Thousands jam National Mall on day of prayer and repentance

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Tens of thousands packed the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to cry out to God and repent during these challenging days for the country.


It was a revival-like meeting with Christians young and old gathering from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, some wearing “Make America Godly Again,” a play on President Donald Trump’s signature MAGA caps.


Concerned Christians from all over the country, including Kentucky, participated in the prayer march.


Gene Harston, a member of Eastwood Baptist in Bowling Green, 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 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 milions more across our country were also praying and that seeing this gathering will also encourage them."


Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, were among those who 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." 


"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 said President Trump sent his greetings and gratitude and asked him to say: "Thank you for your prayers."


Trump could not attend because he was getting ready to announce conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett as his choice for the Supreme Court.


Rev. Franklin Graham, who organized the Prayer March 2020, prayed himself at the Lincoln Memorial. “Our Father and our God, we come to say thank you,” he prayed. “But Father, our country is in trouble. We need your help.”


Communities throughout the nation also came together for prayer including some in Kentucky. In Ashland, Kentucky, a couple of hundred gathered in Central Park to listen as spiritual leaders in the community prayed and worship music was played on a beautiful fall afternoon.


Many more around the country prayed together from homes and churches. The same could be said around the world where believers in different time zones set alarms to wake up in the middle of the night and pray, according to a story on the Billy Graham Association website.


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 the servicemen 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.”

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