2012: a big year of big events for London. It all kicks off with the Diamond Jubilee in early June, marking 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne, and featuring a huge pageant on the River Thames on Sunday 03 June. The Wimbledon tennis championships follow from 25 June – 08 July. Between those events the eyes of the world will temporarily have moved to Poland and the Ukraine for Euro 2012. But from 27 July the attention will squarely be back on London for the 17 day festival of sport we call the Olympic Games.
This will the third time London has hosted the modern summer Olympics, the first city ever to receive such an honour. An unprecedented number of athletes, coaches, journalists, dignitaries and sports fans will descend on the metropolis, loosely based around the Olympic Village in Stratford, but actually making an impact across the whole of the capital.
So what should the church’s response be to all this? How can we maximize this opportunity for the Kingdom of God. Here are my suggested prayer topics:
- Pray for the athletes and visitors coming to the city, that they would feel welcomed and at home during their time in London.
- Pray for those churches, organizations, families and individuals offering hospitality during the Games, that they would create a fantastic atmosphere for those coming to stay with them.
- Pray for the huge numbers of mission teams coming in to London, and the huge amount of mission activity taking place over this summer, that God would guide it and use every person and effort to further His Kingdom.
- Pray for a legacy of sport and community engagement. Many churches will be using this summer as an opportunity to run more sporting events within their communities. Pray for relationships to begin there that can develop over months and years, and ultimately bring more fitness, community cohesion and salvation across the capital.
- Pray for the athletes who will give interviews throughout the Games. Many come from cultures more open to God than our own, and will freely give credit to God for all their abilities and successes. Pray for them to be bold in testifying about Jesus in the media, and pray for the impact this will have on people across the nation and the world as they watch some of their heroes giving all the glory to God.