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The House of Representatives became a house of prayer on Wednesday as lawmakers and Christian leaders met in a rare public gathering to ask God for wisdom and humility, and to bless America so it can be a blessing to the rest of the world.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, current Speaker of the House John Boehner and several other prominent lawmakers joined pastors and ministry leaders for the exclusive prayer meeting that followed a historic assembly last year. On May 8, 2012, a Christian organization was granted access to the Great Hall for the first time in more than 100 years for “Washington – A Man of Prayer.” The second annual event was held on the same day this year in honor of the 224th inaugural anniversary of President George Washington.
Since the anniversary of his inauguration, April 30, 1789, falls annually during the week of the National Day of Prayer, the first Thursday in May, this time serves as an opportunity for members of both Houses to assemble in historic Statuary Hall, once the meeting place of the House of Representatives, and prayerfully commit America to God.
The ceremony also featured brief history lessons about Washington from Gingrich and Christian author Eric Metaxas, who warned of the increasing attack on religious liberty. Bachmann, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, and rabbi Jonathan Cahn, the best-selling author of The Harbinger, also spoke. Other lawmakers present at the event this year included Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).
“Tonight we stand in the city that bears the name of our first president to … lift up our prayers to the Almighty,” Cahn said. “We've gathered here on Capitol Hill, the most exalted of national councils, to acknowledge that even the most powerful of nations cannot rise and will not endure apart from the will of the Almighty.”
Cahn spoke boldly of America’s spiritual descent, the nation’s connection to Israel and the warnings of judgment on America that mirror those in ancient Israel. Despite later revealing that he sensed a spiritual attack during the event, he concluded his address with a call to repentance to usher in national prayer and revival. After receiving a standing ovation, Cahn later was invited to conclude the event by leading the group in the Aaronic Blessing, which those attending joined in by lifting their hands to send out a blessing from Capitol Hill to America.
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