CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - On May 11, 2008, millions of Christians from 214 nations joined together to worship the Lord during TheCall and the Global Day of Prayer.
More than 4,000 believers filled the Jerusalem International Convention Center auditorium, young and old, seeking the Lord together, with a focus on prayer and repentance. The meeting was broadcast live throughout the day on God TV and other media networks.
At least 40,000 prayer requests came in, worldwide, as leaders in Jerusalem cried out to God for their cities and nations.
Speaking of it as a day of crisis and opportunity, International House of Prayer Kansas City leader Mike Bickle called out for repentance, seeking breakthroughs that will bring revival for the people in covenant with God.
"If you tear your hearts, I [the Lord] will listen and intervene. If you rent your hearts, I [the Lord] will rend the heavens and come down in power," Bickle prayed.
Leaders from the Body of Messiah in Israel had the opportunity to call forth local believers to repent on behalf of Israel, a nation in political crisis during its celebrations of 60 years of modern statehood.
The visionary for the Global Day of Prayer, Graham Power, started bringing believers together in regional prayer in 2001. His heart for Africa stirred him to gather Christians into a Capetown stadium in South Africa, on March 21, 2001. More than 45,000 came together in prayer that first day.
Since then, he has held rallies every spring, gathering more nations from around the globe. In May 2004, 22 million people in South Africa prayed together, and millions more joined forces as the rally was broadcast on God TV, TBN, and 223 radio stations. According to Power, it was the first time in the history of the world that an entire continent prayed together.
CBN News asked Power why he had come to the Middle East to host the Global Day of Prayer.
"This year, we said let's go to the strategic places, and what's more strategic than being in Israel? We're trusting that God is going to answer these many millions of prayers that are taking place across the world. And, so it is a privilege for us to be right here in Jerusalem," he said.
Power holds on to God's promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and says there are daily transformations going on in Africa. In a violent period from 1998-99, extremist groups detonated 22 bombs in Capetown. But all that changed in 2001 when he started holding prayer rallies.
"Since that first gathering at Capetown, we have not had one bomb being planted or exploded in our city. And, I've come to see that this dark continent, Africa, with all its problems, through a spiritual revival from south to north, west to east, will become a light to the world," he said.
While Power admits there are still areas of concern, such as crime, violence, corruption, HIV Aids, and poverty, he still sees positive signs, along with a calm period that was not there before.
For example, due to Ugandan leaders preaching abstinence in schools, the HIV Aids epidemic has fallen from 30 percent to below 10 percent. Uganda is the only nation that has seen that kind of success.
"The overall light hasn't come over Africa but I believe God has that plan, and I don't know when and I don't know how. God is going to use Africa in a mighty way," declares Power.
At least 4,000 prayer chains are running throughout the African continent, and believers have been challenged to go to the highest points in their city to pray for their nations.
A.J. Jantjies is a pastor who has planted more than 200 churches in Capetown. He is now a full-time intercessor and leader with the Global Day of Prayer. He and many of his church members suffered under apartheid.
"Since we have started with this prayer network, we are bringing our people back -- first to God and then taking them back to their roots -- in the repentance of the sins of the land," he said.
Jantjies claims repentance is helping them reclaim their inheritance in South Africa. He explains that Africans who were despondent, downtrodden, downcast and broken have overcome and are now leaders in their communities. "People who have been drug addicts, their lives have been dramatically changed through the prayer network," he said.
Transformation through prayer has also affected African governments, according to Jantjies.
"We have prayed with the leaders of our different political parties. They come for advice. They come with special requests. If they have certain kinds of problems, then they call us in. Then, we go to the Lord and ask Him what must we do now?"
Jantjies says that reading the word of God and bringing supplications before Him have changed the hearts of Africans. He is praying for Israel as well.
"We are standing on the walls of Jerusalem. I think we are all connected to Israel and if we can understand the things that surround Israel, God will bless us. God is true to His promises. The nations of the world will not be complete until Israel is complete," Jantjies said.
As leaders in Jerusalem repented for the sins of their nation during the global prayer rally on May 11th, those in Africa and nations worldwide joined together in that repentance.
Meanwhile, tornadoes ripped through American towns killing dozens of people. A few days later, a cyclone hit Myanmar, followed by a major earthquake in China, killing thousands more. Leaders in the global prayer movement believe that God's shakings will be followed by world revival.
According to Power, "When life is going great, few of us find time to get onto our knees, to read the Bible, and spend quiet time. And, sometimes, He needs to shake our foundations for us to get onto our knees. I wonder if that's not happening right now."