Our first day of Outreach in Washington, D.C., was unforgettable! We stepped up to the Lincoln Memorial just before noon. A vast crowd surrounded me — nearly 50,000 people all coming together for the same purpose. Together we would pray. We would repent. And we would call out for God to heal our land.
“Hi, I’m Franklin Graham,” a man’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker. “Today, we gather to call upon the name of God. We gather because we believe only God can fix the problems that we face in our nation. We gather to ask God to heal our land.”
The crowd erupted in shouts of excitements and applause, and what was at first a relatively calm sea of people suddenly turned into a roaring ocean. Graham spoke briefly then invited none other than Vice President Mike Pence to pray for the upcoming hours of prayer.
After Pence finished praying, Franklin Graham explained the schedule for the day, which involved praying at the World War II Memorial, Washington Monument, National Museum of African American History and Culture, National Archives, and US Capitol Building. At each location, we would pray for particular people, structures, and events.
And then the march began! 50,000 people. One body. On the move. Praying for the spiritual healing only God could bring. I walked briskly down the road struggling to keep up with my teammates. And then, out of nowhere, security guards asked me to step to the side as they cleared a path for Franklin Graham. It was a special moment for me as I thought of the spiritual heritage of this son of Billy Graham and the many lives who knew Jesus today because of their family. I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture and prayed for God’s blessing over Franklin.
Soon my teammates and I arrived at the World War II Memorial, and when we finished praying for those serving in the army and police force, we advanced to the Washington monument where we repented for the millions of abortions our country has committed since 1973. We prayed for God to forgive us as a people and to help us see the end of abortion in our country.
I watched as man broke down in tears. “God, please forgive me,” he prayed. “Forgive me for allowing my daughter to get an abortion.” A cry broke out from deep within him as he sobbed uncontrollably. Others gathered around him, praying with him and expressing God’s forgiveness. What a precious moment to behold!
In this man, I understood something deeper about why we were here today. This was not about site seeing or an excuse to visit iconic sites. It was not about seeing special people like Franklin Graham or VP Pence. This was a day to draw near to God. And through drawing near, we were allowing God to show us our hearts so that we might see how we as individuals and a nation had violated His law of love. It was a chance to invite his conviction, to fall down on our faces, to repent, and to leave as a different person.
One of my teammates Bethany put it beautifully, “Repentance starts with the individual, and freedom begins with repentance. Power is released when sin is brought out into the open, and that is what begins the journey to freedom. This is what it means for a nation to repent. It starts in the hearts of individuals.”
Our prayer is that this spirit of repentance will spread from here to every corner of this great nation. Our prayer is that millions would turn their hearts back to God so that He might heal our land.
By Alicestasia, student in our Mulitcultural DTS on outreach in Washington D.C.Learn More About DTS!