Today marks the second day of the 2012 World Prayer Assembly in Jakarta, Indonesia, which as part of an ongoing global prayer movement is bringing together some 20,000 children and 5,000 ministry and marketplace leaders from more than 200 nations and across denominations to pray for Indonesia and the world. The event, co-hosted by Korean and Indonesian churches, is an eye-opening look at the nature of the church, God’s mission and “transformational prayer” in the global South.
I tend to chafe at triumphalist presentations of the church: the notion that Christians pray for God’s transformation in all sectors of society as a kind of spiritual colonization of sorts can often go hand in hand with the “dominion theology” (a.k.a. the “New Apostolic Reformation”) of a Peter Wagner and others in this country. (If you didn’t catch Peter Wagner’s interview with Teri Gross last October, I’d commend it to you.) “Dominionism” depicts the role of Christians as one of casting out demons in business, politics, and culture in preparation for the end times. There is certainly some biblical precedent for this approach, and I like how Shane Claibourne, for instance, commends in a similar vein “exorcising Wall Street,” but there are real dangers lurking within this worldview, too.
Still, the sheer enormity of the World Prayer Assembly in unifying people across the globe- a bit like a prayer Olympics of sorts- obliges me to ask the question, “What new thing is God doing here?” If you didn’t catch the video invitation to the WPA Assembly in my previous post on the subject, here it is again: