I sat with my legs dangling over the marble ledge at the front of the Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall.
Three friends and I melded with more than 55,000 people to march in Washington D.C. on September 26, as participants of the Prayer March 2020 organized and led by Franklin Graham.
Excitement filled the air as the crowd anticipated what would take place first at the Lincoln Memorial, then the World War II memorial, Washington Monument, and three other historic stops before ending at the U.S. Capitol.
While waiting for the event to begin, a delegation on the steps behind us began singing praise songs as if they were the designated choir. Our voices joined with theirs. When someone began singing from the front, we quickly recognized Michael W. Smith’s voice.
After this glorious time of worship, Franklin and his family crossed the field and walked to the central area. He welcomed the flood of people who stood on the steps and covered the area surrounding the reflection pond in front of us. He began his prayer, “Father, our country is in trouble, and we need your help. We’re at a crucial point in this country.”
While Franklin was speaking, we noticed black limos approaching a side area that had been cleared of people. From our perfect viewing place, we watched the surprise arrival of Vice President Mike Pence along with his wife, Karen.
Following Franklin’s official introduction, Mike looked over the crowd and began speaking words of courage and hope. Then he shifted to the importance and urgency of prayer, along with assurance that God would hear our prayers. “In these challenging times, we are to remember that in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we are to present our requests to God. The Bible tells us to persevere in prayer. That the prayer of the upright pleases Him. That the effect of the fervent prayer of the righteous people avails much.”
After other leaders spoke at the Lincoln Memorial and lead us in fervent prayers, both corporately and individually, all of us connected to our mobile apps so we could listen to the presentations and prayers while we marched to each historic stop.
A favorite picture I took along the way focused on an older couple deep in prayer at the base of the Washington Monument. Small American flags attached to the railing waved in the breeze. Another delight was spotting a dozen young people huddled together in a circle, praying their hearts out.
After our final prayers at the Capitol, my friends and I realized what a privilege we’d had to march with thousands of others to demonstrate our love for God and our trust in Him to hear our prayers and heal our nation. Yet, God was also speaking to our individual hearts, telling us we needed to examine our personal lives. This sense of urgency began the night before.
Even in the rain, we stood with thousands of others who had gathered for a simultaneous event called The Return, which lasted from Friday night through Saturday. Jonathan Cahn, author of The Harbinger and leader of The Return movement, organized this Return event to alert believers to God’s urgent call to search their hearts, repent, turn from their sins, and return to God so that revival could come to this nation and the world.
Prior to The Return event, Jonathan recalled the terrifying 9/11 attack and how people flocked to houses of worship out of fear and desperation. It appeared that revival might break out across the country, but he said it never happened because there was a lack of repentance in people’s hearts.
God declares in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their sinful ways, I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land.”
It is this petition from God that brought thousands of believers to Washington D.C. for these two events. Millions from 57 countries viewed the live streams. An undeniable confirmation of God’s presence throughout the weekend was that no opposition was seen or heard. The praise and prayers of believers gave the enemy no foothold.
The enemy is continually trying to defeat us individually, nationally, and globally. He wants to keep us from hearing God and following Him wholeheartedly. We must not pass up the opportunity for repentance, renewal and revival like we did after 9/11.
During that time of terror, both believers and unbelievers flooded the churches. Ironically, because of the current pandemic, churches were required to close their doors. People were isolated in their homes, unable to go to the very place where they could find love, hope, and a closeness to God. Believers had less opportunities to live out their faith for others to see.
Franklin Graham says, “Nationwide transformation must begin in individual hearts. Pray for God to bring repentance and widespread renewal to the church so that believers will boldly share His love with others—and ask Him to draw lost people across our country to faith in Jesus Christ.”
God is calling you and me to search our hearts, listen to His correction, and let go of any sins that block our relationship with Him. If we continually release our sins to God, and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with power and courage to lead others to Christ, we can be part of the revival He longs to bring to our broken nation. Our window of time is now.
WATCH THE EVENTS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
Millions of people from 57 countries viewed the Prayer March during the live stream. To watch all of the March and hear the wonderful commentary, click here.
To watch only the presentation and prayers at each of the seven stops of the Prayer March, click here.
To watch the Friday night portion of The Return event, as well as Part 1 and Part 2 of Saturday, click here.