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Prayers and prayer services abound on Sept. 11 each year, the day that in 2001 Islamic terrorists attacked New York and Washington and killed nearly 3,000 people with passenger jets turned into missiles.
This year, the Washington Post even created a photo montage of such events, featuring images of Barack Obama, an imam in suburban Washington, D.C., and visitors at the U.S. Capitol and at the 9/11 memorial in New York City.
But some Americans believe prayer is only the first step, and an estimated quarter of a million people across the nation this year participated in the first 9/11 National Day of Prayer and Repentance.
It was born in a commentary by Joseph Farah, CEO and founder of WND, in April. He explained that while millions flocked to churches and houses of prayer after the terror attacks, ultimately, America did not change its course.
“As Jonathan Cahn pointed out so effectively in ‘The Harbinger’ and ‘The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” he said, “America prayed after Sept. 11, 2001. But America did not repent.
Farah said 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, American has seen continued judgment ever since,” he said. “Therefore, repentance is as important as prayer.”
Cahn told WND, “It was told me that an estimated 250,000 people or more were dedicating 9/11 as a day of prayer, intercession and repentance.”
He said many have felt, because of ‘The Harbinger,’ and even those who haven’t read it yet, that there’s something about 9/11 that concerns the future of America. Because of that, multitudes across the nation – individuals, pastors, churches, ministries – are consecrating it as a day of prayer.”
In the eastern foothills of Colorado, which were besieged by rainfall of “biblical” proportions on this year’s 9/11, according to the National Weather Service, at least one group gathered to hear the message of prayer and repentance.
Farah explained he called for the day out of a sense of frustration with politics and the decline in morality in the country. He suspects there is a connection between the revealing of national “sins” and the desire by believers to confess their own sins to God in unity with other believers.
“The key to this call is II Chronicles 7:14,” he said. “This is the prescription of a Holy God for national healing. He tells believers they are to do four things: humble themselves, pray, seek His face and turn from their wicked ways. In turn, God says He will hear their prayers, forgive their sins and heal their land. Honestly, I believe if believers across America do this, we will see miracles.”
Other gathering places for prayer and repentance on 9/11 were in churches, homes, parks, and universities – even through a 24-hour telethon by a Chinese prayer group.
Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., hosted a televised special featuring Cahn.
Cahn’s book and a companion movie by WND Films, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” present evidence of shocking parallels between events in ancient Israel described in chapter 9 of Isaiah and what has happened in America since 9/11.
Cahn believes an ancient judgment that befell Israel is repeating itself in America.
Overwhelmed by the public’s response to his call to prayer, Farah said that when America “was founded 237 years ago, fellow believers fought to establish and protect the role of God in the fabric of our country.”
“We are a nation originally built on and by prayer,” he said. “Today, as Christians, we can look around and readily see that our beloved homeland is tragically broken and our culture is breaking down and dramatically moving away from God.”
Farah said “those of us who understand the challenges we face for the very survival of America as we have known it as one nation under God must start planning now to do something radical.”
From rural towns like Murphy, N.C., to New York City, thousands responded to the call to devote themselves and their families, church groups, Bible studies and neighbors to prayer and repentance.
“God is calling us all, His beloved children, to pray to and seek Him so that He may heal and restore our land and our nation. ‘Return to me and I shall return to you!’ Let us call unto God without rest and not let Him rest until His plan for this nation is fulfilled!” said Ying Ying, who helped organize one of the 24-hour prayer sessions, via conference call, in both Chinese and English.
In Murphy, N.C., a 9/11 prayer gathering was held at Konehete Park. The organizers invited “all churches, fellowships and believers in Jesus Christ” to come together for a time of repentance.
Organizers didn’t schedule speakers or music, intending to have nothing to distract from “crying out to God in repentance for individuals, communities, schools and our nation.”
Jim George of the New York City suburb of Maplewood, N.J., spread the call to about 50 churches within a five-mile radius in a dozen communities.
In America’s Heartland, Bayless Baptist Church in St. Louis open the doors all day for people to come and pray.
In rural, southeastern Kansas, members of Pleasant Hill Community Church in Parsons set aside Wednesday as a day of prayer and fasting.
Out West, Verne O’Brien of Sierra Vista, Ariz., told WND that “the Lord has laid on my heart to meet weekly for one hour in my home with other believers who have the same burden to pray for the nations and, yes, this nation.”
“I know that this is the start of something powerful in this area of the U.S.,” he wrote.
In St. Petersburg, Fla., Virginia Beale went through the local phone book urging churches to participate.
Meanwhile, Susan Jones of Whitefish, Mont., asked pastors in her area in face-to-face meetings to take part.
The 9/11 Day of Prayer and Repentance has been endorsed by leaders such as evangelist Greg Laurie, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., singer Charlie Daniels, historian David Barton, singer Pat Boone, pastor Jack Hayford and Tom Hess of the Jerusalem House of Prayer.
Other endorsers are:
- Actor Chuck Norris
- Radio host Mancow Muller
- Author and radio host Barry Farber
- Promise Keepers
- Regent University President Carlo Campo
- Singer-performer Carman
- Pastor Rob Shepitka
- Terry James of Rapture Ready Prophecy Web
- Ray Thomann of HIA Radio
- David Reagan of Lion & Lamb Ministries
- Barry & Toni Feinman of Jezreel Ministries
- Larry Hutch. TBN broadcaster
- Pennsylvania state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf
- Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries
- Bill Wilson
- Kay Horner of Cry America
- John Radell of Faith and Freedom Coalition
- Chuck Missler of Koinonia House
- Pastor and author Carl Gallups
- Jim Fitzgerald
- Singer Jason Crabb
Daniels told WND: “I am very much with you, and every day is a day of prayer for me. A lot of people pray for America, but to put a focal point on it, to unite people behind it, to let them know they’re not by themselves, there are millions of people out there doing the same thing.”
Daniels said he’s convinced “God is in control” of America.
“If He decides He’s going to shut it down, He’s going to shut it down,” Daniels said. “2 Chronicles does say, ‘If my people called by my name repent of their wicked ways and pray, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.’ That’s a promise from the Creator of the universe.”
Jason Crabb, the current GMA Dove Awards’ artist of the year, took his endorsement one step further when he agreed to serve on the Special Advisory Council for the 9/11 Day of Prayer and Repentance.