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WASHINGTON – It began as an idea dropped in a column by WND founder Joseph Farah, saying as the nation and its institutions had become virtually dysfunctional, it was time to do what the founders of America did and what the prophets of ancient Israel did before them – call for a national day of prayer and fasting on an auspicious date, 9-11-13.
While the plan has been enthusiastically embraced by thousands around the country, including Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Chuck Norris, David Barton, Jonathan Cahn, Greg Laurie and even syndicated radio talk-show host Mancow Muller, Farah and a small working group behind the project have decided to give the event a new focus – repentance.
"Since the biblical prescription behind this project is II Chronicles 7:14, we determined, after much prayer ourselves, that repentance is the most important missing ingredient in America today," said Farah. "God told Solomon that when the nation faces judgment for disobedience, there are four requirements for restoration: humility, prayer, seeking His face and repentance. Prayer without repentance is useless – that's what the verse suggests. In fact, it suggests the prayers of believers go unheard unless is it accompanied by turning 'from their wicked ways.'"
Also, significantly, Sept. 11, 2013 is the biblical Day of Teshuvah, which means repentance. And while fasting is often a good idea as a companion to serious prayer, Sept. 11, 2013, comes just three days before Tishri 10 or Yom Kippur, which is a day of fasting.
"As Jonathan Cahn pointed out so effectively in 'The Harbinger' and 'The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,' America prayed after Sept. 11, 2001," said Farah. "But America did not repent. The model America followed was the same paradigm followed by ancient Israel as described in Isaiah 9:10 – the pledge to rebuild bigger and better in our own strength without notice to what God was trying to communicate through a limited judgment. As a result, America has seen continued judgment ever since. Therefore, repentance is as important as prayer."
In addition, historically and biblically, Farah points out, fast days are also days of rest. But 9-11-13 will be a work day for millions of believers in America.
"The Lord promises to hear prayers if there is repentance," said Cahn. "Having this day as a day not only for prayers of repentance, but for actual and specific repenting of believers who will pray, will be the key to its effectiveness. It will make the event permanent, life changing, world changing. A day of prayer ends, but a day of a day of repentance does not end. It will end up changing lives, churches, ministries and perhaps a nation."
Farah says he's not discouraging fasting for those who choose to do it. But the name of the event is changing from the "9-11-13 Day of Prayer and Fasting" to the "9-11-13 Day of Prayer and Repentance."
"America is facing challenges today that, in many ways, rival anything seen since the start of World War II," said Farah. "And there are few in America – believers or not – who truly think government can fix the problems. Not only is government broken, but so is the press and the other institutions we have counted on to help us sustain effective, moral self-governance in America. So where do we turn at times like this – when every man and woman does what’s right in their own eyes?"
II Chronicles 7:14 provides the prescription says Farah. It says: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Farah and Cahn point out that this is a commitment by God to believers.
"God is not expecting non-believers to do these things," Farah says. "He’s simply expecting believers to do them. Is that too much to ask? In fact, He says, without the humility and the sincere repentance, He won't even hear our cries. That suggests to me it's time for believers to get on their knees, on their faces and search themselves for any evil deeds or thoughts or preoccupations that are within us and turn away from them."