Two big Christian events are kicking off the New Year in the right way with an around-the-world prayer relay and the massive Passion worship service taking place at the home of the Atlanta Falcons football team.
Passion 2020 Conference
A huge group of Christian millennials and members of Gen Z showed up in Atlanta, GA, to tell the world that Jesus is alive and the church is still the answer.
Passion 2020 conference in Atlanta (Photo: Austin Rapp/Passion photographer)
More than 65,000 people are attending, filling Mercedes-Benz Stadium and ringing in the New Year with Passion 2020 - a gathering of 19- to 25-year-olds along with their church and campus leaders. The multi-day event is filled with worship and teaching, and it kicked off on New Year's Eve.
— Karina Noelle (@karinanoellelab) January 1, 2020
Passion 2020 is comprised of students and leaders from over 1,680 universities, all 50 states, and 81 countries. For the first time, Passion's opening night, Dec. 31, was broadcast Live and worldwide on TBN. The remainder of the conference was Livestreamed on the conference's website.
Passion founders Louie and Shelley Giglio and the Passion Band were joined by Christine Caine, Levi Lusko, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias, Tim Tebow and Sadie Robertson. Worship leaders and bands included Crowder, Hillsong United, Lecrae, Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, Elevation Music, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, Social Club Misfits, Tedashii and Sean Curran.
We say goodbye to 2019 + hello to 2020. Imagine what God will do through you in the new decade; what opportunities will He lead you to, what challenges He will overcome on your behalf. The 20s are overflowing with possibilities, and we are ready and willing, full of expectation. pic.twitter.com/AH7pFpJcJG
— Passion Conferences (@passion268) January 1, 2020
The END IT Movement was launched at Passion 2013, and to date has raised $8.3 million to fight modern-day slavery, assisting in awareness, prevention, rescue, and restoration. This year, Passion is also calling students to give toward Share Light, a campaign to see the Bible translated into the 6,000 known languages during this generation's lifetime. Only a third of the known languages currently have the Bible in their language, and Passion attendees can make a huge impact in realizing the goal of interpreting the Scriptures for the remaining languages in this generation.
In addition, a flame was brought all the way from Jerusalem to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Passion as a symbol of the light of Christ going into the world.
"We're not simply keepers of the light, but we are carriers of the light of Jesus to the world," said Louie Giglio. "One of the practical ways that we can carry that light to the world is to participate in the goal of Scripture translation. We're launching a bold initiative at Passion 2020 in this new decade to Share Light."
Global Prayer Relay
Meanwhile, Christians in Australia asked believers around the world to join them in a New Year's Day Sunrise Prayer Relay to help usher in 2020. This year, the main focus is praying for the nations of the world.
"This year we feel to have a focus on praying for nations to turn to Jesus. We believe we are coming into a time now when whole nations will be saved. There are many problems in the world that we can pray about but ultimately Jesus is the answer to all of them, so we believe it is time to pray for nations to turn to Jesus, and it's time to go and proclaim the gospel to every person in every nation because now is the time of salvation," the Sunrise Prayer Relay 2020 posted on their website.
Over the last two years, people in more than 50 countries participated in the Sunrise Prayer Relay.
The group's website gives suggestions as to where your local prayer gathering can take place. It could be at a public place like a hilltop, lookout, bridge, public landmark, at a church in your city or town, or you can also pray privately in your home. The goal of these prayer gatherings at sunrise around the world is to generate a synchronized 24-hour global prayer relay.
The group suggests that Christians pray together aloud as the sun rises, and make a declaration that Jesus is Lord of your life, your family, your region and your nation and the nations.