Christians look with hope to Global Day of Prayer 2008

Christian leaders from across London and parts of England gathered at Millwall Football Stadium on Tuesday night to pray and plan for the Global Day of Prayer London event 2008.

|PIC1|The massive event will unite Christians from all denominations and traditions to pray for the transformation and revival of the capital when it takes place at the south London football stadium on Pentecost Sunday 2008.

The Bishop of Barking, the Rt Rev David Hawkins, who chairs GDOP London, said, "We want to gather more of the Christian community across London into this activity of united prayer and reclaim the significance of Pentecost while at the same time celebrating all the different styles of Christian expression and worship and ways of praying, to uplift our community mission and local transformation.

"There is such a desperate need of prayers for a spiritual reawakening in this huge multicultural city that so many people across the world look to.

"We have a responsibility as a world class city not only to be economically prosperous and culturally vibrant but to be spiritually alive and deep as we witness as a world class city and prepare to host the globe at the 2012 Olympic Games."

Dr Jonathan Oloyede, Senior Associate Pastor at Glory House and one of the key visionaries behind the London Global Day of Prayer event, encouraged Christians to step up their commitment to prayer for spiritual change in London.

"The Lord wants us to begin to pray more," he said. "We're not praying enough. I am not praying enough. He's saying to us 'Let's get on our knees and pray'."

He added that it was only faith that could bring change to London. "It is not common sense or good sense that establishes the Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Holy Spirit."

Churches all across London are currently taking part in the Year of Prayer for London, in which churches are taking it in turns to pray for the city for 24 hours non-stop.

The Global Day of Prayer event at Millwall will build on the huge success of the GDOP event that took place on Pentecost Sunday this year at West Ham stadium.

Despite constant drizzle and unseasonably cold temperatures, 20,000 Christians turned up at Upton Park to pray that God would send the Holy Spirit into London's communities and that more of the city's people would turn to God.

The 2008 event will be hosted by Southwark for Jesus. Phil Stokes, the charity's chair, spoke of the desperation of many young people in south London, epitomised by one of the favourite terrace chants of Millwall fans, 'No one likes us; we don't care.'

He urged churches to get involved with the GDOP event to bring new hope to Londoners.

"We want to pray the Lord's Prayer and to see the churches challenged to the task of being the salt and light in their communities, and we want to give space to the Holy Spirit to inform and challenge people as to the mission that exists in our city now," he said.

The GDOP planning group is aiming to hold a number of stadium events in unison across the UK on Pentecost Sunday 2008, and to take GDOP to Wembley Stadium in 2010 to prepare the way for a spiritually fruitful London Olympics in 2012.