God has Shaken Our WorldPete Greig - 29 Dec 2011
Looking back at 2011
Historic moment for 24-7 Prayer
God has shaken the world in 2011 and for the 24-7 networks there is a great sense of having been raised up ‘for such a time as this’ (Esther 4:14). The Americans have a great saying: ‘Never waste a Crisis’, and we are certainly at a time of global crisis. But as people of prayer this is also a time of great opportunity and hope. When people are really desperate they turn to God in prayer. My friend who is facing a cancer diagnosis today isn’t praying because she merely wants to but because she has to. We are all desperate for her. And the many people we have baptised this year have all got stories of how despair lead them to cry out to God for help. When the Governor of the Bank of England admits that he doesn’t know what to do, the people of God know precisely what to do: It is time to pray!
More prayer than ever before in 2011
Just after midnight on January 1st, 2011, I was driving through the deserted streets of London on my way home from the large prayer meeting with which we’d welcomed the New Year. I turned on the radio to hear the news of the bomb attack on the church in Cairo. Who would have thought that within 42 days President Mubarak himself would be toppled after 30 years in power, along with other dictators from throughout the Arab world? Meanwhile political leaders have fallen in the West, media moguls have been shamed as have bankers and the European economy is in grave danger of collapse. The gods of this age and the very institutions of power are shaking, tectonic plates are shifting, and we find ourselves at a time of dangerous opportunity for the gospel.
Thank God then for the explosion of new life this year with more 24-7 prayer rooms than ever before, 175 in Ireland alone where Catholics and Protestants, North and South, interceded together for the whole of the year. 24-7 communities around the world have grown, ministering the love and compassion of Jesus to so many needy people, the new Revival Run prayer model has spread like wild fire around the world, as did the flash mob 7:14 prayer rallies which hit 55 cities on 6 continents, organised purely through Twitter and Facebook.
Rising with the Occasion
As we look forward to 2012 I am humbled and thrilled by the opportunity. Our ‘Kingdom Come’ call to prayer is gaining great momentum across the United Kingdom and Ireland, mobilising thousands of churches to intercede like never before as the Olympics comes to London and against the backdrop of so many grave challenges. Meanwhile there are exciting developments for 24-7 in Malaysia, Japan and especially as we prepare to launch a major new training initiative in 2012, which will make disciples of thousands of 18-25 year olds, training them up with a biblical worldview and sending them out to change the world!
President Abraham Lincoln never wasted a crisis. On the 1st December 1862 he wrote to Congress, about the problems associated with voluntary colonisation of slaves. ‘The dogmas of the quiet past,’ he wrote, ‘are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country’.
Has there ever been a time when the call to prayer has sounded with such urgency? God himself promises that at times like these, ‘if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land’ (2 Chronicles 7:14). Either that promise is true or it is not. And together we plan to prove God’s faithfulness – the truth of His word – in 2012, by mobilising such prayer that Heaven comes to Earth, sins are forgiven, churches are re-populated and these broken lands are healed.