Prayer24Brum is an annual prayer event that has been running for the last 9 years in Birmingham, and this time, the Seventh-day Adventist Chruch was invited to participate for the first time. The event brings together groups from various Christian denominations to hold a prayer vigil for the city.
Pastor Obinnaya Iheoma, who currently pastors the Erdington, Sutton Coldfield and Aston district of churches, is a chaplain for the University of Birmingham and West Midlands Police. He regularly interacts with multi-faith groups and builds relationships with other Christian churches. This meant he was well placed to facilitate the first contact between Stephanie Neville from Birmingham Churches Together and the North England Conference (NEC) Prayer Ministries department.
Prayer24Brum is hosted by a different church in Birmingham City Centre church every year. On Friday 20th January 2023, Adventist members from the West Midlands gathered at St Chad’s Cathedral to lead the prayer relay and praise from 5 PM to 6 PM. The theme given for this year was Do Good, Seek Justice, which each group could interpret in their unique way. The only rule was that prayer should be maintained throughout.
The group was warmly welcomed, and after a brief introduction by Frederica Reid (NEC Prayer Sponsor), 9-year-old Jude Mardenborough from Ladywood church read from Matthew 25:35-36 to highlight the theme for focused prayer.
Pastor Iheoma led in prayer, followed by Elder Phil Eggleston (Handsworth Church), Elder Suresh Nallamothu (Sutton Coldfield), and Mark Larman (Handsworth). The emphasis of prayer was on individuals in need and those who help, protect, and support them. Two students from Birmingham University also participated; Jemima Nambo shared a poem she had written on prayer, and Adrian De Lima played a musical piece from Debussy on the keyboard. The Cathedral echoed with songs of comfort beautifully rendered by the group Voices in Praise.
Mark Larman invited everyone to repeat the Lord’s Prayer, followed by a song of encouragement – ‘Be Strong’, from the Bartley Green Church choir, led by Br Dennis Fernando. Frederica Reid prayed to conclude as the next group prepared to continue the prayer relay.
The entire day was prayerful and uplifting. It was a significant event for our church and an ideal opportunity to meaningfully connect with Birmingham’s Christian Community. We are full of hope that a significant friendship has been forged, as Stephanie expects that the Adventist Church will continue to be involved in future years.