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Millions of Christians united across denominational, cultural and political differences on Sunday gathered together for the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) to intercede for the city God calls His own and to invoke God's blessing, purposes and provision upon all of Jerusalem's people.
From more than 175 nations, believers gathered to pray in their worship services, in their homes, on college campuses, in regional gatherings and on a 24-hour prayer conference call.
Broadcast by GOD TV to 900 million, Christians in more than 200 nations joined the DPPJ celebration at the Pavilion on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem. Pastor Wayne Hilsden, senior pastor of the King of Kings Community Jerusalem, co-hosted the event. Before the packed audience, he prayed that God would bring a peace that "was not just something agreed upon diplomatically or written on paper, but a peace beyond human understanding ... a peace that only God could bring."
Special guests and speakers included Dr. Jürgen Bühler, executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; Naomi Tsur, deputy mayor of Jerusalem; Berlin-born Rev. Petra Heldt, director of the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Israel; and Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, founding chief rabbi of Efrat and chancellor of the Ohr Torah Stone Institutions. There were also Christian leaders from the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and beyond who prayed from the platform that God would bless, strengthen, protect and prosper Jerusalem and her people.
This multinational, multidenominational global prayer movement was started in 2002 by evangelical Christian leaders, with Jack Hayford and Robert Stearns serving as co-chairmen. Stearns, founder and director of Eagles' Wings, explains, "God has a blessing both for the descendants of Isaac and those of Ishmael. ... When we turn our hearts from darkness to light, we embrace God's peace plan for Isaac and Ishmael. God's love is infinitely stronger than the god of hate and will cause us to triumph in our lives."
Riskin told the Christian audience from many nations, "We are living in apocalyptic and fateful times and our response to them is critical. Very often we [in Israel] feel as though we stand alone, but Evangelical Christians are our best friends in the whole world. We are eternally grateful that you are standing with us."
Christians participating in the DPPJ observances not only prayed for Jerusalem, but also added practical action to their intercession. This year a check of $15,000 was given from the DPPJ offerings to support two Eagles' Wings feeding centers in Israel, which feed both Arab and Jewish poor in Jerusalem and Tiberias.
Additionally, millions participated by praying in their churches, homes and special services throughout Oct. 6—from cities and rural villages, from huts and mansions, from cathedrals and simple church buildings, and from college campuses to underground churches in China and seven Muslim countries.
Throughout the 24 hours of Oct. 6, believers from around the world also prayed together through an Internet "virtual prayer room" created by the 24-Hour DPPJ Prayer Conference Call. Callers representing most of the states in the U.S. were joined by believers from many nations, including Canada, Kenya, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, British Virgin Islands and Italy. The Lord was praised, shofars were blown and the people raised their diverse voices in one accord as they prayed for Jerusalem and her people groups.
The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem, held the first Sunday every October, is the largest Jerusalem-focused prayer initiative in the world, involving tens of millions of believers, participating from over 175 nations and from underground churches in China and seven Muslim countries. It is endorsed by over 1,200 prominent Christian leaders worldwide, including Paul Cedar, Dick Eastman, Ron Luce, Kay Arthur, Raleigh Washington, Jane Hansen Hoyt, K.P. Yohannan, T.D. Jakes, Ravi Zacharias, Mosy Madugba, Kenneth Copeland, Samuel Rodriguez, Joyce Meyer, Lance Wallnau, Larry Stockstill, Bishop Charles Scott, Newsboys, Thomas Wang, Sunday Adelaja and many more.