In a time of uncertainty and civil and spiritual unrest, leaders of a national prayer effort, The Return, are calling believers across denominational lines to repentance and revival.
The prayer focus begins on Sept. 18, the historical Jewish Feast of Trumpets, and runs through the Day of Atonement, Sept. 27. The 10-day prayer focus will culminate in Washington on Sept. 26 with a day of preaching, worship and prayer.
The dates have significance in Jewish history as well in American history. Set 40 days before the U.S. presidential election, the day of prayer marks the 400-year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.
The Sept. 26 main event will focus on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Speakers will include author and co-chair of The Return Jonathan Cahn, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, Pat Boone, Anne Graham Lotz, Don Moen, Alveda King and many others.
Franklin Graham, president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, will lead a prayer march that day from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Starting at the Lincoln Memorial, marchers will pause for prayer at the World War II Memorial, the Washington Monument, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives before arriving at the U.S. Capitol.
Movement organizers encourage individuals and churches to build on the movement, through individual repentance, living in revival and praying for others.
Cahn said churches and pastors can participate by teaching Bible truths, initiating weekly prayer gatherings, encouraging members to share their faith and by setting aside 10 days to increase efforts and hold special events.
Pastor Mike Johnson of Bethsaida Baptist Church, Boaz, feels the timing couldn’t be better.
“Our nation needs prayer and it begins with the church,” said Johnson. “We’ve been hidden away through COVID-19. People need that opportunity to get back in touch with God and we do need to enter into a time of prayer and revival.”
Using the movement and the prayer march as an impetus, Johnson said the church will host a local prayer meeting on Sept. 26 and plans to incorporate 10 days of preparation, fasting and prayer for national repentance and revival.
“[Non-believers] have a sense that they are living in a peculiar time. We are trying to offer some hope and I think when God sees His people unified [in prayer] great things happen,” Johnson said.
Jesus 2020 organizer Martha Sikes plans to attend the event in Washington and said Friendship Baptist Church, Grady, has partnered with other community churches to host a local prayer meeting in downtown Ramer on Sept. 26.
That event will begin at 8 a.m. and will be held live and broadcast on local radio station 100.7 FM.
Be One Ministries in Birmingham will host a Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah celebration on Sept. 18, along with a simulcast of the Sept. 26 prayer event and a Yom Kippur/ Day of Atonement service.
Be One Ministries’ services will teach worshippers about the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith, how Jesus lived and worshipped, and the ways Christians are called to imitate Him, said Jeff Friedlander, founder of Be One Ministries.
“Our role as believers is to lead the nation into repentance for the sins we are committing — the sins of abortion, racism, division, calling that which is evil good, accepting a morality that opposes God,” Friedlander said.
To learn more about The Return and to access tips on planning a local event, go to thereturn.org.