Multitudes converged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Friday and Saturday for a historic gathering of a worldwide Christian prayer gathering known as "The Return: National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance." Believers came by the busloads and joined dozens of internationally renowned Christian leaders as they humbled themselves and prayed for America in what the Bible calls a sacred solemn assembly.
"The Return" was simulcast, televised and streamed on the web around the world to more than 150 nations in nearly 90 languages. The crowd on the National Mall was estimated to be over 100,000. The numbers that watched "The Return" via streaming and social media platforms was over 10 million. Those who took part of "The Return" in places such as Africa, India and southeast Asia numbered into the tens of millions. Video of the "The Return" became available the next day at TheReturn.org.
President Trump and the First Lady even proclaimed a presidential message on the National Day of Prayer and Return on Sept. 26, stating, "On this inaugural National Day of Prayer and Return, the First Lady and I join millions of Christians here in the United States and around the world in prayer, as we turn our hearts to our Lord and Savior."
Trump also acknowledged America's distinctly Christian heritage dating 400 year ago to the arrival of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and stressed the country's need to emulate the Pilgrims' faith. "Following in our ancestors' footsteps we continue the 'firm reliance on the protection of divine providence' that provides us enduring strength and reassurance in our times of need," the message stated.
President Trump invoked George Washington's warning that God will not preserve a nation that turns its back on Him and fails to repent. "'Propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained,'" Trump said, quoting Washington's first presidential address. "As a country and a people, let us renew our commitment to these abiding and timeless principles," Trump continued.
The assembly kicked off on Friday, Sept. 25, with a three hour evening service that included praise and worship led by famed Christian artist Danny Gokey and prayers from Kevin Sorbo, Gen. William Boykin and Luis Torres, among others, with a focus on redeeming and equipping the next generation.
Friday's excitement mounted toward the historic main gathering of "The Return" the next day. Saturday's call to repentance echoed off the Washington Monument—in the same way that the biblical assemblies of God began—with the sound of the trumpets and an ancient Hebrew prayer. As in the Old Testament book of Joel, "The Return" involved leaders of God's people coming before God in repentance.
Co-chairs of "The Return," New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Cahn and Pastor Kevin Jessip, explained the importance of personal repentance in advance of national restoral.
"Before we can pray for America's return and repentance, we must take part in our own," said Cahn.
Jessip painted a redemptive desire of the Lord as revealed in a biblical pattern of pursuit.
"Without repentance, we have nothing else," Jessip said. "That is the foundation of the order of God in Scripture and in all things.
"The whole story of the Bible is about a Father seeking a bride for His Son, and so the bride of Christ, the remnant and righteous, is coming to the nation's capital in holy reverence to repent and to petition Him to have mercy in the midst of the judgment that we're now beginning to find ourselves in," Jessip said.
Led by national leaders from all walks of life—actors, athletes, businessmen and women, theologians and politicians—prayers of repentance wafted toward heaven. The first prayers lifted up were for the repentance of the church and the individual. Then came the prayers of intercession for America and, since "The Return" was also global, prayers for the continents and nations of the world.
Banking on God's desire for His people to repent and return to Him, participants were challenged all day long from speakers like Michele Bachmann, Bishop Harry Jackson and Ben Carson, among others, with worship by Paul Wilbur and Michael W. Smith.
The keynote and central message of "The Return," a prophetic warning and call to America, was given by Jonathan Cahn, followed by prayer and intercession before God—for His mercy, for repentance, for revival and for His end-times outpouring of the Spirit.
Jessip spoke to the significance of the day of repentance that could usher in a course-changing revival in America.
"I believe God has given us a kairos moment in time where He affords us the opportunity, and we can't miss this opportunity," Jessip said. "We have to come and bow before a holy God in holy reverence, humble ourselves, seek His face and cry out, repent for our sin."
Believers all over the world joined with over 100,000 people in Washington, D.C., and prayed in their churches, homes and cities that the Lord would "forgive their sin, and heal their land."
The following Christian organizations partnered with "The Return": CBN, Charisma magazine, Church of God, Collide, CTN, Daystar Television Network, Engage Media Partners, EpicPay, Every Home for Christ, and Family Research Council, 10 Days, A. Larry Ross Communications, All Pro Pastors International, America's National Prayer Committee, Anne Graham Lotz & Angel Ministries, Assemblies of God, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Bless Every Home, Calvary Chapel, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, Family Talk, Gateway Church, Hispanic Prayer Network, House of David Ministries, Inciite Events, Intercessors for America, Jensine Bard Ministries, John Kilpatrick Ministries, Museum of the Bible, MyPillow, National Christian Foundation, National Day of Prayer, Nicky Cruz Outreach, Outreach, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America, Pre-Born!, Triple Horse Studios and World Evangelical Alliance.
To find out more, visit "The Return" at TheReturn.org or call **pray (**7729) to register and learn more. Follow "The Return" on social media at Facebook: @ReturnEvent2020; Twitter: @2020_Return; and Instagram: @The_Return2020.
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