By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– U.S. Vice President Mike Pence joined tens of thousands of Christians to pray in Washington for a nation beset by political and social turmoil ranging from deadly riots to fierce political infighting.
Pence slipped in just as the Washington Prayer March 2020 began. The march was launched by American evangelist Franklin Graham, son of late legendary preacher Billy Graham, who often emphasized the power of prayer.
Participants on Saturday, September 28, passed seven stops between the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol.
People prayed at the World War II Memorial for the military and police, at the Washington Monument for solutions to the pandemic and the end of abortion, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture for respect and reconciliation between the races — among other stops.
Franklin Graham said in a promotional video that the march was appropriate because it coincided with U.S. President Donald Trump’s selection of a Supreme Court justice. Over the weekend, Trump nominated federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative Catholic, to the Supreme Court to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon.
Graham stressed that the president needed prayer because “it’s maybe the most critical time in recent history.”
“There are those that would like to tear this nation apart, to keep a conservative justice off the bench. The president said he was going to appoint conservatives,” Graham added. “He’s keeping his word; he’s kept his promise. We now need just to pray that God would watch over and protect him.”
That was music to the ears of Vice President Pence, who unexpectedly arrived to address the prayer warriors flanking the National Mall. “I just want to say ‘Thank you for your prayers,’” he said. “And the president wanted to be here to simply say, ‘Thank you for your prayers.’”
Surrounded by heavily armed agents, he suggested that a nation of praying people have sustained the United States. “When the president and I travel around the country,” Pence told the thousands of people.
He added: “The sweetest words we ever hear, and we hear them a lot, when people reach out and simply say ‘I’m praying for you.’”
Vice President Pence recalled several examples of prayer impacting the leadership of the country. The first 18th-century president of the United States, George Washington, often prayed for the leaders of the country and each state with an “earnest prayer,” Pence stressed.
And President Abraham Lincoln was quoted in the White House saying, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction I had nowhere else to go.”
Pence made clear that prayer is crucial six weeks before the election when the country seems more divided than ever. He indirectly referred to issues such as deadly shootings, and Black Lives Matter protests over police abuse cases, political battles, and turmoil over the Supreme Court nomination.
“In these challenging times, we are to remember that in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we are to present our requests to God,” he said.
“The Bible tells us to persevere in prayer. That the prayer of the upright pleases Him. That the effect of the fervent prayer of the righteous people availeth much.”
Vice President Pence closed his short address to the crowd by reminding them to Bible verse, 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
And, Pence emphasized that same ancient promise that “Americans have claimed throughout history” is still true today. “When you pray, pray with confidence,” the Vice President exclaimed.
Those views were shared a few blocks away by another group walking in Washington which was organized by New Jersey-based pastor and popular author Jonathan Cahn.
The pastor called the march he organized the Return, a 24-hour time of prayer. He told the crowd that God had created the biblical Israel, but its inhabitants had turned away from their divine purposes. Then 400 years ago, he said, America was created “for the glory of God and the advancement of the faith.”
He warned of what he views as the communist threat to America. If you want to hear a “politically correct message, you came to the wrong sacred assembly,” Cahn said.
It sparked loud cheers from a crowd that filled a half-block of the grassy mall.