|From pledges to prayers evangelical Christians across the country are preparing their heads, hearts and knees for the November presidential election.
Saying they are dismayed by anti-family legislation that widens homosexual rights, extends taxpayer-funded abortions and eliminates religious conscience, numerous evangelical leaders have launched campaigns to encourage Christians to seek divine guidance before heading to the polls.
One effort, 40 Days to Save America, declares that the United States is in a “national tribulation” and asks Christians to focus on the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“While we are deeply troubled by the direction in which our nation is headed this is not a political effort, said Dr. Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America. “The political problems which beset us are symptoms of a deeper spiritual malaise. In times of national tribulation, our people have often been urged to humbly turn to God in prayer.”
Scarborough and a coalition of Christian leaders have teamed up for the Save America campaign that calls for prayer, fasting and action from Sept. 28 to Nov. 6. The coalition, including Gen. Jerry Boykin, Bishop Harry Jackson, James and Shirley Dobson, Penny Nance, Tony Perkins, the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Mat Staver, Ron Luce, Tim Wildmon and Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr., is asking pastors to prepare sermons or special programming to initiate and conclude the campaign.
“Our nation was founded on a religious vision: the belief that America exists to advance God’s glory and, consequently, that as long as we remain true to that vision, we will enjoy His blessings and protection,” Scarborough said. “Our freedoms, which today are everywhere imperiled, are God-given and can be sustained only with his mercy.”
As part of the campaign, 40 Days to Save America is also hosting conference calls and various resources including networking, ideas and materials.
Earlier in September, another coalition launched iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family, and Freedom.” It was launched with a nationwide simulcast to 2,000 congregations and is still available to churches wishing to encourage their people to advance faith, family and freedom.
The 90-minute program, co-hosted by Family Research Council and American Family Association, features Tony Perkins, Bishop Harry Jackson, Kirk Cameron and Sen. Rick Santorum.
“Thousands of congregations and home groups will be informed, equipped and challenged to pray for the upcoming election, prepare by registering themselves and others to vote and participate by voting on Election Day,” Perkins said in advance of the event.
The emphasis for that campaign is to pray for the election, prepare through registering self and others and voting on Nov. 6. An iVoteValues Voter Toolkit, including a DVD, is available online as is a pledge form.
On Sept. 28 and 29, several thousand people gathered at Independence Hall in Philadelphia for a solemn assembly called “America for Jesus.” The national call to prayer is the latest in a series of gatherings, which were held in 1980, 1981, 1988, 1996, 2004 and 2007.
The leadership team for America for Jesus includes Anne Gimenez, the national chairwoman; Cindy Jacobs, Generals International; Lou Engle, The Call; Harry Jackson, High Impact Leadership; Jane Hansen, AGLOW; Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Leadership Conference; Jim Garlow, Renewing American Leadership and Paul Cedar, Mission America Coalition.
“America is in a state of emergency evidenced by the symptoms of widespread moral depravity and economic meltdown” the gathering’s website said. “Education, government, and man’s wisdom cannot solve this problem. There is only one remedy that truly can ‘heal the Land.”
As a result, the group has selected 2 Kings 2:19-22 as its theme Scripture, which organizers said fits with God’s call for “His people to bring ‘the salt,’ which is the church, to the head of the waters where the foundation of our American liberty was birthed in Philadelphia and to intercede for God to heal the land.”
Earlier this year, a team of national women ministry leaders, including Vonette Bright, Shirley Dobson, Penny Nance and Janet Parshall, implemented the American Prayer Initiative, committing to pray at least 60 seconds daily until the Presidential Election. The initiative emerged as part of a strategy meeting when the women determined culture could not be changed unless its people were changed. Their website offers strategic prayers designed to return America to her founding roots and principles.
Speakers for the conference will be Dobson and her husband, James, Dr. Dick Eastman; U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va;, U.S. Rep Louie Gohmert, R-Texas; Bishop Harry Jackson; and Tony Perkins of Family Research Council.
Finally, there is an ongoing effort called the “Presidential Prayer Team.” The national prayer ministry was launched in 2001, after the terrorist attacks on America. Through it millions of people pray each day for the president, national leaders and the military.
For more information, visit www.40daystosaveamerica.com, www.ipledgesunday.org, www.nationaldayofprayer.org and www.presidentialprayerteam.com.