Christians across the U.S. are being summoned to a time of prayer and repentance this weekend for what organizers believe could lead to a national revival.
ReignDown USA (reigndownusa.com), a three-hour prayer meeting, will be held April 26 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and in satellite venues in 31 states. Participants will worship, pray and repent of their own sins.
"We're not pointing out the speck in our brothers' or sisters' eyes, but we are dealing with the log in our own, and we're ... saying, 'Start with me first, Lord,'" said Shawn-Marie Cole, who is organizing the event with her father, Walt Kallestad, senior pastor of 10,000-member Community Church of Joy in Glendale, Ariz. Cole, a homemaker with two young children, said the idea for ReignDown was birthed from a vision she received in 2005.
"It was gathering the body of Christ together in unity, humbly coming before our Lord, seeking His face and ... asking for Him to be placed back in the center of our lives and our nation," she said. Although 2008 is an election season, Cole said ReignDown would have no agenda beyond personal repentance. "We're just going to worship, and as we hear what the Lord is saying, someone will get up and read Scriptures," she said. The prayer meeting will be broadcast on television and carried live on the Internet.
Representatives from ministries such as Prayer Watch International (PWI) will be on hand to pray with participants.
"We can't point our finger at a nation and say you're not holy if we're not holy," said Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International with her husband, Mike, and a ReignDown supporter. "It's about holiness. It's about being a pure bride. It's a time to come back to the centrality of the cross. No personalities, just the cross."
Although there have been many corporate prayer events emphasizing repentance on behalf of the nation, "This is just repentance, and it's our repentance," said Phil Munsey, pastor of the Life Church in Mission Viejo, Calif., and a ReignDown supporter.
"The qualification to say something that day is to be willing to repent—not for the nation, not for anyone else, but personal repentance," he said. "I feel that we can't get past that. Until we do this, there's really nothing else we can do to have any influence on this country."
Prayer leader Bjørn Pedersen, founder of Arizona-based PWI, said a year before Cole told him her vision he began to feel that God was going to move in North America. He believes revival comes as a result of the repentance. "But it's up to our country how we respond, and that depends on the church," he said.
Cole said in her vision she saw miracles happening as a result of the prayer and repentance. "It was an unprecedented move of God that took place and swept the entire nation," she said. "But it didn't just happen here, it ended up rippling and affecting other nations."
Kallestad said Christians in the Philippines, Haiti, Canada, Germany and various parts of Africa have agreed to join in prayer for the U.S. on April 26. He said there are no plans to make ReignDown an annual event or to duplicate the efforts of ministries such as the Global Day of Prayer or the National Day of Prayer.
"What we are calling for is that the body would come united," he said. "It doesn't matter if you're charismatic or non. What we are saying is we need to come together as a body of Christ, and we need to simultaneously stand together in unity. There are no speakers; there's no draw. We are just coming to hear the Lord."
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