A powerful movement is growing across the globe. The infusive movement has millions of followers and can be strategically organized but seems best suited to flare up by spontaneous combustion in unlikely venues. The tenets of the movement are simple and ancient, and have been practiced for centuries around the world. There is nothing new about it – yet it carries with it the freshness of tomorrow morning’s rising tide. Wherever this movement occurs there are social and cultural ramifications, and people who come into contact with it are dramatically changed. It appears to be occurring everywhere – in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, in South and in North America. It is the worldwide prayer movement and it isn’t slowing down-quite the opposite- it’s picking up steam!
The rapid growth and international scope of the prayer movement hasn’t escaped the notice of interested researchers. For instance, author C. Peter Wagner, a former seminary professor and missionary has written extensively on prayer and has concluded, “In recent years the expansion of the prayer movement has been exponential. Quality of prayer is increasing along with quantity of prayer. Flames of prayer are being lit in virtually every denomination on every continent. Pastors are giving prayer a higher priority… and prayer movements and prayer ministries are proliferating….” From the ivied halls of academia to the sparse prayer rooms springing up in the densely populated old cities of Asia and Europe, public university dormitories in the United States, Pentecostal mega-churches of Brazil, and the evangelical Anglican revivals in Africa, people everywhere are noticing the growing interest of Christians in prayer.
In the early 1990’s David Bryant, former chairman of the National Prayer Committee, wrote that three hundred leaders representing 160 denominations and para church organizations met for 24 hours of prayer “to inaugurate a new initiative in spiritual leadership for prayer across the Body of Christ.” He went on to say, “Since then, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in national prayer events, initiatives, ministries and coalitions, serving the national prayer movement.”
In 2001, as a result of a South African businessman’s vision of prayer, 45,000 people gathered for repentance and prayer at a Rugby Stadium in Capetown. The vision grew. By 2010, a total of 220 nations participated in The Global Day of Prayer as hundreds of millions of Christians gathered in venues around the world for the largest unified prayer gathering in history. Something undeniable is clearly happening. It cannot be viewed as isolated, the prayer movement is real.
Parts 2 and 3 coming soon!