2024 National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance: ‘No Revival Comes Without Repentance’
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us,” said former President Abraham Lincoln. “It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
These words are from Proclamation 97, which Lincoln spoke in 1863 to establish a national day of “humiliation” (repentance), fasting, and prayer. While such a day may be mocked by an ever-rebellious society, there are many faithful believers who continue this tradition. Wednesday, January 31, 2024, was the National Gathering for Prayer and Repentance at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
People from throughout America and over 28 countries came together to bow on our knees in prayer and repentance. At the start of the event, it was made clear that this was not a time for a concert or sermons, but strictly to repent on behalf of a “sinful nation and people in front of a holy and just God,” said Dr. Jim Garlow, founder and CEO of Well Versed. “This is a repentance assembly,” he added, and emphasized that the gathering was far beyond political division of the Right and the Left. Rather, it was a gathering about right and wrong as it pertains to unchanging spiritual truth.
Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills expressed, in a world desperate for revival, that pulpits have become a “show” rather than the source of spiritual nourishment and truth that they ought to be. But he added that “no revival comes without repentance.” And so, for the pastors, churches, and all believers across the globe, repentance is, indeed, the first step we all need to take in glorifying God with our lives.
Author Jonathan Cahn stated that it’s “dangerous to turn away from God,” which makes now the time to ensure our faces are fixed upon Him, especially as the culture increasingly glorifies sexual mutilation, false marriage, killing babies in the womb, and the attack of children and the family unit.
Throughout the morning, intercessors prayed in front of all who gathered and repented over America at large, policy makers and government officials, schools, universities, churches, pastors, and countries that have rebelled against the truths of God.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) also lead a prayer. In an “era of completely divided government,” we must seek wisdom and counsel from the Lord, he said. Johnson’s prayer was accompanied by the prayers of at least 21 representatives and senators from roughly 15 states who prayed for “discerning hearts to govern,” “[God’s] light [to] penetrate the darkness,” and an understanding that, although the “challenges of our country are great,” the Lord “is greater.”
Ultimately, “Repentance requires true brokenness,” urged Reverend Dennis Hodges. And in response, the words of Psalm 51:17 were proclaimed, which state, “A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
Amid prayer, many of those who spoke and those in attendance were moved to tears over the harsh realities of the broken world we face. But on the other hand, the name of the Lord was greatly praised throughout the gathering, as well. Indeed, with each prayer came a recognition of God’s sovereignty, providence, and love, and how He is the only one capable of redeeming our lives and nations.
The overarching message that pierced each prayer was that, in order to bring a lawless society back into some kind of order, God must be prioritized. He is the power behind protecting fathers, mothers, and children. He is the truth behind gender, marriage, and life. He is the conviction of what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, the Lord is our hope amid darkness, and our stronghold as we draw near to Him through prayer and repentance.
As Family Research Council President Tony Perkins stated, “The word of God is living,” and “as a nation, as a world that is in trouble, we [must] turn to the Lord.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.