Present conditions in the church and nation demand united, decisive action. We need more than one positive election ... one godly, Supreme Court decision ... one good sermon series or one significant, local church revival. America is desperate for a change. Overall church attendance is declining. An entire generation is emerging with little understanding of absolute truth. The only hope for change is in the spiritual climate of our nation, and it begins at the grassroots level.
Founded following the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks, Cry Out America is a grassroots prayer initiative signaling that hope.
September 11, 2001 was a moment that forever changed America. "It was a national event which affected us all," stated Ashley Wilson, former COA National Coordinator and current pastor of Lifegate Church in Lexington, KY.
"It was the JFK assassination moment of this generation," commented Dr. Billy Wilson, founder of the Awakening America Alliance and current Oral Roberts University President.
Collapsing structures, a culture of fear, emotional despair, increasing terrorism, and the encroachment of Islam sounded a spiritual alarm for this century. How has the church—Jesus' followers—responded?
For weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, our sanctuaries were full. People reached out to God for meaning. We rallied together in a real spirit of unity. However, our churches emptied quickly, and spiritual apathy resettled over our country. Deeply moved by this atmosphere of recurring slumber, the Awakening America Alliance sensed God calling them to issue a resounding wake-up call to the church.
Cry Out America was initially promoted as a 9/11 noon-time prayer meeting at every county courthouse in America. People began Crying Out in repentance and asking God for mercy at the place of justice. Since 2007, COA has mobilized hundreds of thousands at 9/11 prayer gatherings in all 50 states, including 38 U.S. counties with one-million or more population. We have witnessed people join hands and hearts across major denominational lines—Mainline Evangelicals, Protestants, Catholics, and traditional Pentecostals—all coming together under the banner of Christ.
We believe America is on the verge of a sweeping move of God's Spirit that will touch every state, every county, every church, and every heart. The historical patterns of America's Great Awakenings indicate that in times of a seemingly hopeless environment, God chooses to move in response to the cries of His people. We are CRYING OUT TO GOD seeking a deep transformation and a Christ-awakening in America.
AAA Executive Director and COA National Coordinator, Kay Horner has chosen Today's Dream Awakens Tomorrow's Destiny as this year's theme. (Watch this year's video here) We must ask ourselves: "If dreams birth desires and desires determine destiny, what is the vision God has placed in our hearts for the emerging generations following in our footsteps?" Kay continued, "We need people to respond to the passion God has placed in their hearts and join us in this vital prayer movement.
Here are some ways YOU can pursue a Christ awakening and help shape the destiny of America!
- Register your church, ministry, or county today to be a part of Cry Out America 2014. Visit www.awakeningamerica.us, scroll down the homepage, and click on the interactive U. S. map to locate your state/county. Free resources are also available online.
- Volunteer to lead a 9/11 prayer gathering at your business, in your small group or Bible study, at your local pregnancy care center, or on your university campus. Call 1.888.9.AWAKEUS (1.888.929.2538) today to learn more.
- Engage in living a Prayer/Care/Share lifestyle outside the church walls. Visit www.preach2engage.com for free resources, digital apps, and engaging opportunities for you, your family, and your church.
Sacred assemblies are primarily held 12:00 noon on 9/11 at county courthouses, churches, or other public venues. For 2014, COA prayer points have expanded to include Prison Fellowship Ministries, pregnancy care centers, universities, para-church ministries, and marketplace groups. Many communities are incorporating 24-7 prayer in the days leading to 9/11, and others are including cooperative evangelism and service initiatives. Along with a goal to establish an ongoing rhythm of prayer on this significant day, we want communities to develop a thriving prayer ministry throughout the year (see The National Prayer Accord).