Christians from 200 countries, including seven Muslim countries, joined together in prayer this past Sunday to intercede for the peace of Jerusalem.
"This day is a day of prayer, in the very city whose ultimate calling is to be a 'House of Prayer' for all nations," said Robert Stearns, founder of Eagles' Wings and co-founder of the Day of Prayer for Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ). "True prayer believes for the impossible," he said.
Held on the first Sunday of October, the multidenominational Christian day of prayer was established in 2002 by three evangelicals, Stearns, Jack W. Hayford, founder of the King's University, and Paul Cedar of Mission America Coalition.
Stearns reminded those gathered at the Haas Promenade overlooking Jerusalem that prayer is an intrinsically hopeful action. "We must gather and believe today that swords can be beaten into plowshares, that the Lion can lay down with the Lamb, that mercy can triumph over judgment, and that together a spiritual solution can be found to these current problems that manifest politically," he said.
"Prayer is not a recitation of how bad things are, but of how good things can become."
Many international figures were present and spoke or prayed at the prayer meeting.
Andrew White, vicar of St George's Church, Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq, was the keynote speaker. "God is at work amongst us," he said. "What we know is that the Lord is here. Ultimately, we will see the power of God come forth from Israel to the nations." Members of White's church have been killed by ISIS.
According to Breaking Christian News, Rick Ridings prayed a blessing over those who would perpetrate violence and terror against the Jewish and Christian communities in the Middle East, in accordance with Jesus' teaching to pray for persecutors.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote a letter endorsing the gathering.
Ken Howard of Christian Friends of Israel prayed: "We pray that as Christian brothers and sisters we no longer can be silent among the nations ... bind us together with our Jewish brothers and sisters, for together we are the family of the One True God."
Just a few of the many speakers included Anne Ayalon, President of the Galilean Project; Petra Heldt of the Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity; Peter Tsukahira, Director of Or HaCarmel Ministry Center; Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the United States; Akiva Tor, head of the Bureau for World Jewish Affairs; and host pastor David Pileggi of Christ Church.
The DPPJ Celebration service, held at Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, the oldest Protestant Church in the Middle East, was broadcast on God TV to over 200 nations.
Aside from the 175 countries represented in person on Sunday, the DPPJ was also supported internationally by a virtual prayer room hosted by Greater Calling.
People calling in by phone or computer were asked to pray specifically hour by hour for restoration, against terrorism, for the restoration of the land, for prayer initiatives on college campuses, against anti-Semitism, for care of the needy, and for the coming of the Messiah.
A DPPJ press release reported the total combined minutes of continuing prayer was 81,543, equivalent to over 56 days.
For the first time this year, the DPPJ was represented on social media via Instapray, an app that connects people through shared prayers.
Supporters of the DPPJ also donated $15,000 to support two feeding centers in Israel, which provide food for Israeli and Arab children.
This article was originally published in Christian Examiner.