While the dust of the collapsed towers still floated over New York on and after 9/11, church pews were filled with those stunned by the vulnerability uncovered in America, but it seemed when the dust cleared so did the pews.
That, decided a network of prominent leaders from a broad coalition of evangelical, Pentecostal and charismatic ministries, didn’t bode well for the nation.
And under the banner of Cry Out America, they’ve been working to alert people that at a minimum, the nation needs to pay attention to the message that could be coming from day of the death and destruction.
And the message is not that America no longer is a Christian nation, or that Christian employers are going to be required by the government to violate their faith and pay for abortifacients, or that the problem is those who cling to their Bibles, all developments from just the last few years.
“I think most Christians in America have awakened to ask the question, ‘What happened to my country?’” Billy Wilson, executive director of the International Center for Spiritual Renewal, Empowered21 and The Awakening America Alliance, told WND.
“Somehow the church has lost her influence, and the only way to regain that is to increase our connection to God personally. I would say intimately with a relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.
The Cry Out events are simply a joining of the faithful for a moment of united, public pray for awakening and revival across America. The date picked for the prayer gathering is Sept. 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by radical Muslim terrorists who killed almost 3,000 people on that morning under clear blue skies over New York and Washington.
Officials said more than 1,700 churches and ministries are poised to hold prayer events in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are more than 900 coordinators in counties across the nation and this year’s assemblies are expected easily to exceed last year’s official 2,531 prayer events.
More than 2.5 million are expected.
Wilson said the 9/11 attacks shook the nation to the core, because “we saw the collapse of things we thought were certain, of things we thought would never fall and we saw an invasion of darkness and fear in our nation that we had never experienced.
“Some days I wake up and ask myself, ‘How in the world did America get in this shape? How did we become this dark in my generation?’ I believe that it can change but it can only change if the people of God unite in prayer.”
Judy Seifert, coordinator in Ohio, said, “We have 29 county coordinators of the 88 counties in Ohio, which will be officially holding observances on 9/11. Several of the counties without coordinators will be participating through churches and individual prayers. I am continually taken back by the great presence of the Lord that sweeps in upon us; as we join our hands and hearts, cross-denominational lines, and cry out to God for mercy and pardon for America.”
She continued, “While things appear bleak for our nation, we must stop and remember the Scriptures that remind us, to see the whole matter, you have to examine things from God’s point of view. When we look behind the public scenes, and look at what God’s people are doing, it’s only then that we see the vast moving of His hand at work in our behalf. And His hand is moving mightily in opening large venues of prayer throughout our nation. When God’s people pray, God moves! Our sin has caused judgments to fall upon us as a nation. But we have hope in the goodness of our Lord. For His great name’s sake, God always extends opportunity to repent and return to Him.”
In Texas, state coordinator Oni Roberts said, “‘If my people who are called by my name….’ What a resounding, yet conditional message from God to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7. It reminds us, the church, to come humbly before Him, to repent and turn from apathy and compromise…then…He will hear us and heal our land. We, the church, have a responsibility to God, to America, to our founding fathers, and the next generation to take these words from God seriously.”
“On a daily basis, numerous commentators express their shock at how far this nation has strayed from a spirit of freedom and public trust in God. American’s greatest need, even in this difficult season, continues to be their need to know Jesus Christ,” said Wilson.
“We need God to hear our cry, we need him to forgive our sin and we need Him to heal our broken land. We are asking every county in our nation to unite in prayer-we are calling sacred assemblies across denominational lines, from every race and every political persuasion to stand on the public square and say that Jesus is the only answer for America and we are going to CRY OUT until God sends a new awakening in the United States in our generation,” Wilson said.
Wilson told WND that the answers won’t come from the White House, the Congress house or the courthouse, but from the house of God and the houses of Christians.
“I, now more than ever, am convinced the destiny of the nation is in the hands of the church,” he said. “And if we respond right, that future destiny can be wonderful. We can see America continue and restored to be a … light shining on the hill.
“If the church does not respond right, we will continue to wonder where America went.”
He said God can save, repair and restore, but a Christian’s responsibility is to “be an upright citizen and bring godly principles to every sphere, which includes voting righteously and voting godly values, purity, righteousness, mercy and love and compassion.”
He noted the publication this year of what has turned out to be a long-running New York Times bestseller, “The Harbinger,” by Jonathan Cahn, which also has been turned into the video documentary “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.”
In January, “The Harbinger” skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times bestsellers list and stayed there by suggesting America is following in the defiant footsteps of ancient Israel as recorded in Isaiah 9:10 by insisting on rebuilding bigger and better without considering what God was trying to tell the country through the catastrophic events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Isaiah records that Israel had known God and yet turned away from Him. Following a devastating attack by Assyria, rather than returning to God, the leaders declared “with pride and arrogance of heart” a defiant pledge: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (Isaiah 9:10 KJV).
“The Harbinger” reveals the startling reality that beginning the day after 9/11, several American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word, in speeches in the Capitol. In the film, viewers get to see and hear the actual speeches.
“Having no idea what he was doing, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate [Tom Daschle] was declaring America as under the judgment of God,” Cahn gives as just one example. “It was the reenactment of an ancient mystery – and bore the most grave of consequences.”
In March, WND Films released “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” as a documentary follow-up to Cahn’s stunning research revealing the eerie parallels between the reaction of ancient Israel and the national leaders in the U.S. It quickly became the No. 1 faith video in America and has remained in that spot for an unprecedented 24 weeks.
Wilson said 9/11 was a terror attack and a “horrible moment in America,” but it did contain a message.
“Whatever you think about Mr. Cahn’s book … we all have a sense this was bigger than just what happened … that there was something about 9/11 that speaks to us as a nation.”
He continued, “It was to some degree prophetic.”