Week of prayer culminates with Pentecost Sunday prayer service
by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest
Mountain View Community Church opened their facility to the Fresno/Clovis, Calif., community for Global Day of Prayer May 10-19. River rocks and water bottles were two of many everyday items that gave a tangible expression to the prayers at prayer stations created for the 10-day event.
The church sanctuary was open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 10-18 for prayers for the world. More than 300 people took advantage of the 10 creative stations lining the walls of the sanctuary to pray for the world with such themes as an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, persecuted Christians and laborers in God’s harvest.
“The event’s focus was for Christ to transform the nations and draw all people to himself,” explains Mountain View Prayer Ministry Leader Esther Leonard.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 19, the congregation joined with five other local churches as well Christians around the world culminating the 10 days of prayer in an evening service centered on “A Prayer for the World.” This prayer of praise, thanksgiving, confession and intercession is published by the Global Day of Prayer organization. Translated into dozens of languages, it is used in special Pentecost services by Christians in more than 200 nations worldwide.
Interspersed with corporate reading of “A Prayer for the World,” the 200 people who attended the Mountain View Pentecost event were led in worship by a team of musicians and vocalists from several participating churches.
In the middle of the service the congregation was invited to leave their seats and scatter to the prayer stations. While the worship team played, people clustered at the stations, praying individually or in small groups. At one station the prayer participants held stones representing strongholds of Satan. At other stations people entered a jail cell to pray for persecuted Christians or drank water as they prayed for conviction of spiritual dryness.
The congregation returned to their seats and clustered with two or three people near them to offer prayers of confession. Then Mountain View’s Leonard invited audience members to come forward for “Rapid Fire Request.” More than 30 people, from young children to seniors, lined up for a turn at the microphone, leading the congregation in brief prayers calling on God to be at work in the world.
The movement for the Global Day of Prayer has its origin in South Africa where the first Pentecost Day rally was held in 2001. In the ensuing years the movement spread across Africa and by 2005 it had reached globally, with Christians in 156 nations.
Mountain View Church joined the movement in 2005 and has held a Global Day of Prayer event on Pentecost every year since then.