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Hundreds Rally to Pray for Israel on Pentecost Sunday, Launch ‘Historic’ Global Effort to Share the Gospel

Christians from around the world celebrate Pentecost at the Southern Steps in Jerusalem in 2023.
Christians from around the world celebrate Pentecost at the Southern Steps in Jerusalem in 2023.

JERUSALEM, Israel – On Pentecost Sunday, hundreds gathered on Jerusalem's Southern Steps, just below the Temple Mount, to pray for Israel. It began a historic evangelistic effort to reach the world.

During this Global Day of Prayer for Jerusalem and the Nations, an unusual last season rain covered those who attended in person, with millions more joining online.

“I have been in broadcast for 25 years as you have and I’ve never seen something like this before,” Jono Hall of Sardius Media, who oversaw the global broadcast, told CBN News. 

“I think this is kind of a God moment. There are organizations, collaborations, denominations, people from the East and West. People who wouldn’t normally speak or work together are actually working together for this event to see prayer for Jerusalem go up, but also the Gospel of the Kingdom go to the furthest reaches of the earth.” 

Three major prayer efforts converged on the day of Pentecost, including Pentecost 2023 and the Ascension Day Prayer Initiative. 

“This is historic. Something like this has never happened. Over a hundred million praying for Israel and for the world with the launch of this ten-year collaboration for the fulfillment of the Great Commission,” said Tom Victor of the International Prayer Council. 

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At the meeting, global Christian leaders, including Oral Roberts University President Billy Wilson, launched Commitment 2033, a ten-year initiative to reach the world with the Gospel. 

“Father, we thank you for this moment. Today, we’re in Jerusalem launching a decade of Great Commission effort. I pray Holy Spirit that you would give us courage and boldness. Jesus, you promised when the Holy Spirit came on us, we would have power and be your witness starting in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. We pray that will be true in our generation in the 21st century. We dedicate ourselves and we dedicate this decade to your glory in Jesus’ name,” Wilson prayed. 

The event also marked the end of 21 days of prayer and fasting by an effort called the Isaiah62Fast. It began in early March to mobilize at least 5 million believers to fast and pray for one hour a day based on Isaiah 62. The ultimate goal is to raise 100 million intercessors for Israel. 

Mike Bickle, who launched the prayer effort, emphasized the importance of praying for the protection of Israel from Iran, modern-day Persia.

“Twenty-five hundred years ago, God had a man named Daniel pray and Michael came and resisted it,” said Bickle. “Twenty-five hundred years later, Iran, out of seemingly nowhere compared to the last couple of thousand years, is back as a world power again with a nuclear weapon just a moment away with Russia and China behind the scenes backing them up in certain ways. And the Lord says, ‘I’ve got this one. I’ve understood this from the beginning. I have a five-million-member corporate Daniel on a 21-day fast at such a time as this.’”

Some ultra-Orthodox groups condemned the event, calling participants missionaries and telling them to go home. Protestors claimed that they were defiling Jewish holy sites and attempted to block them from attending the prayer meeting. One Christian leader in Jerusalem, speaking to CBN News, described it as the most aggressive and hateful reaction he had witnessed in his almost thirty years in Israel. Some Israeli officials including Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan condemned the protestors in an interview on i24 News. 

Despite the disturbance, many, like Marjorie Scott Anderson from Jamaica, continued to pray.

“To be here on the Temple Mount, in Israel, in Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost, awesome,” said Scott. 

Matteo Calisi, a charismatic Catholic came from Italy with the organization United in Christ International. 

“This is important because for the first time, Christians [are] not divided but united to accept the challenge to work together in unity to evangelize the world,” said Calisi. 

Immanuel Keith Soares, representing Jesus Prays from India, encouraged everyone, especially the younger generation, to continue to fervently pray.

“Now is the time to pray,” said Immanuel. “This is the time to intercede, now is the time to intercede. Now is not a time to be slack … so, I want to encourage everyone now, especially the younger generation to continue to be hot, to be warm with the fire of the Holy Spirit.”

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