Organizers of a Christian prayer ministry are expecting over a million people will fill the National Mall in Washington, D.C, on Aug. 16 for a 12-hour assembly of fasting and prayer for the country.
The group is called TheCall, and according to their website, volunteers are working hard to gather people from every state in the country to fill the massive park between the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol on one day to fervently ask God for his undeserved mercy on the nation.
Originally inspired by the 1997 Promise Keepers “Stand in the Gap” assembly at the same location, TheCall held its first D.C. prayer rally on Sept. 2, 2000, counting over 400,000 attendees. Since then, the group has held rallies in several cities in the U.S., including a rally of 70,000 in Nashville and 85,000 in New York City, according to the group’s website. The group has also held prayer gatherings oversees, but told television broadcaster GOD TV this year’s TheCall DC will surpass all previous gatherings in size.
TheCall’s founder, Lou Engle, says of the gathering, “There are moments in history when a door for massive change opens. It is in these moments that key men and women risk everything to become the hinge of history. That pivotal point determines which way the door will swing. Join us in a massive gathering of united generations desperate for revival and real change in our nation.”
TheCall has produced a video, which can be seen below, highlighting past prayer rallies and promoting this year’s TheCall DC gathering:
According to the group’s website, their “divinely initiated, multi-racial, multi-generational, and cross-denominational” gatherings are not festivals or conferences, but solemn assemblies of worship and prayer. The site makes it clear in several places that though the event will be attended and led by well-known Christian leaders and artists, the group refuses to publicize any personalities.
“TheCall does not seek to entertain, but to encounter God,” the website says. “There will be no advertised bands and no promoted speakers, as our purpose is not to promote any man or ministry.”
For the two days prior to the prayer gathering, however, the group does host a pastors and leaders conference that will feature speakers Ron Luce, Tony Perkins, Mike Huckabee, TheCall founder Lou Engle, and Promise Keepers founder Bill McCartney.
TheCall also advertises that its gatherings are free of charge, and there won’t be any booths on the side hawking TheCall T-shirts to raise money.
“We sell no products at all to raise finances but rely completely on donations,” the website states.
The pastors and leaders conference is also free but requires registration.
The focus of TheCall’s prayer gatherings is repentance and change, praying corporately for spiritual renewal, both in the church and in the society at large.
“Even within the church truth has been substituted for spiritual relativism and religious tolerance,” says the group’s website. “Sexual immorality, racism, and abortion are just as prevalent from our pews and pulpits as they are in our secular universities. We are in an hour of crisis, an hour when we have to confront our own spiritual barrenness. …Our hope in this hour is in God and God alone.”
The Aug. 16 event will be held from 10 am to 10 pm and broadcast on GOD TV, a station that can be seen on some Direct TV and Sky Angel providers, as well as the station’s website.
“We believe God wants revival to break out all across America, but it will only happen as believers humble themselves and pray,” said Wendy Alec, co-founder and program director of GOD TV, in a press release. “The key to revival in America is constant corporate prayer and so we urge all our viewers to participate. And, if they can’t attend in person, to please tune in.”