|PIC1|The State of the Nation gathering also focused on repentance over the church's silence in the face of immoral legislation passed over the decades, particularly in the areas of the unborn child and marriage.
All mainstream denominations were represented at Saturday's gathering at the Emmanuel Centre, near the Houses of Parliament. Prayer gatherings were also held in Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh and in countries around the world, including the US, Germany and Australia, in an expression of solidarity with the London meeting.
The day of prayer and repentance was organised following a meeting at the House of Lords last December of some 80 Christians from the church, the Houses of Parliament, and the business and education sectors. The meeting focused on the moral and spiritual implications of the financial crisis and concluded with a call for a season of prayer and fasting for the UK.
David Noakes, a member of the State of the Nation facilitating group, said the prayer meeting was possibly the most important gathering since World War II.
"Only then it was a nation. Now it is a remnant people. But don't be dismayed that it is a remnant," he said, pointing to the battle won by the Lord with the 300 warriors of Gideon.
Mr Noakes chided the church for failing to speak out against ungodly legislation and urged the church not to be swayed by political correctness.
"God is not politically correct but biblically correct," he said, adding that the church needed to cast out the sin within its own ranks and return to a fear of the Lord.
Mr Noakes ended with a note of encouragement, saying that God had not forgotten about Christians in Britain because of the country's special history and that the despair brought on by the financial crisis would prompt more people to turn to God.
"There are many people in great despair because the whole world system is coming down around them. God will bring many people into the light of salvation out of that darkness and they will come back again to a fear of the Lord."Dr Clifford Hill, also on the facilitating group, echoed his sentiments.
"God loves to use people who have been found out of distress. We will see that increase in this generation," he said.
The meeting was also joined by Pastor Jonathan Oloyede, convener of the Global Day of Prayer London.
He told Christians to overcome their divisions and unite as one under the Lord Jesus Christ and his victory on the cross.
"We need to repent of our divisions, of our failure to take responsibility," he said. "Make a commitment from today that you will be an agent for change, an agent for the Kingdom.
"Put a stake in the ground and declare that we will no longer be divided and that we will allow the Lord to be Lord, and that the church will rise up and say 'Lord, let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done'."
Much of the day was unscheduled, with the platform open to individuals to come to the front and share Scripture, prophesies and words they felt God had put in their hearts.
One young Christian, Thomas, told the meeting that boldness was found in being at peace with God and that the heart was important in the eyes of God.
"We can say the right things but God is looking at the heart and He will use those who are not doing things to be honoured by men but who make their heart right before God. God is looking for 'yes' from His people," he said.
Mr Hill ended with a prophesy that winds of change would sweep through the church, through people in power and authority, and through young people and the unchurched.
"So take new heart because the Lord is with you. Your work will prosper and you will see the glory of the Lord in your time," he said. "God is raising up a powerful remnant to transform this land."
The facilitating group said there were plans for more prayer events in the coming months.