9/11 and the IPC
“Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” Isaiah 26:8
Ten years ago, it was the horrendously tragic 9/11 terrorist attack that helped catalyze the formation of the International Prayer Council in the weeks that followed. Thirty-five international prayer leaders answered Ben Jenning’s call to meet in New York City at the beginning of December 2001. We struggled to pray at Ground Zero, expressing our deep grief but also extending forgiveness to the extremist monsters and their backers who, because of their bondage to an ideology so full of deception and death, had just wantonly murdered 3000 Americans.
As we prayed and deliberated about the way forward in the global prayer movement, it seemed obvious that it was a time for a “network of prayer networks.” It would connect prayer leaders and intercessors across the world to pray concertedly for the effective resolution of global and regional issues such as terrorism, humanitarian disasters, and especially for the fulfillment of the Great Commission and implementation of the Great Commandment.
The key word is “connect”. The IPC has been used by the Lord to join brothers and sisters in Christ together across the globe to pray with an informed and united focus in many different situations and venues since 2001. Here is a partial list of what has been accomplished thus far so we can rejoice, thank God, and look ahead:
1) International Prayer Leaders Consultation, Cape Town, South Africa, November, 2002 – almost 300 prayer networks gathered to launch the IPC and regional prayer networks cross the world.
2) Regional prayer summits through these networks have brought together prayer and ministry leaders in virtually every region of the world. Some regions have met several times and continue to pray and work together for God’s transformation.
3) National prayer initiatives, many of them with IPC-related facilitation teams, have been arranged and led in at least 30 nations. In many cases, the Lord has brought about major transformations by ending wars, removing evil leaders and enabling the formation of national unity governments. He has also ignited spiritual revival among participating pastors, denominational and even political leaders as His people have repented, become reconciled and prayed.
4) International Prayer Consultations have been held in conjunction with other major events such as the Lausanne Forum in Thailand, 2004, Malaysia, 2006, and the Global Day of Prayer conference, 2010.
5) Global Day of Prayer – since September 2004, the IPC has gone to bat for the GDOP, helping to mobilize participation around the world through its links with other prayer networks and ministries. Up to 300 million have taken part in these annual days of united prayer for our communities and world.
6) Two global Children in Prayer Consultations, bringing together children’s workers from more than 60 nations, were held in Malaysia (2006), and India (2008). These times of cross-fertilization, along with video and written resources and a new website, helped inspire and broaden the rapidly growing Children in Prayer movement now in possibly 100 nations.
7) International Prayer Initiatives for the United Nations connected over 400 prayer leaders from 70 plus countries to pray with ambassadors inside the chambers of the U.N. (2007 and 2009).
8) Rich relationships of love and trust have been developed through such connections, enabling a wonderful Kingdom synergy that has released human, financial and other resources to flow where they are needed.
9) Now, the IPC (by this time also known as International Prayer Connect) is taking on its biggest challenge yet – the World Prayer Assembly. For the last ten years, we have thought and prayed about this possibility. In connection with the Indonesian and Korean prayer movements who will be co-hosting and with the support of many other prayer networks worldwide, the WPA will take place next year (May 14-18) in Jakarta, Indonesia. See www.wpa2012.org.
Many colleagues in the IPC and thousands upon thousands of other brothers and sisters in Christ have prayed and worked together to make all these things happen. Thank you for the crucial, vital roles you have played, sometimes involving considerable personal sacrifice. As that old saying goes, “It is not what you know but who you know that really matters!”
However, in the final analysis, it is the Spirit of God who has stirred our hearts to join Him in united intercession for our world and the outworking of His loving purposes for it. As Isaiah goes on to say in that same passage, “All that we have accomplished you have done for us.” Let us, therefore, reflect, rejoice and give thanks to the Lord who has done “immeasurably more” than all we have asked or imagined!