Over 120 Iowans met in the Capitol Rotunda Thursday, April 30, reminded of the words of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, declaring America’s dependence on God, as well as Abraham Lincoln, who in 1863 proclaimed April 30 as a day of fasting, repentance, prayer.
But this wasn’t a rally to champion America’s Christian heritage or Christian conservative causes.
It was a day of humiliation.
As 2 Chronicles 7:14 declares, and as was proclaimed several times as the same Scripture was read beneath the Capitol’s golden dome, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Just as in Lincoln’s day, when the U.S. was bitterly divided in the midst of a brutal Civil War, America today is sharply divided and in need of God’s mercy to bring hope, forgiveness and healing.
At the Capitol, those gathered for the Iowa Call to Prayer heard from pastors, Iowa legislators, and other faith leaders about the need for God’s people, those “called by my name,” to lead the nation toward repentance. The turning back to God, they were told, must begin with the church.
Iowa State Rep. Steven Holt boldly challenged those present to learn from the church’s mistakes in history and not permit America’s freedom of religion to be convoluted into freedom from religion.
Pastor Andre Brooks of Kingdom Life International Family Ministries in Des Moines, Iowa, called on those present to raise their hands in surrender to God, to seek God’s forgiveness and call for revival.
Bob Vander Plaats of The FAMiLY LEADER warned that Christian leaders and churches cannot, as they have too often in the past, remain silent behind their wooden doors, afraid to pick up the microphone when the culture needs their voices most.
Several of the speakers led those present to pray in repentance, to pray for our pastors and leaders, and to pray for our nation.
Yet even in the humiliation, the confession, and the repentance, attendees did not leave feeling shamed or downtrodden.
For even as in 2 Chronicles 7:14, when God’s people return to Him, the promise remains that God will hear from heaven and will hear their land.
“I can’t help it,” said The FAMiLY LEADER’s Greg Baker as he walked down the Capitol’s north stairs into the sunshine of a glorious April day in Iowa, “I can’t help but feel a revival is coming.”