Christians around the country and in Israel will pray together simultaneously during the sixth annual Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) held October 4. The prayer initiative is a response to growing threats, terrorist attacks and international pressure aimed at Israel.
The event will take place in local churches in 175 nations, with more than 1,000 church leaders.
"The Bible declared it. Jerusalem has become a cup of controversy on the global stage," said Robert Stearns, who is co-chairman of DPPJ along with Jack Hayford, former president of the International Foursquare Church.
"Even America, a nation historically supportive of the state of Israel, has been changing its rhetoric on matters pertaining to Jerusalem, and America has also seen unprecedented instances of hostile, anti-Israel demonstrations on its university campuses and in the streets of its cities,” Stearns said.
Respected Native American and Christian leader K.P. Yohannan, who is said to influence tens of thousands of churches throughout the continent of Asia with the group Gospel for Asia, added his support to the global effort.
"As our Lord told us, we must pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, that He will bless her and use her to accomplish much in these days," Yohannan said.
While advocating for Israel's right to defend itself, Stearns maintains Christians must meet the tensions in the Middle East with fervent prayer.
"At the root, the unrest in the Middle East is a spiritual problem requiring a spiritual answer," Stearns said. "That's why God continues to stir energy for prayer in the hearts of thousands of Christians, from Latin America to Asia to all over Europe and Africa, on behalf of Jerusalem and all its inhabitants, Jew and Arab alike."
Organizers say Christians can use their influence by encouraging local pastors to pray on Sunday, Oct. 4, even if for just a few minutes.
Churches can also request free DPPJ packets containing posters, brochures, prayer cards, videos, flyers, and children's resources at www.daytopray.com. Materials are available in 20 languages.
Television viewers can watch the event on GOD TV live from downtown Jerusalem.
Nir Barkat, the new mayor of Jerusalem, will give the keynote address along with other speakers including dignitaries such as Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat and Arab Pastor Naim Khoury of Bethlehem.