Is it too funny or too sad? As everyone should, read Exodus 32…And look who pops up, but Dr. Sharon ‘Sarah Palin is the Second Coming’ Stone.
LONDON (Reuters) – Plunging world stock markets have produced reactions from bewilderment to terror among traders, but one group believes the financial crisis requires an altogether different response — prayer.
On the anniversary of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, a cross-denominational 100-strong group of Christians united in City Temple Church in London’s financial district on Wednesday to pray for an end to market instability and ask God that economies should not enter a 1930s-style Great Depression.
Carrying a banner depicting a huge lion — symbolising the biblical Lion of Judah, or Jesus — with one paw on a bull and other on a bear, the group then headed to the London Stock Exchange, epicentre of the UK’s quaking financial system.
In tandem with teams in New York, Dublin and Amsterdam, Christians stood in small groups or marched round the Stock Exchange’s premises in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, asking God to intervene in the turmoil of recent months and praying for those affected by the credit crisis.
“I’m not a doomsday prophet, I’m not speaking judgement,” said American Sharon Stone, founder of Christian International Europe and co-ordinator of the group.
“We believe God is God of the economy also. We’re praying for mercy that there won’t be losses of jobs, that there won’t be losses of homes and that any greater crisis will be averted.”
The group, which had come from all over the UK and included workers from the London Stock Exchange and the International Monetary Fund, comprised Anglicans, Catholics, Pentecostals and other Christian denominations.
This demonstrates an increased willingness amongst believers to work together and to roll up their sleeves as the crisis bites, said 54 year-old Stone, a church pastor since the age of 19.
“This is the easiest prayer gathering I’ve had in 35 years,” she said.
Spiritual leaders have already waded into the financial crisis.
Pope Benedict recently said those building their life on material things or on success built their house on sand.
And last month the Church of England’s Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, likened those short-selling some financial stocks — hedge funds or other traders who bet on falling prices — to “bank robbers and asset strippers”.
However, Wednesday’s gathering at the LSE reflects a growing desire from ordinary people, whether believers or non-believers, to engage with the bigger questions of life, as market falls erase billions of pounds of wealth and jobs and homes look less secure.
So far in October the main UK share index, the FTSE 100 .FTSE, has fallen 15 percent, including an incredible 10 separate sessions in which it closed up or down more than 5 percent.
Meanwhile, home repossessions rose 71 percent during the second quarter on a year ago, while unemployment in the three months to August rose more than expected to 5.7 percent.
“People are worried about their jobs. And when they lose their jobs … it brings a sense of ‘what am I doing, why am I here’,” said Omar Raja, a business consultant and chairman of the Wharf Muslim Association, a spiritual and networking group in London’s Docklands business district.
Dramatic examples of people whose life has been changed by a religious experience directly linked to the credit crisis are so far lacking, but religious groups are starting to see new interest from those on the outside.
St Peter’s Barge, a floating church based near the gleaming towers of the Canary Wharf district’s once-mighty banks, says it has seen more new faces at lunchtime talks aimed at bankers and other professionals on topics such as the credit crisis.
“There is a general, low-level anxiety amongst people. They’re worried about their jobs, their kids, how to make ends meet. It seems to be all-pervasive,” said senior pastor Marcus Nodder.
“There doesn’t seem to be much good news. It does get on top of people and make them ask questions when the world is falling apart.”
And from CBN,
CBN.com – WALL STREET
In January of this year, Cindy Jacobs was in a worship service when the Lord spoke to her, “Cindy, the strongman over America doesn’t live in Washington, DC – the strongman lives in New York City! Call My people to pray for the economy.”
This word so shook Cindy; she knew she had to call the people of God to converge on New York City the week of October 29 for an emergency prayer rally to cry out against economic collapse in the midst of shaking.
The Lord further said, “October 29 was Black Tuesday, the day the stock market crashed, and Satan wants to do it again.” We must be proactive in prayer. At the beginning of the year many intercessors began to hear from the Lord that without divine intervention, a major shaking was coming to Wall Street. This would spread until there were food shortages. Some think that 2009 would be worse than 2008. Of course, it goes without saying that this would affect markets around the world.
Many people are fasting and praying for the upcoming elections, Cindy says. We don’t want to let up in this final press, we need to P.U.S.H. (pray until something happens) to avert financial judgment. On September 29 last month, the US stock market went down 777 points in one day. Cindy says it was no coincidence that this happened on the first day of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.
“This is so severe in the economic area because we are facing judgment from the actions, not only for our stance towards Israel, but our blatant sin against Him in passing laws such as the one allowing homosexual marriages,” Cindy said.
NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL
In early August in her prayer time Cindy heard the Lord say, “There will be no more business as usual.”
Little did she know the scope of what this meant on a worldwide scale. God is on the move. She and many others have taken this as a major point of intercession. She believes that just as there came a time when God judged the gods of Egypt, He is now judging the god of mammon. Nations are standing on the cusp of history that will determine their course for generations to come. God is judging the ideologies of nations. He is moving to put the fear of the Lord not only on His church; but upon the nations of the world.
For these and other reasons Cindy is calling for a Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. They are calling for prayer for the stock markets, banks, and financial institutions of the world on the date the stock market crashed in 1929. They are meeting at the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank, and its 12 principal branches around the US that day.
“We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems,” she said. “While we do not have the full revelation of all this will entail, we do know that without intercession, economies will crumble.”
Cindy is encouraging prayer groups to intercede for banks and financial institutions in your area. Cindy says each of us has to be accountable to the Lord.
“Don’t think you’re going to be in sin and that God will take care of you in these hard economic times. Holiness is key,” Cindy said. Each of us has a part to play and should not think that God will indiscriminately bless us without us dealing with personal areas that are wrong. We must repent of any misuse of money, think before we spend, get out of debt, etc., and allow God to do a course correction for us.