Ten Days of Prayer, a humble movement that started in California in 2007, has blossomed and flourished into an annual Global Church initiative. Formerly known as Operation Global Rain, the program began when Ivor Myers, a pastor in the Central California Conference, organized a 10-day prayer event patterned after the experience of the early church in the second chapter of Acts.
Several other churches chose to follow suit. According to a release on the Operation Global Rain former website, the prayer meetings didn’t feature keynote speakers or long lectures, “but rather a group of disciples pleading for nothing else but the outpouring of the latter rain. Every night from 7 to 8 pm, a theme sheet with Bible verses and Spirit of Prophecy quotes was presented. [They] read these privately and then prayed, sometimes silently, other times in groups of two, and others as a congregation.”
The outcome of this initial prayer event was remarkable. All of the congregations whose members participated experienced revival. “Animosity was laid aside and a true spirit of unity, repentance and mission took hold of the members,” the website said.
A few years after Operation Global Rain began, news of the revival happening as a result of united prayer in California and other states reached the General Conference Revival and Reformation Committee. The members believed it would be well received on a global level and in 2011, the Executive Committee met and voted to adopt Operation Global Rain’s 10 Days of Prayer as a Church initiative.
They kept the original format of a short devotional reading to provide focus, followed by corporate and private prayer for about an hour. While the name has changed, over the years the format has stayed relatively the same, with slight modifications such as the addition of a night of prayer and outreach options.
Janet Page, Prayer Ministries coordinator for the World Church, says that when the initiative began, many questioned if they could actually pray for an hour. But after the first few nights, they were surprised to see how fast the time went by. “People have told me that it’s really helped them to really just spend time for an hour together with God,” she says.
The prayer movement has grown exponentially since its inception in 2007. This year over 82,583 participants in 212 countries registered to receive the daily prayer focus emails from January 6 – 16. The first year in California, just about 1,800 congregations participated.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way churches and individuals join in. Jonathan Walter, communications manager for the Ministerial Association who hosts 10 Days of Prayer, shares: “In many places, meeting in person is not possible nor advisable. Groups have organized themselves online through various video chat platforms. Others use WhatsApp and other group-messaging platforms. Some also use WePray.mobi, the official Revival and Reformation online prayer platform.”
Topics for prayer focus have varied over the years, from the Christian Walk, the Fruit of the Spirit, the Sanctuary, and the Holy Spirit, to Abiding in Christ and Seeking Revival. Testimonies have poured in from all over the world of lives changed through the power of prayer. One participant from the United States shared:
“I have been struggling with anxiety for a long time. I was so disturbed that I even thought of committing suicide. With the 10 Days of Prayer I have finally found the solution to my dilemma: surrender. I just surrendered to God this morning everything that has kept me anxious and miserable. My children leaving the faith, my fears, life disappointments, my past, my mistakes, etc... I am now free. I am at peace. I accepted God forgiveness and I gave Him full reign of my life. May His will be done. I trust Him fully.”
Another testimony of personal revival comes from Zimbabwe:
“I had a very rough past week at the beginning of January 2021. I had a lot sorrow and fear. Until I learned about the 10 Days of Prayer. I decided to participate. I would like to say ‘Hallelujah!’ I have found happiness and comfort in the Lord. My problems have not been fixed yet, but I am much happier and more confident that God is beside me always. I missed this feeling. After backsliding for so long I would like to get back on track and daily surrender my life to Him.”
Congregations around the world have also experienced revival and reformation through this 10-day emphasis. This story comes from a member in Nigeria:
“Prior to the 10 Days of Prayer, our church was cold. But during the period, God revived us as we asked earnestly for the Holy Spirit. The result was that our meetings like midweek services, Sabbath vespers, Friday sundown worships came alive like morning worships. Also, outreach became priority, such that other activities were postponed for it. Even in this lockdown, units gather for midweek prayers and Sabbath worships. May God be praised forever!”
Prayer Ministries coordinators say, “God has worked so many miracles in past years as we have sought Him together in prayer and fasting. The Holy Spirit has brought about conversions, renewed passion for evangelism, revived churches, and healed relationships. God wants to do incredible things in our lives and churches today. His plans go far beyond our own capabilities, and only with a constant prayer connection to Him can we carry out the task He has prepared. He bids us, ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know’ (Jeremiah 33:3).”
If you missed the 10 Days of Prayer event this year, it’s not too late to access the materials for your own personal enrichment or use in a small group. Visit tendaysofprayer.org for archived materials available in multiple languages.