We have been sending out special prayer points about the Vancouver Olympics as part of the Keats Island International Prayer Centre for several weeks now. Over 225 intercessors are now using these points to lift up Vancouver, the More Than Gold effort and the Olympics.
Here’s an excerpt of this week’s Vancouver Olympic Prayer Bulletin.
If you would like the full prayer update, please send a note back to me asking to “subscribe to the VOPN” at email@example.com.
Pray about Olympics Dynamics:
Some of these issues below may sound formidable. However, here in Ottawa (from where we currently are writing these prayer points) we have seen the Lord alert us to pray, both about anarchists and terrorists in certain situations, and then seen very direct answers to our prayers for protection and exposure. (We have a story about “The Toronto 18” which will have to be written up sometime.)
- Protestors: In an article by Barbara Yaffe in Thursday’s Vancouver Sun she quotes an expert on protest movements – “The Olympic Games are often perceived as a symbol of peace but ironically also serve as venues for intense political contention,” warns Patrick Cottrell, a politics professor at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., who studies the political side of Olympic competitions. “They’re an ideal platform for protest,” says Cottrell. “Up to 90 per cent of the world’s television sets tune in.” Some 14,000 journalists will be in Vancouver.
Prayer Point: Let’s pray for the Lord’s oversight around protestors, especially that there would be no physical harm done to any person, and that no property damage would occur. May those who plan on coming with motives to cause violence and damage be discovered early. It wouldn’t hurt to pray for those 14,000 journalists either. Maybe some of them will be transformed as they come to Canada.
- Security: Barbara Yaffe also notes that “The Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, with a budget of just over $490 million, will have on hand 16,000 police, private security guards and Armed Forces personnel. About 9,000 temporary security cameras are being installed to guard venues. And protesters will have the option of using “Safe Assembly Areas” or “Free Speech Zones” for demos, such as the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery.”
Prayer Point: Let’s pray for a balance in the way that security forces are deployed at the Olympics. Pray that any real terrorist plans would be exposed and anyone coming to create mass violence would be detained without incident.
- Public Support: Doug Ward, also writing in the Vancouver Sun this week writes about a new public opinion poll. “Support for the 2010 Olympics is more tepid in British Columbia than elsewhere in Canada — and the province’s ambivalence about the Games appears to be growing rather than declining, according to an online poll. The Angus Reid Public Opinion survey found that 50 per cent of British Columbians believe the Winter Olympics will have a mostly positive impact on the province compared to 73 per cent of all Canadians who think B.C. will benefit.”
Prayer Point: We see this ambivalence reflected in the way that Vancouver Christians are responding to the ministry opportunity that this unique window presents to them. Let’s pray that pastors and other spiritual leaders would be able to “see” what God is calling them to do, and be able to fire up their congregations and networks to embrace the challenge.
- International Misperceptions: With all the news about the lack of snow especially on Cypress Mountain, the international media from CNN to the Japanese Press have picked up on it. The story is not being told accurately and could affect the plans of athletes and visitors.
Prayer Points: Let’s pray that the organizers solutions will indeed work as they truck in snow from other areas, and that athletes and tourists would not panic. Pray that international media would refrain from doing a “hatchet job” on the Vancouver Olympics before they have even begun.