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Thousands fill National Mall on day of prayer and repentance

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WASHINGTON (BP) – Tens of thousands packed the National Mall in Washington Saturday (Sept. 26) to cry out to God and repent.

The gathering stretched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol.

Christians from all over the country participated in the prayer march, which was organized by evangelist Franklin Graham.

Gene Harston, a member of Eastwood Baptist in Bowling Green, Ky., traveled with a group of prayer partners to participate.

“When I see the violent conflict, the fear and isolation of the pandemic, and the importance of the upcoming election, I know the only hope for our nation is God’s intervention,” he said. “I was convicted to make the sacrifice of time and expense to meet with like-minded Christians from all over the country to dedicate to prayer and repentance.”

Harston said he came away from the event with a better feeling about what the future holds for the nation and for Christians.

“Witnessing the great unity in sincere prayer of Christians from all backgrounds and races, I was greatly encouraged and have more hope for our nation,” he said. “I know that millions more across our country were also praying and that seeing this gathering will also encourage them.”

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen also participated.

“When you pray, pray with confidence,” Pence said. “As we stand today on an ancient promise that Americans have claimed throughout our history, that if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, and turn, He’ll do like He’s always done, through much more challenging times in the life of this nation. He’ll hear from heaven. And He’ll heal this land.”

Pence said Americans have always turned to prayer in times of turmoil.

“Since the founding of our nation, our leaders and our people have gone to prayer in challenging times,” he said. “Abraham Lincoln, before whose monument we stand today, said during his time in the White House: ‘I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.'”

Pence brought greetings from President Trump and said the President told him to thank the people for their prayers.

Also at the Lincoln Memorial, Graham prayed, “Our Father and our God, we come to say thank you. But Father, our country is in trouble. We need your help.”

Organizers said many more around the country prayed together from homes and churches. And around the world, believers in different time zones set alarms to wake up in the middle of the night to pray, according to a report from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Will Graham, Franklin’s son and grandson of the late Billy Graham, prayed at the World War II Memorial and asked for God’s protection of military members around the world.

“My grandfather understood that the battle … is done on our knees,” he said. “That’s where the real fight is. Make sure you pray, pray and pray.”

    About the Author

  • Mark Maynard/Kentucky Today
    Mark Maynard writes for Kentucky Today, www.kentuckytoday.com, where this article first appeared. Kentucky Today is a news resource of the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Read All by Mark Maynard/Kentucky Today ›