Originally published in CBN News
Millions of Christians worldwide praying in more than 35 languages united for one cause on Sunday: The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.
“All around the world on the first Sunday of every October, Christians in every language and every continent are setting aside the first Sunday to Shaalu Shalom Yerushalaim, to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem,” said Robert Stearns, co-founder and director of Eagles’ Wings Ministry that sponsors the annual prayer day.
Hundreds of Christians gathered for the central event on the Promenade overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem. Organisers estimate some 90 million people from 172 countries joined in prayer, some via live broadcast. They were following the biblical injunction in Psalm 122:6 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love you.”
The broadcast event kicked off with the sound of shofars (rams’ horns) and singer Eddie James exhorting the crowd, “Oh, Jerusalem, Lift up a shout in this place!”
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was the guest of honour.
“I am so blessed to celebrate with such incredible people, such inspirational and distinguished religious leaders – like all of you who are here – to celebrate the State of Israel, to celebrate this holy city of Jerusalem, (that’s) right behind me and of course to celebrate the unbreakable relationship between the United States and Israel, between the United States and Jerusalem, between all the other nations of the world, all the Christians of the world, all the Jews of the world – their unbreakable connection to this holy place,” Friedman told those gathered.
CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell, among others, shared why they unite for this cause.
“Why pray for Israel? Because it is the beginning and the end of God’s story on the earth – the place of final redemption. We pray for Israel because it is God’s plumb line where the nations are judged. Now we are in a season where the nations are in the valley of decision – whether to align with God’s purposes or divide God’s land,” Mitchell told the crowd.
Stearns, who helped begin this event 15 years ago, told CBN News its goal is to encourage prayer in local churches.
“All over the world Christians are discovering and re-discovering that their spiritual home, their spiritual root system is here in Jerusalem. This is the city of the Bible. This is the city of our patriarchs. This is the city that forms so much of the foundation of our faith and also our future hope. And so Christians around the world are taking very seriously now that strong admonition to pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” Stearns said.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman explained why he feels this effort is so important.
“I believe most people here are praying for the peace of Jerusalem every day. It’s important because you know Jerusalem, the name itself means ‘city of peace’. It should be a city of peace. It’s been a conflict zone for centuries, millennia but I believe it will become a city of peace,” Friedman told CBN News.
Former Knesset Member and former head of the Temple Institute Yehuda Glick told CBN News he’s excited about the event.
“We should have this event on the Temple Mount because that’s what Isaiah said, it should be a house of prayer for all nations. And when we see it happening – we see it happening – we know that God invented internet for these things to connect the world to Jerusalem,” said Glick, who currently heads an organization called Shalom Jerusalem.
Stearns told us this specific prayer effort is more than just about Jerusalem.