SALVATIONISTS and friends around the world are being called by General Brian Peddle to take part in an international prayer initiative on Sunday 24 October. The Second Global Wave of Prayer for COVID-19 will work its way around the world from sunrise to sunset in every country it passes through. The simple message to people linked to The Salvation Army is this: wherever you are, pray!
The initiative follows a spiritually enriching prayer wave that took place in April 2020, just as the pandemic was beginning to take hold fully. Then it was an urgent response to the rapidly worsening situation, but this year there has been opportunity to put plans in place so that people around the world can prepare their hearts and minds to bring their concerns, experiences and praise to God.
As happened for the first prayer wave, at the heart of the event will be a live blog, hosted on the International Headquarters (IHQ) website at sar.my/prayerwave. The blog will provide the opportunity to share prayers, reflections and experiences of how COVID-19 has affected people worldwide. The blog will also share content that appears on social media channels. Users of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are encouraged to add their own stories using the #TSAPrayerWave hashtag.
Sharing all content online will ensure that people still in lockdown or who do not feel comfortable meeting in person can be fully part of the initiative. Salvation Army corps (churches) and other centres are also encouraged to use this day – where local regulations allow – to bring people together for in-person prayer meetings that focus on the effects of a pandemic which continues to cause grief and devastation in every country of the world.
For each country, the time of prayer is from sunrise to sunset on Sunday 24 October, resulting in the whole world being covered in prayer for a total of 34 hours, with the event spanning from sunrise in Samoa to sunset in Hawaii, USA.
A new feature for the 2021 prayer wave is a selection of three live-streamed prayer meetings, each taking place in a different part of the globe. The first of these will take place at 7 am BST, led by Major Arif Masih, Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the Pakistan Territory. At 11 am BST, Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham (World Secretary for Spiritual Life Development) will lead a prayer meeting from London, UK. The final meeting, hosted by Lieut-Colonel Carolee Israel, Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the USA Southern Territory, will take place at 4 pm BST. All three 30-minute prayer meetings will be accessed through the web page (sar.my/prayerwave).
Commissioner Buckingham is the driving force behind the second prayer wave, and has suggested the following as key subjects for prayer:
‘Lament for the loss that continues to be our reality – loss of life, education, employment, income, family interactions, celebration of significant life milestones – the list goes on;
Thanksgiving for effective vaccines and urgent intercession for equitable distribution;
Praise for the faithfulness of God and the new mission opportunities that have emerged through this season;
Seeking God’s heart for his Church – including The Salvation Army – as we emerge into a post-pandemic world.’
The General concludes: ‘I’m mindful that the prevailing circumstances are different from place to place. Some countries are well advanced with vaccination programmes. Others need extra support and resourcing that is not always readily forthcoming. And still we see further “waves” and variants of the virus affecting even more people – especially those on the edges of society.
‘This is why I am calling The Salvation Army to a second wave of prayer for COVID-19 … On Sunday 24 October, we will pray unceasingly again. We have much to thank God for, and we also seek his guidance and wisdom as we emerge into the new reality of learning to live alongside COVID-19.’
Report by IHQ Communications