Salvationists and friends from across the world lifted hope-filled prayers to God in response to General Brian Peddle’s call for a Second Global Wave of Prayer for COVID-19. The international leader set aside Sunday 24 October 2021 as a follow-up to the 2020 ‘follow the sun’ event. This second wave of prayer, 18 months later, acknowledged the changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic. From sunrise in Samoa in the east to sunset in Hawaii, USA, in the west, this wave of prayerful solidarity swept around the globe for more than 36 continuous hours.
Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham co-ordinated the event as World Secretary for Spiritual Life Development and laid out four key areas to guide prayer. First, a time of lamentation over the losses many people have experienced. Then, in a sign of answered prayers, for thanksgiving and praise of God for developments in effective vaccinations and for his faithfulness despite the hardships that many are facing. Finally, she called for people to seek God’s heart for his Church, including The Salvation Army, as society looks to a post-pandemic world.
This second day of prayer included an innovative series of online prayer meetings, enabling people to benefit from a guided time of prayer. The first of these was led by Major Arif Masih, Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the Pakistan Territory. Major Arif, along with colleagues from the territory, created space for reflection as well as celebration. Commissioner Bronwyn led the second meeting, five hours later, from London, UK, featuring contributions from members of the International Headquarters (IHQ) family. The final event was led by Lieut-Colonel Carolee Israel, Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development in the USA Southern Territory, who brought a timely reminder that regardless of our circumstances, God is with us, and he is in control.
Social media proved a powerful tool for the sharing of prayer and messages of encouragement with enthusiastic engagement throughout the event. IHQ’s Spiritual Life Development team shared short films from global Salvation Army communities on Facebook and Instagram. Prayers, Scripture and a look at the movement’s practical response in local neighbourhoods were shared from countries including Australia, Estonia, Finland, Korea, Madagascar, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and the USA. In all, 118 unique posts were shared across The Salvation Army’s IHQ and Spiritual Life Development Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
A live blog, hosted on the Second Global Wave of Prayer for COVID-19 web page, enabled people to add messages of support, inspiration and prayer. This attracted close to 2,000 readers during the life of the event and received numerous messages from around the world, adding to the social media content which was also brought into the feed.
One contributor, Liz, used the online space to share these words: ‘Comforter God, thank you that you are present in ALL our times and that as we cry out to you, in grief, fear, frustration and even anger, you graciously and tenderly remind me of your consistency, your faithfulness and your goodness.’
Another contributor, Leuman, wrote: ‘Thank you for this opportunity to connect your people around the world into your presence and pray together for this pandemic… heavenly Father come and have your way, we’re your people.’
Reflecting on the weekend, General Peddle said: ‘I am so thankful for the way in which Salvationists and friends have responded to this Second Global Wave of Prayer for COVID-19. As we have considered the four key areas for prayer – lamentation, thanksgiving, praise and seeking God’s heart – I hope you have felt his presence. To all those who have prayed, contributed to social media activity and online prayer meetings, gathered together or just prayed quietly where you are: thank you. Now I urge you, do not stop praying and sharing with God the things on your heart. Let us go forward, listening carefully to his voice and continuing to serve others where we see need.’