'The Church is waking up:' Leaders celebrate prayer in the UK
Last night, church and community leaders from all over the country came together in Parliament to launch the Joining the Dots 2014 prayer movement and to celebrate ahead of what is hoped to be "a year of transformation" in the UK.
Joining the Dots developed out of the National Day of Prayer and Worship held in September 2012, during which 32,000 Christians met together in Wembley stadium to unite in prayer for the nation.
Following an incredible response that saw thousands encouraged and mobilised to pray for their own communities, NDOP began a tour of the UK, meeting with churches and groups to equip them to 'join the dots'.
Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, Convenor of NDOP, commended the efforts and far-reaching effects of the movement so far: "Joining the Dots has been such an encouragement in 2013. Towns and Cities uniting to prayer for their many needs has shown the best of the church in action.
"I want to thank those in the church who have taken seriously again the call to prayer and look forward to seeing evangelism, mission and breakthrough in our communities."
NDOP has partnered with all kinds of Christian organisations including Samaritan's Purse, Urban Saints and UCB to make sure as many people as possible are connected in prayer across Britain.
Speaking in Parliament last night, Cluster Development Director at Urban Saints Phil Hulks noted that 2013 had always been "a year that came before a year of transformation".
He has been working with young people "to be a catalyst for the mobilisation of the Church to reach our communities" throughout 2013.
"We are asking young people to mobilise the Church to take the love of the Father to our nation," he said.
"We recognise the fatherlessness that there is in our nation today, we recognise that 2014 is the one hundred year anniversary of the beginning of WWI – a time when we lost many fathers," he said in an impassioned speech.
"We want people to know that God is not distant, he's not disapproving, and he's not uninterested. He's a loving Father who wants to have a relationship with us and we're asking the youth of our nation to lead us in taking that to our country this year."
Pastor Oloyede echoed this passion.
"This is the time that the Lord has said he wants to visit the British Isles," he declared.
"It's about unity, it's about transformation, it's about the Kingdom.
"We need to get the Church praying; we need the church to intercede. Christians across tribes, race, class, gender and generations are coming together to pray, and we want to acknowledge what God is doing through Joining the Dots."
Several testimonies were shared, as individuals inspired by NDOP to commit to praying and sharing the gospel in their communities told of how God has been moving.
Sarah Burton was one such individual. She has been propelled to work towards the unity of the wider Church having heard God's call that "a united Church will change the nation".
"The 'E' word is coming back to the Church. The Church is waking up, evangelism is breaking out", Pastor Oleyede continued.
"It's time for the Church to believe in prayer again, and join in changing the landscape of our nation."
For more details of NDOPW and upcoming events, go to www.ndopw.com