Christian Leaders Hope Global Day of Prayer Will Inspire Social Action

The organisers of the Global Day of Prayer London have expressed their hope that the event will encourage prayer participants to get involved in social action programmes seeking to combat some of the pressing issues facing Britain today.

Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, one of the visionaries behind the event commented, "In recent months the British public have had to confront a wide range of social issues that are having a major impact on the quality of life in this country and throughout the world.

"Here in London, people have become increasingly fearful because of the rise in violent attacks, gangs and the increased use of knives and guns particularly amongst young people in our inner cities. There is also concern about the high numbers of teenage pregnancies, the rise in drug use and its negative impact on behaviour, as well as the many challenges people are facing."

He continued, "The recent commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery has brought to the surface the unhealed wounds that still surround the slave trade, and there is growing concern about globilisation and its effects on some of the world's poorest people.

"All these issues and more will be touched upon during our time the Global Day of Prayer London. We want this event to touch on issues that people are concerned about, no matter what their religious persuasion."

The Global Day of Prayer London will be one of the largest interdenominational prayer gatherings to take place in this country, with thousands of people expected to gather at West Ham Football Stadium on Sunday 27 May for the landmark event.

The Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev David Hawkins and chair of the organising committee for this event, stated, "We want Global Day of Prayer London to capture the consciousness of the British public and hope that it will encourage everyone to prayerfully reflect on some of the problems currently facing our society.

"This event will give everyone an opportunity to look closely at the themes raised in The Lord's Prayer, as we look to God for guidance to help us counteract some of the negativity in our society."

The Global Day of Prayer London has the support of Christians of all races and traditions. Bishop Wayne Malcolm, leader of Christian Life City, a Pentecostal church in Hackney, east London, said, "Throughout history numerous Christians have been founded innovative community initiatives after being inspired by their faith, and as a result have made a major difference in the lives of others. Prayer has often been the catalyst that has motivated people into social action - that's why I believe the Global Day of Prayer London will play an important role in encouraging Christian community to engage in social action programmes that aim to make this world a better place."

Dionne Gravesande, Head of Church Networks at leading development charity Christian Aid commented, "The bible states that Christians should 'Always seek to do good to one another and to all......pray without ceasing' (1 Thess 5:15,17). Praying, taking action and giving represent the threefold response of churches and individuals to world need. Christian Aid regularly provides information to churches to help them pray about the needs of the world."

Rev David Shosanya, Head of Missions for the London Baptist Association, added, "Prayer changes things! And perhaps now, more than any other time recent history, London needs to be transformed! But this global day of prayer is more than simply praying for London - It is about Christians from every continent, members of the body of Christ, creating a world-wide-web of intercessory prayer and seeking God to 'revive His work in the midst of the years'. I believe prayer makes a difference and that the global day of prayer will make a difference."

The Church of England, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Pentecostal Movement, the Evangelical Alliance, the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Christian Aid, Christian Today and Transform Newham are among the organisations supporting the Global Day of Prayer London.