This article was originally published in Edition (9) of Prayer Magazine,  Jan-Mar 2007.

On 21st October 2006 - The fifth Trumpet Call at the NEC in Birmingham drew together approximately 3,600 people from several nations, to focus not on any organisation or person but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He accomplished at the Cross. Jesus is the hope for our nations, and as the trumpet call continued to be sounded, so also a year of prayer leading towards ‘Hope 2008’ was launched.

This was a very special day for several religious groups in our land; as the start of ‘Diwali’, Hindus and Sikhs would pray for God to show them the light; for Muslims, the approach of Eid would cause them to pray ‘give us revelation’. What perfect timing for God to cal His Church to pray together on this day! We are humbled to learn that thousands of Christians around the world were also standing with us in prayer today, so concerned are the state of Great Britain.

The challenge to raise up, hold on and not give up came to us clearly as we worshipped and exalted the Lord Jesus. If God is to work through us to bring transformation to our communities, we need clean and changed hearts. How is this possible? – Only through the work of Christ on the cross! God showed His great love for us there, forgiving our sin, removing Satan’s authority, giving us hope, salvation and a new life in Christ. As Ian Cole passionately proclaimed this truth, so the message of grace was brought home to us afresh. Look to Jesus and live!

While prayer is the foundation for seeing God’s Kingdom come, Andy Hawthorne urged us to recognise the part we can all play in taking the Gospel to others – giving people hope. “Hope 2008’is about ‘making the main thing the main thing’, i.e. proclaiming Jesus, because He transforms lives. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, and as we listened to police Sergeant Kevin Borg, he confirmed that kindness is one of the most powerful things that positively changes the lives of criminals.

Since the vision of ‘redeeming our communities’ was shared a year ago, we heard today of several examples of how the message has been put into practice, with partnerships being developed with local police and other community leaders. Prayer is catching on –and so is the message of taking the love of God outside the church to the people around us – but there is still so much more that we can be involved in.

Jane Holloway issued the invitation for all to join the Year of Prayer through 2007 to prepare the way for Hope 2008. She reminded us that the Holy Spirit of God is all the resources we need. He is in every believer in Jesus, and so and so as we listen to His voice, so He will lead us in new ways. The vision of Hope 2008 is to follow those Spirit-led initiatives. God wants us to be connected and praying together, whether in small or large, focussing prayer for those who do not yet know Jesus. The challenge to us all is – How will you join in the year of prayer?

Hope 2008 is not a movement led by a few, but a vision to include us all, wherever we are, to make the most of the opportunities available to make the Gospel known. Resources such as prayer guides will be made available to help us, as well as suggestions of how to celebrate Christian festivals in a relevant way.

The group Aradnha, playing Asian-style music, along with Pal Singh, led us through a time of prayer for the revelation of Jesus to the Asian people in this land. Again the message of the cross was declared – it is the place of hope for everyone!

John O’Brien invited a group of children to come on stage to pray. Many prayed for their friends, schools, parents and children everywhere to receive the revelation of Jesus, crying out for transformation and to know the love of God. Roy Crowne then pointed out that the average age that people come to Christ is 15 years old – revival starts with children!

Having piloted a scheme in 15 schools o present the Christian faith in the form of a ‘youth Alpha’ course called ‘Explore’, the Government has now given the go-ahead to take the scheme nationwide as part of the Key Stage 3 curriculum! Every church was exhorted to ‘adopt a school’ to encourage this initiative and pray for the pupils. Potentially 100,000 children can hear the message of Christianity explained clearly!

As we prayed for the young people, Ian reminded us of the huge number of prodigals in this land – but that God has not forgotten them. We prayed again for them, calling them back to the Lord, because His love for them has not diminished.

It is an amazing fact that we are presently part of the largest prayer army that the earth has ever known! This year approximately 200 million Christians gathered around the world to pray on the Global Day of Prayer. What an encouragement! Our prayers are not in vain! People are praying more than ever, in more places than ever, because the harvest is ripe and needs gathering in! So we prayed for nations; for South Africa where one man received the vision to see united prayer across that nation, then the continent, then globally. We prayed for the persecuted church, for the children, for the breaking of slavery across the nations, and for the release of captives.

We concluded the day with a declaration, committing ourselves afresh to the Lord and His purposes, encouraged, strengthened, envisioned to see the New Day of God come.

We believe that we should continue to ‘blow the trumpet’ and unite before God in prayer and proclamation of His Gospel.

So Trumpet Call VI will be held at the NEC on May 19th 2007. This is a ticketed event; tickets are £5, available from the World Prayer Centre, 5 Ethel Street, Birmingham, B2 4BG, or on-line:

Sue Harvey

Prayer Coordinator

World Prayer Centre

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