Day 18 Psalm 130
October 4, 1997. There were men, as far as the eye could see, kneeling or lying prostrate on the ground, crying out to God for forgiveness. I know there was no official count, but, if the Washington Mall holds 800,000 as government officials assert, figure it out. Men were packed together the entire length of the Mall, overflowing onto the sides of the Mall and down the side streets by the thousands. The Mall extends from the reflecting pool in front of the Capitol Building to the Washington Monument. Beyond there, it is approximately the same distance to the Lincoln Memorial. This area was also filled and overflowing. Beyond the Lincoln Memorial, the river of men extended to the Jefferson Memorial and all the way to the Iwo Jima Monument. It was truly a multitude of men and there they were, all humbling themselves before Almighty God.
The prayers offered were not short, trite, obligatory prayers. They were passionate, heart-felt, deep prayers of repentance – repentance for failures in relationship to God; repentance for physical, spiritual, and emotional abuse and neglect in the home; repentance for failing to uphold and pray for our leaders; repentance for denominational elitism and separatism in the Church; repentance for racial bigotry and hatred; and, repentance for failing to fulfill the Great Commission to which our Lord has called us all.
Never in the history of this nation – perhaps not in the history of the world since the days of Nehemiah – has there been a sacred assembly of this magnitude with the sole purpose of repentance and consecration to God. To be a part of it was moving to say the least, but for most, if not all, it was truly life-changing. How could you sincerely participate in these sessions of prayer and not be changed? There were audible groans and sobbing all around you. Grown men were crying out like little children broken before the Father. There were men holding up one another’s arms in prayer like Aaron and Hur did for Moses. How could you be a part of this and not be changed?
I will never forget what happened on that day. I will never forget the impact it had on my life. As I left that Promise Keepers “Stand In The Gap” rally, I knew I was leaving holy ground, for God had truly been present.
But, we don’t have to be in the midst of a million people in order to cry out to God. We do not need an event such as this to repent of our sins and ask for God’s healing. The same God who met with us that day will meet with us individually, wherever we may be, and hear our cries. He will meet with us whether it is two or three or a thousand gathered in his name. He will respond to us as a Father who loves His children. He will forgive and restore us, guiding us in the way we should go.
We still live in an age in need of repentance. Our world needs intercessors to plead to Almighty God for forgiveness. And God has called all Christ-followers to the ministry of reconciliation, not just between people, but between the people and God. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, the apostle Paul wrote
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
You have been called to intercede. Pray for the lost. Pray for all who are far from God. Ask the Lord to use you to reconcile others to Him and give you His power to do so. Again, it doesn’t take a million people with you to do this. You, on your knees, together with Jesus are sufficient. Pray as the Psalmist: O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy (Psalm 130:2). Cry out to God and know that He is listening.