In a powerful, electrified gathering, pastors and Christian leaders assembled at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on Saturday to pray for our nation in a “solemn assembly” of unity.
Following the counsel of Joel 2 (“Call a sacred assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders. . .”), the event was timed to coincide with several historical events, including the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in 1865, the Asuza Street Revival in 1906, and the burial of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Christians braved freezing, wet, windy conditions and gathered under umbrellas and ponchos to listen to speakers exhorting the nation’s pastors not to be afraid to address political topics, including the holocaust of abortion, the affliction of racial tensions, the plague of fatherlessness, the healing a divided nation, the downfall of traditional marriage and the turning away from God as a nation.
Later in the event the sun came out, but the wind picked up so strongly the event was in danger of being shut down, so prayers went up for wind to die down. It worked, and the event continued.
The event included link-ups to a similar event in Los Angeles to create a “prayer umbrella of revival.” Despite some technical difficulties, the link-ups brought Christians together on opposite sides of the country in unity, with prayers in both English and Spanish. Attendees included many ethnicities, including African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Native American and Hispanic.
Organizers say the nation is in crisis and has arrived at a pivotal moment, but every time Christians have gathered to pray and repent for America, God has intervened and significant events have followed.
Pastors who spoke reminded listeners:
- America is hungry for revival
- There is no such thing as comfortable Christianity, and truth must never be sacrificed on the altar of cultural expediency
- When light stands next to darkness, light always wins
- Our problem is not skin, our problem is sin
- Passivity has never been, nor ever will be, a prescription for healing in this country
- The sin of racism is absolutely against the will of God
Injured veteran pastor Dave Reover prayed for our military personnel and reminded us of the sacrifices of soldiers.
Speakers reminded us we are the David rising to fight the Goliath of evil. One pastor mentioned the “Jefferson gathering,” weekly prayer meetings currently being held in the Capitol building.
Another speaker mentioned that as long as government leaders sought the Lord, God prospered the nation, and he asked to send us godly leaders.
Immediately after, Rafael Cruz took the stage and gave a speech about the need for America to return to God.
Several speakers brought to mind historical pastors. Besides Martin Luther King Jr., one speaker recalled John Peter Muhlenberg, the “fighting parson” of the American Revolution, who concluded his sermon in 1776 by throwing off his clerical robes to reveal the uniform of an officer in the Continental Army. He declared there was a time to pray and a time to fight.
Several speakers mentioned the bravery of German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who refused to be intimidated by Hitler into silence and paid the ultimate price when he was hanged by the Nazi regime shortly before the end of World War II.
Bonhoeffer said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
One singer gave a blessing in Spanish, and reminded us we have many languages, but one nation under God. Another speaker said if there was ever a time for courageous pastors to stand up and speak, it is now.
At least two enthusiastic listeners brought shofars, which they blew during times of applause.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, exhorted listeners to stop being afraid of what people might say if we take a public stand for Jesus and the truth about God’s eternal word. “If we are afraid of what people say, we have lost our reverence for God,” he said. “What American needs today is not a fear of man, but a fear of god. … It is time for you and I to leave with no fear of man, only a reverence for God. … You and I in America today are not being asked to die for Jesus, we’re simply being asked to live for Him.”
The event concluded with powerful, moving testimony from Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, who said, “We are here for a prophetic purpose. And the end we’re going to perform a prophetic act.”
Cahn gave a brief history of America’s unique place in the world and the blessings we’ve enjoyed because we put God first. But he noted God is withdrawing His hand because we are failing to keep God first, and instead are making sacrifices of children to Baal.
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But he also gave a message of hope. “If these are the days of Baal, these are also the days of Elijah,” he said. “As long as God lives, there is hope, the light will overcome the darkness.”
Listen to Rabbi Cahn speak:
According to the United Cry website:
“Throughout our American history, pastors have also always played a significant role in bringing about spiritual and social transformation in our nation. We need our pastors to rise up, teach us how to pray, and lead all of us within the Body of Christ back to a relationship with the Lord! Strong times call for strong measures – It’s time to gather again and pray!”
Lewis and Rachel Hogan founded United Cry in 2014, and call it “a national movement of pastors and Christian leaders dedicated to reclaiming America’s future.” They believe “the core issues of America are not political but spiritual.”
The Hogans described United Cry DC16 as “the first national event focused on unified prayer and civic action with pastors and Christian leaders for the purpose of spiritual awakening.”
Speakers at the event included some of the biggest names in modern Christendom:
- Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times best-seller “The Harbinger”
- Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
- Anne Graham Lotz, “the best preacher in the family,” according to her father, Billy Graham
- Robert Vernon “Bobby” Schuller, lead pastor on the “Hour of Power” worship broadcasts
- Alveda King, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
- Pastor Jim Garlow, author of the New York Times best-seller, “Cracking DaVinci’s Code”
- Pastor Harry Jackson Jr., conservative activist and commentator
- Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership
- Lewis and Rachel Hogan, founders of United Cry