Danish priests: Revive Prayer Day as national event


Northern Europe


Photo Facebook, Apostelkirken

The Great Day of Prayer was a nationally celebrated event in Denmark in the past. The law even required every citizen to go to church. Today, these traditions have been watered down. However, church leaders argue that it is time to revive the Great Day of Prayer.

In Denmark, several international congregations have joined forces to revive the tradition of Prayer for the Nation in the Copenhagen Cathedral, Kristeligt Dagblad writes. Pastor Ravi Chandran from the Frikirken international church and priest Niels Nymann Eriksen from the Apostolic Church offer suggestions on how to do so in the Danish daily. “If prayer is the language of powerlessness, great days of prayer have a special justification in our day.”

In the 17th century, the law required people to go to church on prayer day, called Bededag in the Danish language. The holiday was set on the fourth Friday after Easter. According to Chandran and Nymann Eriksen, the day was instituted to repent and turn to God in prayer, asking Him for protection. “Stalls, cellars and inns selling drinks were to be closed. The next morning, everyone had to fast and come to church.”

The church leaders write in Kristeligt Dagblad that crises, such as the Ukrainian conflict, the Covid pandemic and the climate problem, renew the relevance of a day on which the whole nation “turns to God in prayer for the people, the country and the world.”

To demonstrate the relevance of a national celebration of Great Prayer Day, several pastors and church leaders from international congregations will organise an English prayer service in the Copenhagen Cathedral. The central thought of the service is based on Jeremiah 29:7: “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace, you will have peace.”



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