Congress and the president agree on just about nothing, the Senate and the House are at odds, the Supreme Court is ideologically split and leaders of the political parties can’t along with their own members.
But there is one light, one ray of hope, even one prayer.
It’s the Washington – A Man of Prayer event set for 6 p.m. on April 27 in the historic Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol, where weekly church services were held during the 1800s.
It will be streamed online for those who can’t attend.
The service is an effort by Rev. Dan Cummins to return prayer to the Capitol building, where generations of Washingtonians worshiped God under an open-doors policy.
“Washington – A Man of Prayer” commemorates the events of April 30, 1789, when, after being sworn in at Federal Hall, President Washington, accompanied by Congress, proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel, where they “offered dedicatory prayers to God in divine services on America’s behalf.”
The 2016 honorary hosts are Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
Cummins said “the impact of this event could be a spiritual turning point for the nation as Americans witness senators and members of Congress reaching out to God in penitent prayers from inside the nation’s Capitol.”
“Together, we will offer prayers on behalf of the nation, our president and his cabinet, the Supreme Court and its justices, and members of Congress,” he said.
The prayer events were restarted in Statuary Hall, formerly the Old House Chamber, four years ago when then-House Speaker John Boehner granted rare permission for the meeting. It was continued this year under Speaker Paul Ryan.
The hall has been the scene of powerful messages. Last year, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Harbinger” and the inspiration behind the “Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and “The Harbinger Man” movies, delivered a warning to members of the U.S. Supreme Court before they rejected the biblical definition of marriage and found a right to “same-sex marriage” in the Constitution.
He noted the Supreme Court opens sessions with the words, “God save the United States and this honorable court.”
“If this court should overrule the word of God and strike down the eternal rules of order and right that heaven itself ordained, how then will God save it?” he asked.
“Justices, can you judge the ways of God?” he asked, warning there is “another court and there another judge, where all men and all judges will give account.”
“If a nation’s high court should pass judgment on the Almighty, should you then be surprised God will pass judgment on the court and that nation? We are doing that which Israel did on the altars of Baal,” he said.
“We are exchanging our light for darkness.”
Cahn asserted the nation came into existence “solely for the glory and purposes of God.”
“No historian can rewrite that. No president can expunge that,” he said. “If a thousand angels swore on a thousand Bibles that this was not the case, it would in no way alter the fact. … America was brought into existence for the will and purposes of God.”
He also took his message directly to President Obama, whose pro-abortion and pro-homosexual agenda has been unparalleled in American history.
“Mr. President, when you address the House, look up above the senators and the representatives, above the Supreme Court justices, you’ll see a face, the only full visage in that wall. It is the face of Moses. … It would say this, ‘No man can overrule the laws of God. No judgment of man can stand against the judgment of God’.”
America, he warned, is faced with a critical decision: “Choose you this day whom you will serve … if the Lord be God, then follow Him. If Baal, then follow him and go to hell.”
Believers, he said, will “not bow down our knees to Baal,” the politically correct or anything other than God.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said of the 2016 event: “We cannot be complacent in these troubled times. … I encourage you to participate in a historic webcast that will honor the unbridled conviction of America’s founding father and remind us of the spiritual foundation responsible for America’s exceptional blessings.”
Added Bob Vander Plaatz, chief of The Family Leader: “Our only hope in turning things around spiritually, fiscally, morally, locally, nationally, internationally, and personally is … revival. And that revival includes humbled and surrendered hearts earnestly seeking God in prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14). I commend Pastor Dan Cummins for orchestrating this powerful prayer event centered on turning our collective hearts toward God in united prayer and remembering a powerful praying Founding Father, George Washington. In an ever darkening world, it’s time for us to be the light … and that’s why we need prayer AND revival.”
Joseph Farah, the editor-in-chief, chairman and CEO of WND, which is providing a live-streaming portal this year, recalled being at the event for the first time in 2013.
He said he was “blown away by the spiritual power unleashed there when dozens of members of Congress gathered with just one purpose in mind – to pray for America according to George Washington’s example.”
“With Americans reaching the breaking point in frustration with their elected representatives, this gathering can be an example to all of how believers can come together in the kind of common spiritual bond that served as the glue to hold Americans together for more than 230 years. Maybe it can work again,” he said.
As many as 2,000 people were in attendance for worship services in the Capitol after President Thomas Jefferson approved the events.
Services were held in the chamber where the House of Representatives met from 1807 to 1857, now called Statuary Hall.
Cummins, recalling Washington’s first inauguration, said “the world saw more than just the inauguration of the president of a new nation; it witnessed a watershed moment in history when the ideals penned in ink on parchment at Philadelphia’s Continental Congress would preserve what sword and patriots’ blood had inscribed on the field of battle.”
Cummins is founding pastor of Bridlewood Church in Bullard, Texas, and the director of church relations for Renewing American Leadership in Washington, D.C.