Prayers for Peace

One hundred million. That's how many people are expected to participate in the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem being held Oct. 3. Organizers—including Eagles' Wings founder Robert Stearns and Foursquare Church leader Jack Hayford—believe 300,000 churches in 175 nations will join them for what they consider the world's largest Israel-focused prayer event.

They say the hour is critical. Israel faces a growing threat from Iran, whose president has said the Jewish nation should be wiped off the map. But Stearns says his group is not pushing a political agenda; rather, they want to be faithful to the call in Psalm 122 to pray for Jerusalem's peace. "We do not pray from nor toward a specific political agenda, but we pray from a scriptural basis, which we believe transcends a political understanding and ultimately works toward peace ... for all people," he says.

Yet Stearns admits Israel will grow increasingly important in world events. "The centrality of Jerusalem to global affairs has never been more obvious and more at the forefront," he says. "The issue of Jerusalem is ... not going away. Concerned Christians have to become educated intercessors."

The prayer day began in 2002 and now has support from hundreds of Christian leaders, including Christians United for Israel founder John Hagee, Bible teacher Kay Arthur, author Joel Rosenberg, Aglow International President Jane Hansen Hoyt and Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohanan. Jewish leaders and representatives from the Israeli government also participate.

This year, organizers also are calling intercessors to link their prayers with action by aiding Eagles' Wings' efforts to feed 1,000 needy families in Israel. "We really felt the Lord telling us in prayer ... faith without works is dead," Stearns says. "So we're inviting people to feed the poor—both Jew and Arab—in Israel. And we've already begun to see great response to that."

Prayer gatherings will be held across the globe, including on college campuses, and a Jerusalem event will be broadcast on God TV. Intercessors can also participate through a 24-hour telephone prayer room.

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