Flags at the Washington Monument are framed by the fireworks display on the Washington Mall during July 4th celebrations in the nation's capital, Washington, DC on July 4, 2010. The fireworks are part of the celebration of the nation's Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  UPI/Pat Benic Photo via Newscom

Pastors and church members are taking to the West Washington Mall Saturday to pray that God will send a spiritual awakening to America in an event organized by the African Strategic Leadership Prayer Network, and up to 50,000 people are expected.

Pastor Michael Obi is one of the organizers and he says it’s important to pray right now.

“The purpose of the timing has a lot to do with the spiritual climate of the nation. We also realize that for decades, God has used America to bring light and the Gospel to Africa. America has been used greatly.” Obi explained.

“We feel at this point that there is nothing we can offer this nation but our prayers. This time we feel like it’s time to pay back America and one of the ways is to stand and help push back the spiritual climate that has taken this nation’s place of honor,” Obi added.

Event partner Awakening America Alliance Chairman Billy Wilson says the event is targeted at those who call themselves Christian in the American church.

“We’ve been focusing on the need for and the attempts to bring revival to the United States. Because of that we’ve been mobilizing many different groups to pray and focus on awakening,” Wilson said.

Listen to ann interview with Obi:

“I realized there is a network of Africans in the United States who have felt very called to be missionaries to America. Many of them come from African nations that are experiencing great revival and feel like they’ve been sent here by God and their churches to be missionaries to the United States,” Wilson explained.

Wilson adds that the most important need in America right now is a heart change.

“Greater than the political need, the economic need, and the social need of America is our spiritual need and the fact that we need a return to God and a turning of our hearts to Jesus Christ. I believe that the African church has experienced a great revival in the last several decades, much of it because of the work of earlier missionaries who came from America.

“Saturday is a moment when they will pour back the love that has been given to Africa over the years by American missionaries and loving this nation by praying for that heart change,” Wilson stated.

Obi says the event is coming together well and he says, “It’s all God.”

Listen to an interview with Wilson:

“God has initiated it. We came together and we were all praying, saying it was time for awakening in the nation and time for an awakening in the church, so that the church would regain its place in the move of God,” Obi explained.

It was during the prayer times that Obi said the leaders felt God was doing something supernatural.

“At this point with this awakening alliance movement we’re doing, we really saw we needed to bring Africans into prayer for America, so that’s how the movement started.” Obi continued.

“We started calling African leaders together asking them, ‘What can we do to serve America this time?’ This is how they responded and it is such a move of God,” Obi further explained.

“It’s hard to get African leaders together. It’s hard to get any leaders together in the body of Christ and this has happened so quickly,” Obi added.

“As we came together we said, ‘Let us form the African Strategic Leadership Prayer Network,’ and out of that network, we prayed and said, ‘What can we do?’ and it was to have an event for support through prayer,” Obi further stated.

Washington area pastor Fiifi Pentfil adds that the Saturday rally has been in the works for over a year.

Listen to an interview with Pentfil:

“An organization called Awakening America extended a call to us asking us to pray for the nation. So we put our heads together and we figured we would take [it] to the level where we would invite the Christian body to come together so we can pray for the nation,” Pentfil explained.

Pentfil believes that anyone who comes will see a lot of people with a heart for prayer.

“There will be a lot of people who will be gathered praying asking God to heal our land. There will be people who are passionate about the fact that America is one of the greatest nations in the world and it still has its strengths at this time,” Pentfil added.

Wilson says that Saturday’s gathering has a clear focus and it’s not intended to be a political rally.

“We do not plan on Saturday being an expose about the political stance of the current administration. That’s not what we’re there for. We’re not there to influence the election per se,” Wilson observed.

Wilson adds that there will be change when American’s hearts change.

“When American’s hearts change and they turn toward Christ, they will want representatives who are righteous and godly. But we feel like the deeper need in America is a heart need,” Wilson said.

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