday and the GDOP. These ranged from full-on 24-7 Prayer style chapel in a large Anglican church bursting with prayer stations and activities in Slough, to a converted shed on the side of a suburban house with room for 4 people at the most in Sidcup (right).
In Thurrock, the Nutcracker prayer room was hosted by Aveley Christian Centre (where the picture on the left was taken), which is in the little bit of Thurrock that’s inside the M25.
In 2010, we’re hoping to broaden the appeal of the Nutcracker by offering a variety of ways to get involved, but still look to get as many people around the M25 engaged as possible. 24-7 Prayer have offered their support for this.
We hope that Thurrock will want to be apart of the Nutcracker again in 2010, so if you’re interested or have any creative ideas, please get in touch!
Global Day of Prayer major event, 30 May
At the other end of the Nutcracker will be a major GDOP event held at a significant venue, yet to be announced. Everyone is invited!
As with previous GDOPs at the stadia of West Ham (2007) and Millwall (2008), this event will combine a variety of worship and prayer styles that echo the diversity of the Christian Faith Community across London and the UK.
There will be the usual mix of well known musicians leading the thousands there in worship, and community leaders bringing prayer requests.
In 2008. a coach load of folk from Thurrock went to Millwall FC’s ‘Den’ on a beautiful sunny day (see picture).
Global Day of Prayer Youth
GDOP has a growing youth wing that is also very active, with frequent events across London’s boroughs and opportunities beyond. GDOP Youth hold regular gatherings for prayer at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, Westminster. (The next of these is at 7pm on Tuesday 8 December.)
Led by Lyndsay Smith of Youth For Christ in Chislehurst, Kent, she says, “We are continuing to build momentum towards encouraging and empowering this generation”.
24/7/365 prayer chain for London
For two years now, GDOP London have had continuous prayer going on throughout the capital and beyond. Churches and/or groups have taken a 24hr period and each person on the chain prays for one hour. (TT did this throughout 2008.) If you’d like to take one day a month and join with other churches doing the same, then please contact GDOP via their website.
Every church in every borough to take a day to pray for London
Local churches are also invited to hold their own prayer gatherings to intercede for the nation. This can be a one-off, or something more regular. You can register your event with GDOP London.
GDOP Nights of Prayer for London
There are frequent prayer events taking place in London to which anyone is invited. These usually take place at Victory House (part of RCCG) off Old Kent Road. These often attract some 400 people and include worship and the prophetic. Led by Jonathan Oloyede, he allows for interaction and opportunities for people to share.
OTHER WAYS OF CONNECTING WITH GDOP
Become a GDOP Ambassador and represent your church
GDOP are asking for people to champion all these activities and pass on relevant information in churches across the region. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in becoming your church’s rep for GDOP, then please register via www.gdoplondon.com.
If you’re a minister with an interest in GDOP but simply don’t have the time to follow it up, why not delegate someone from your intercessory group or prayer team to be responsible for keeping your congregation abreast of news and events?
Local ambassadors get to meet and pray once a month with the borough’s co-ordinator.
Say the Lord’s Prayer at midday, everyday
GDOP are mobilising people across the nation to set their mobile phone alarms to go off at 12 noon to remind them to say the Lord’s Prayer. By doing this, Christians across the denominations – who can at the very least all agree on the Lord’s Prayer – can combine on a simple 33-second long act of unity. And some interesting situations can arise as well! One guy had a whole tube train carriage saying the Lord’s Prayer when his alarm went off one lunchtime.
Thurrock Prayer & Fasting monthly rota
At TDOP, Jonathan initiated two simultaneous prayer and fasting rotas, one for intercessors, the other for church leaders (who should lead in this, he urged). This was done fairly informally on the day, but the intention was to be disciplined about it. If you know you volunteered to take a day to pray and fast for Thurrock, London and the UK, then please do it! Transformation Thurrock will be in touch with you shortly, not to check up on you, but to just make sure all the days of each month are covered.
Global Day of Prayer Business & Prayer Breakfast
On Saturday 7 November, some people from Thurrock attended a breakfast held at the Dartford Hilton put on by local Christian businessmen on behalf of GDOP. After a hearty (free!) breakfast, there were presentations made by the businesses sponsoring the morning, and by Jonathan Oloyede, who spelt out the GDOP vision and led us in prayer.
Are there any Christian businessmen reading this who’d like to consider sponsoring a similar event in Thurrock? Transformation Thurrock can help!