Prayer organizers in Australia called on Christians all over the world to join a time of prayer and worship on the first sunrise of 2017.
The New Year’s Day Sunrise Prayer Relay was initiated by the National Day of Prayer and Fasting team in Australia along with other church leaders, and they are hoping that the idea will go viral so that many believers worldwide will take part in the event.
"We encourage you to pray the Lord's Prayer together aloud as the sun rises and make a declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, your family, your region and your nation,” the organizers of the prayer relay said.
They also gave recommendations to those who will join the prayer relay: they should position themselves at a public place, preferably on a hill or a lookout, and they should arrive at their chosen location at least 15 minutes before the sun rises on the first day of 2017.
Aside from praying the Lord’s Prayer and declaring the lordship of Christ over their lives and their nation, participants may also have a time of worship, communion or simple fellowship. Churches who wish to make the prayer relay a part of their Sunday services may do so as well.
The sunrise prayer relay began from a vision received by Patrick Steele, a prayer and worship leader from Shellharbour, NSW. He was reportedly praying for a location for a New Year’s Day prayer gathering when he saw seven locations across Australia.
“At each location there was a person holding what looked like Olympic torches with a large flame,” the Sunrise Prayer Relay website said.
The vision Steele saw suddenly “zoomed out,” and he saw flames “lighting up from east to west” across Australia.
He shared the vision with National Day of Prayer and Fasting coordinator Warwick Marsh, who suggested that the prayer be made at sunrise based on the vision of flames being lit up from east to west.
Marsh shared the idea with the National Day of Prayer and Fasting team and other church leaders, and they all agreed to do it.
Last January, churches across Australia participated in the New Year’s Day Sunrise Prayer Relay. They will do it again next year, and they are inviting churches across the globe to join them.
The organizers provided some resources and prayer points at the sunrise prayer relay’s website, but participants can modify them or create their own program and prayer points.
“During this time of prayer we want to thank God for our respective nations and pray for revival and transformation, that God will bring healing to our land as it says in 2 Chronicles 7:14,” Marsh said. “Let us all pray for a great proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in our own nation and all around the world.”