Today (Friday 8 May 2020), Great Britain and her allies celebrate Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day. It is a day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II, of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces on Tuesday, 8 May 1945. This year sees 75 years since that historical time. The May Day bank holiday, traditionally held on a Monday, has been put back to Friday 8 May 2020 to form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.
Many films have been made surrounding the events leading up to World War II; more recently, Dunkirk (2017), depicting the 'miraculous' intervention of the flotilla of fishing boats that brought salvation to the British forces five years earlier on 26 May 1940.
One occurrence however, not much mentioned in films or documentaries, which took place just a few days before this event (the Dunkirk Evacuation) and is the real hidden secret to divine intervention, was a national call to prayer. So, when Britain was close to defeat and the entire Army was trapped at Dunkirk, in desperation King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer to be held on 26 May 1940.
During a national broadcast on 24 May to the nation, King George VI instructed the people of Britain to plead for Divine Intervention. Together with members of the Cabinet, the King attended Westminster Abbey whilst literally millions of people across the British Isles flocked to churches to join in prayer seeking deliverance. "Nothing like it had ever been seen before in our country, or indeed in any country, with people queuing to get into churches pleading for help."
The result was astounding. Three miracles then happened:
(1) Hitler stopped his general advance,
(2) a storm of extraordinary fury grounded the German Air Force on 28 May, and
(3) a great calm settled over the English Channel for several days enabling 335,000 men of the British army to be quickly evacuated from Dunkirk!
Defeat and the invasion of Britain were averted. And who can imagine what life in Europe would be like if they hadn't been?
From then on people referred to what happened as 'the miracle of Dunkirk.' Looking back, Dr H. A. Wilson wrote, "If ever a great nation was on the point of supreme and final disaster, and yet was saved and reinstated it was ourselves…it does not require an exceptionally religious mind to detect in all this the Hand of God."
See a video of the call to prayer by King George VI here.
Four days after he became prime minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill who approved the National Day of Prayer, and upon hearing the news of the successful evacuation of the British army from Dunkirk, himself became an enthusiast, and Sunday 9 June was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving. Churchill was to approve two further national days of prayer in each of the next three years.
National Days of Prayer were held at critical times throughout the country. After each one, God responded with His blessing and protection. Some of the events that led to a national call to prayer were:
March and June 1832, Cholera strikes
The outbreak of cholera in 1832 Local ‘days of humiliation’ in England and Scotland prefigured national prayers and fasts.
1845, Famine Ravages Ireland
The Great Famine in Ireland (1845–52) was probably the most destructive of all modern and contemporary famines, killing over a million people and causing another two million to emigrate. Prayers were ordered for England, Wales and Ireland. A fast day was ordered on 24 March 1847 for the whole of the UK.
3 January 1915, The First World War
This was the first of the annual New Year national days of prayer organised during the First World War. It was observed in Protestant and Roman Catholic churches across the empire. 
Today we see another major disaster that spreads the British Isles and across the world.
Although there has not been a formal call for a National Day of Prayer in the British Isles for all that is associated with the effects of COVID-19 from our government, we can still forge ahead in a unified way as a church denomination in the British Isles.
We can turn to God in a true spirit of repentance and plead for Divine help for our country. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God promises, "If My people humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land."
I encourage us on this 75-year anniversary of VE day, that we set aside the same day that was called as a National Day of Prayer on 26 May (1940) – that on Tuesday 26 May 2020, members across the British Isles within the Seventh-day Adventist church spend time in prayer specifically for God to heal our land, bring comfort to those who mourn and strength to those affected by the virus.
Already within the BUC we have seen calls for prayer initiated by the various SEC and NEC conferences and the missions individually, as well as several churches and prayer groups.
Let us all join together as a union of churches, institutions, organisations and members to declare once more 26 May a National Day of Prayer to combat the forces of this virus that seeks to kill, steal and destroy and claim the promise of healing given to us in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
[Richard Daly BUC Communications and Media Director]