There's nothing like a crisis to stir Americans to pray, and with the technological advances of the Internet, united prayer has risen to a new level as a result of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Individual Christians are joining their prayers in loosely aligned online networks. They believe their prayers, joined with those of other people, can affect both the direction of the nation and the world. They are not the only ones who think this way. In March both Houses of Congress passed resolutions urging President Bush to proclaim a national day of prayer and fasting.
Prayer walks, all-night prayer vigils, and round-the-clock prayer chains are more popular than ever. Three movements in particular are galvanizing hundreds of thousands of evangelicals to pray in this time of crisis. They are also raising questions about the interface between spiritual warfare in the heavenlies and physical warfare on earthly battlefields.
For those in authority nothing has galvanized the praying populace as much as the Internet-based Presidential Prayer Team (www.presidentialprayerteam.org), which formed a week after the terrorist strikes in 2001. The nonpartisan PPT has signed up 1.6 million people to pray daily for President Bush and members of his Cabinet on a rotating basis.
Within a week after the war in Iraq began, 600,000 people committed to pray daily in PPT's "Adopt Our Troops" campaign. At the same time, the campaign received 120,000 names to pray for, whether from soldiers themselves or from family members. The two-fold goal of the PPT campaign is to make sure all military personnel and their families receive prayer, and to show support for the troops.
The Tucson-based PPT has a $6 million annual budget supported by individual contributions. ...1