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Prayer March 2020/The Return

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Anne Reed AFA Journal MORE

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

So many believe in this promise made to the Jewish people, as well as to Christ-followers (those of us who have been grafted in), that hundreds of thousands poured into our nation’s capital over the weekend to follow its instruction. 

My husband, Jeff, and I attended the Prayer March 2020, hosted by Franklin Graham, and The Return, hosted by Jonathan Cahn

Cahn, like the Old Testament prophet Joel, called for a holy assembly of all people and their leaders to repentance: 

Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord, your God, and cry out to the Lord. ‘Yet even now’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.’ Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster (Joel 1:14, 2:12-13). (Emphasis added.)

The Return, 12 hours of prayer, repentance, and worship, was held on the National Mall east of the Washington Monument. Why September 26? It was 40 days before the presidential election and the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower (in the time of our nation’s founding and dedication to God). It also fell on the 8th of “10 days of repentance” – which started with the Feast of Trumpets and ended with the Day of Atonement, two days following the event.  

We arrived Saturday morning at the Lincoln Memorial more than an hour before the Prayer March 2020 was set to get started. As we stood on the steps of this great building where the majestic statue of our 16th U.S. president overlooks the National Mall, we were blown away as incredibly large numbers of people poured into the area from every direction (see photo below). 

 

We walked along the Pool of Reflection and blended into the moving crowd of men, women, and children, as hand-held Christian flags and American flags were passed out along the way. We were also given a lanyard with a diagram of the route for our upcoming walk, along with a specific prayer focus for each area. (See photo below.) 

 

The immensity of the crowd alone was overwhelming, but when you consider the undivided purpose of the individuals comprising the gathering of hundreds of thousands on the mall that day, it moves beyond emotion and into the spiritual realm. Something indescribable and inconceivable happened in the heavenly realm on September 26, 2020, in our nation’s capital. 

As hymns and songs of praise spontaneously broke out in the enormous assembly of worshippers, we cried, and we laughed – sometimes simultaneously. Undeniable hope burst forth from within us! 

One seldom experiences this height of joy, peace, and unity in the Spirit. It was deeply moving, humbling, and amazing to behold. 

Meanwhile, in the grassy area on the other side of the Washington Monument, Cahn was just finishing up his prophetic message, and many thousands were on their knees and faces calling out to God for the granting of repentance and revival – out loud! It should be noted that it rained the night before, and the ground was saturated. Kneeling meant muddy knees, elbows, and faces. By any standard, what happened there was not dignified. It would fall within the category of “humbling.” (See photo at the top.) 

Back at the Lincoln Memorial, we were surprised by a visit from Vice President Mike Pence and the Second Lady. And in like manner, the entire congregation prayed out loud for the vice president. It was truly a heavenly sound.

It wasn’t until later that I realized all those voiced prayers from both positions on the National Mall were happening at the same time. Oh, how I wish I could have seen the heavenly view! 

As the march began, and the gigantic assembly of Christ-followers began moving eastward, Jeff and I realized we were feet away from Franklin Graham as he walked alongside family members and friends. (See photo.) 

 

And what was profoundly encouraging were the numbers of young people in our midst. As we reached each focused prayer point, we saw groups of students, families, friends, and couples encircled in focused prayer. Christian flags, t-shirts, and signs abounded. 

Jeff asked me after we returned home how many police officers I saw during the events.  It was an unexpected question. I realized that while hundreds of thousands of worshippers filled the National Mall and the sidewalks, I personally did not see a single police officer. Not one! There was no need. 

And, though mainstream media ignored, downplayed, or criticized the momentous events, calling them “political” or “dangerous,” I’ll repeat what AFA President Tim Wildmon said as we shared our experience on AFR’s Today’s Issues program yesterday

“It didn’t get the coverage that any other group would get, but it was covered in heaven. And that was the most important thing.” 

To that, we can all say, “Amen!”

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