The story in a nutshell
A Call for Repentance and Prayer.
At the turn of the millennium, believers in South Africa sensed God calling them to seek Him in repentance and prayer and to call people across their country to assemble in united prayer for their cities and nations.
Soon gatherings like it—all meeting on the same day of the year—multiplied across Africa, and in the years that followed, all over the world. The result was the first Global Day of Prayer on Pentecost Sunday in 2005.
Across the face of the earth.
Many millions from almost every stream of Christian faith have gathered to answer the same call for repentance and prayer in the years that followed. The movement continues to spread and to deepen, packing large stadiums, filling homes with small groups, spilling out to the open squares of small villages, surging around the clock and uniting many churches in prayer for Christ’s greater glory and the blessing of all nations.
Strengthening ongoing movements of prayer.
On June 8, 2014, Christians will again gather to pray and to repent with sincere hearts and united hopes.
The History of the Global Day of Prayer
In July 2000 God captured the heart of a South African Christian businessman, Graham Power, with a vision based on 2 Chronicles 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.
In May of 2002 Christians in South Africa gathered in 8 different venues for a Day of Repentance and Prayer. Again, the testimonies of church unity and the healing of communities inspired leaders to expand the vision into the rest of Africa. At a Summit in September 2002 leaders of 9 African countries agreed on the vision “Africa for Christ”.
At the same time, it was clear that different prayer streams from across the globe were flowing in the same direction with a similar vision of community transformation through prayer. God was busy raising up a church of intercession in order to prepare communities for the revelation of His glory.
Across the African continent millions of Christians were inspired to participate in the process of transforming Africa. 77 South African regions and 27 African countries committed to a Day of Repentance and Prayer for Africa on May 1, 2003.
On May 2, 2004 history was made when Christians from all 56 nations of Africa participated in the first ever continental Day of Repentance and Prayer for Africa. Numerous communities, villages, towns and cities united in non-denominational prayer gatherings at different venues. In South Africa 277 communities participated. A flame of prayer was burning in Africa!
At a meeting of the International Prayer Council in Malaysia in November 2004, the invitation from Africa went out to the nations of the world to participate in a Global Day of Prayer process.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2005, Christians from 156 of the 220 nations of the world united across denominational and cultural borders for the first Global Day of Prayer. In the months following this day, Christians were overwhelmed by the testimonies of God’s powerful work in answer to these prayers and in the years to follow the numbers kept increasing.
In 2008 millions of Christians from 214 nations united in prayer and on May 31, 2009 a miracle happened when this initiative miraculously expanded to 220 countries in the world. Together with the 10 Days leading up to and the 90 Days of Blessing following the Global Day of Prayer, there is a sense that the call to unity and repentance is deepening. This will lay the foundation for God to fill the nations with His glory as His children from around the world cry out to him in unity.
May 23, 2010 saw the 10-year celebration of the Global Day of Prayer. Whilst Christians from around the world united in prayer in Cape Town, where everything started, millions from 220 nations once again gathered in their own nations. The urgent call from Joel 2 echoed throughout the nations to return to God with repentance on a level never seen before. Yes, this was a time of rendering our hearts to God and to see the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit on all flesh.
The growing momentum of the last 10 years has now laid the foundation to saturate nations in prayer. It’s time to shift our focus from 220 nations to facilitate a lifestyle of prayer with as many people in as many places as possible. In this new season, we will no longer aim at the goal of having organized events in every single country of the world, but rather to increase the number of gatherings on Pentecost Sunday in smaller settings, such as local churches, family homes and businesses instead of stadiums and assembly halls.
June 12, 2011, May 27, 2012 and again on May 19, 2013, saw participation from many nations, cities, towns, communities, local churches and prayer groups where believers have never had the confidence to register an event, either because they weren’t able to gather in large public places because of fear of persecution, or because they don’t have the resources to plan such gatherings.
The Lord has indeed done many things through the Global Day of Prayer, and we are certain that these will continue for many, many years to come as nations continue to observe this one day of unified prayer.
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.”