Why did America need The Return and a day of prayer and repentance on the National Mall, but also live-streamed throughout the land Saturday?
America is a nation that started in covenant with God 400 years ago this year to glorify Him and spread His gospel to the whole world. But the country's spiraled down to legislate immorality, call evil good and good evil, throw God and His commandments out of the schools, and kill its own unborn children.
As "The Return" organizer Jonathan Cahn put it, "We drove God out of our hearts, out of our government, out of our ways, out of laws, out of the education of our children, out of the public squares. Out of our businesses, out of our media, out of our culture, out of our lives. And as we drove Him out, we opened up a vacuum into which came a flood of other gods."
Remember Who You're Talking to
How do we stop the spiral downward? As Cahn would put it, "Repent and return." And appeal to the one true God.
"When you pray, remember that you are appealing to the highest authority there is," said Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham. "Nobody can go over His head. He is the highest authority we can appeal to. What he says, is so."
'We Deserve Judgment…But We Ask for Grace'
Prominent Christians came to the stage one after another to plead with that highest authority.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council asked God, "Return our love of You to us that we'll stand fearless in the face of evil."
Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann declared, "We deserve Your judgment, Father, but we ask for Your grace. We ask for Your mercy."
President Trump Speaks of 'Our Lord & Savior'
President Trump took part in the event, sending a message from the White House to be read to The Return crowd. He stated, "On this inaugural National Day of Prayer and Return, the First Lady and I join millions of Christians here in the United States and around the world in prayer, as we turn our hearts to our Lord and Savior."
And he spoke of the nation's Christian heritage: "Following in our ancestors' footsteps we continue the 'firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence' that provides us enduring strength and reassurance in our times of need."
CBN's Gordon Robertson and his father CBN founder Pat Robertson joined in, with Pat crying out, "Lord, this is your world, this is your land. We ask that You'd come and heal our land and take charge. For, Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon you."
Many Tens of Thousands Came to Pray
At the same time, Franklin Graham led a Prayer March starting at The Lincoln Memorial and going down the entire 1.8 mile long National Mall.
Tens of thousands of prayer warriors showed up before the March began, packing every inch around the Lincoln Memorial and down each side of the Reflecting Pool.
The first thing Franklin Graham did was introduce a surprise prayer-participant - Vice President Mike Pence. He thanked the massive crowd for doing the best thing they can for their country: lifting it up to God. Then he prayed and blessed the efforts of all there.
There were prayer goals for each stop along the way — like the World War II Memorial and Washington Monument. But the throngs were so huge that there was no way for everyone to actually listen to one specific person praying.
Prayer Broke Out Everywhere
Up and down the Mall, groups broke up into small circles to pray.
That accomplished one of Franklin Graham's goals: that people wouldn't just listen to him, because, as he put it, "My prayers are no more important than yours." But that each man and woman who'd made the effort to be there would lift up their individual voice and make their particular petitions known to God.
At the World War II Memorial, where the emphasis was on praying for soldiers, police, and safety in the nation, Steve Morgan of Chesapeake, Virginia prayed out as he laid hands on a soldier marching with his group.
"We bless our military, we bless our police officers, those who secure peace, not only for our land, God, but lands far away," he said.
Morgan told CBN News, "I've been praying that the blessing will transcend the gathering here. But that really there'll be a tangible blessing, a kind of an earthquake of blessing, if I can put it that way, that'll be like tremors that the whole nation will feel as a result of the oneness and prayer that's being experienced today."
Asking God to Use All the Craziness of 2020
"I feel something really big coming. I feel another spirit of revival coming. And I'm so excited about it," said Alec Dempewolf, also of Chesapeake, Virginia. "And my prayer is that all this craziness in 2020 just leads people to God, and to real life-changing power that I've experienced personally and I want it for everyone."
These events and efforts taking place all over the National Mall were all to the same purpose: bringing America back to its first love and repenting before a holy God.
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