By Peter Wooding
LONDON, ENGLAND — As the constant humming sound of trumpets are heard in stadiums across South Africa during the world cup, worship and fervent prayers echoed around West Ham stadium on Sunday June 13 at Global Day of Prayer London’s national day of prayer.
“We stand on turf consecrated to the beautiful game at the beginning of the World Cup and today as Christians we are celebrating the beautiful life through the power of the Holy Spirit,” said the Bishop of Barking Rt Revd David Hawkins from the stage.
He added: “We want to thank you for coming together to pray in unity for the transformation of the city and our nation.”
“I congratulate all of you who have come here today because you could be watching the world cup,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson from the stage.
In referring to England’s disappointing start to the world cup he shared a parallel to Christianity: “I believe passionately that the message of the Christian faith is that you can come back if you don’t get the best possible start in life, because there are people to help you. That’s what Christianity means to me and that’s what Christian groups do all over London.”
After his speech, crowds of up to 10,000 in the stands, stretched out their hands to pray for London’s Mayor and for all political leaders in London to know wisdom to lead in such uncertain times.
In between prayers for a wide range of issues from government, youth, the persecuted church, gospel artists and worship leaders including Noel Robinson, Beverley Trotman, Graham Kendrick and Lara Martin led times of celebration and worship, with dancers waving colourful flags from around the world to the side of the stage.
Stephen Timms MP, still recovering from surgery, chose to come to Upton Park to make his first public appearance since being the victim of an unprovoked stabbing attack. After hosting a leader’s reception in the Legends Suite he said: “I’m well on the road to recovery. I’ve been greatly helped by a very large number of people praying for me.
“I’m a big fan of Global Day of Prayer. It’s a wonderful celebration and reflects the fact that the church is growing in London and is a remarkably diverse group of congregations, but one in their faith in Christ.”
GDOP London Convener Jonathan Oloyede, who had the vision to gather Christians from across the capital and the nation at West Ham stadium and next year at Wembley stadium for a national day of prayer said: “This is a time to unite across denominations and cultures and different ages. Wembley Stadium next year, will be a watershed to tip the nation into her destiny. This nation belongs to Christ and can only be transformed by prayer, unity and evangelism.
“Today the church drove a stake into the ground and we drew a line and said in the spirit that this nation belongs to Jesus. I believe the unity of the church is powerful and significant as we march towards a national day of prayer at Wembley stadium in 2011.” Photo:
GDOP London, which is a movement of daily prayer, is urging one million Christians to pray the Lord’s prayer at 12 noon every day. It is also encouraging all churches and networks to be part of 500 days of prayer for the UK starting Sunday August 1, 2010 until December 31, 2011. For more details go to: www.gdoplondon.com