The Bible records numerous instances in which a time period of 40 days was significant, including when it rained for 40 days and nights when God wanted to cleanse the world, when Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and when the Israelite spies spent 40 days searching out the Promised Land.
Also, Jesus also fasted for 40 days in the wilderness before launching his ministry on earth.
So ministry leaders from across the nation – led by Rick Scarborough of Vision America – settled on 40 days when they felt the need to pray and fast for America in advance of the 2012 election.
Their plan “40 Days to Save America,” is for Christians across the nation to plead with God for help turn the nation back from its current course of “economic decline, immorality, corruption, growing secular humanism and attacks on religious liberty.”
“Forty days … has strong significance,” Scarborough told WND today. “It connotes a time when God does a totally different thing.”
He said the “totally different thing” for American is more than obvious.
“I believe America is in a very real crisis,” he said. “It is clear that God is speaking right now to America, and unless there’s a genuine repentance and a great move toward repentance and reunion with God, a cataclysmic judgment is going to fall on this country.”
He continued, “All the pieces of the puzzle are in place. All that’s left is for God to gently tug – and it all comes apart.”
He said morality in the United States – which is moving quickly toward an ethical standard of abortion at will, marriage being what feels good and a class of endowed elites – is approaching “a point from which there is no return.”
Christians, he said, need to “sacrificially enter into a time of prayer, and if they’re physically able, of fasting,” to seek God’s face and his will.
The campaign stems from 2nd Chronicles: “If my people who are called by my name will 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.”
The campaign seeks to bring Americans closer to God and then let him have his will with the election, the nation and the future.
Its leaders include Dave Butts of Harvest Prayer Ministries, Bishop Anne Gimenez of Rock Church in Virginia Beach, Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Janet Porter of Faith2Action, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, Gen. Jerry Boykin of Kingdom Warriors, Jim Garlow of Renewing American Leaders, Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church, Penny Nance of Concern Women for America, Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, Dran Reese of Salt and Light Council, Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute, Tim Wildmon of American Family Association and Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. of STAND America.
The goal is to pray and seek God’s will, a process throughout the Bible that has been enhanced by fasting.
Hundreds of ministers and ministries already have made plans to participate, and more are being welcomed daily, Scarborough said.
Leaders of the effort say the nation’s difficulties all have spiritual underpinnings and are even more daunting than what Americans confronted in 1776, 1863 and 1941.
Those dates were when the nation’s leaders, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, respectively, “declared national seasons of prayer, fasting and repentance.”
“Now as then, our destiny rests in God’s hands. The crises confronting us are beyond the power of human beings to resolve without Divine guidance,” organizers explain.
Scarborough says: ” Our call to action is clear.”
The group is asking citizens, their pastors and their churches to gather in one accord and commit to “40 days of prayer, fasting, and action” from September 28 through Election Day, Nov. 6.”
“The political problems which beset us are symptoms of a deeper spiritual malaise,” the team’s mission statement affirms. “The place to start isn’t with primaries, platforms and conventions, but rather through prayer, fasting and repentance.”
Scarborough says that he had had enough back in 1992 when he witnessed firsthand the secular attacks on “our Godly heritage.”
It was then that he realized how “aggressive the secularists were being in their quest to redefine America.”
“In our local high school where my children were being prepared for adulthood, or so I assumed, I sat in the back of a crowded auditorium and listened to a speaker advocating sexual licentiousness and making a mockery of the very moral underpinnings my children were receiving both at home and at church,” he writes. “So I stood up and confronted the speaker and her remarks. I also confronted our local school system…and I got involved as a father, citizen and pastor.”
Soon he founded Vision America to “inform and mobilize pastors and their congregations to become salt and light, becoming pro-active in restoring Judeo-Christian values in America.”
The “40 Days” campaign rejects the limitations of a political environment.
“We are calling for Christian and Jewish voters to make informed choices, voting not as Republicans or Democrats, but as followers of the living God,” the mission statement says. “We are calling for our leaders to have the wisdom and discernment to act according to His will and not based on personal or partisan considerations.”
Unlike “40 Days to Save America,” Vision America is all about getting Americans involved in the political process.
It’s about “empowering the ‘shepherds’ to lead their ‘flocks’ back into being salt in our nation.”
According to the Barna Group, there are more than 324,000 Protestant churches in America, with an average Sunday worship of 100 adults. They cite studies showing that three quarters of regular church attenders do not vote regularly or at all.
“If only 66 percent are not voting, that means there are over 21 million adults who are absent from the political playing field,” the report said. “In addition, thousands of local, state and federal offices lack the influence of God-fearing, Bible-believing citizens who do not step up to run for those positions.”
Scarborough explains such circumstances mean Christians “are not losing the war by being ‘outgunned,’ we are losing by forfeit.”
Seeking God’s will isn’t new in America, the organizers note.
“During the American Revolution, in the darkest days of the Civil War, at the outset of our involvement in World War II, leaders as different as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared national seasons of prayer, fasting and repentance,” the organizers report. “Today, our nation faces multiple crises – pending economic collapse, moral disintegration, and international terrorism – but all have spiritual underpinnings.”
The organizers state bluntly that America’s “national survival is at stake.”
But counting on a political name, or party, won’t help, they warn.
“Our destiny rests in God’s hands.”
Joining with the ministers and ministry groups have been U.S. Reps. Doug Lamborn, Duncan Hunter, Louis Gohmert and Todd Akin. Don Feder and Associates, Catholic Advocate, Center for Security Policy, Freedom Worship Center, GrasstopsUSA.com, Human Life International, Janet Parshall’s America, Kingdom Warriors, Men for Nations, Movieguide, National Prayer Committee, Salem Communications, Teen Mania, Traditional Values Coalition and others.