On Saturday, September 26, tens of thousands of people poured into the capital and the National Mall to attend the Prayer March led by Franklin Graham.
“It’s maybe the most critical time in recent history,” said Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, in a promotional video on the event webpage.
The purpose of the march was prayer. It was not a political event and was not designed to support any particular party. According to the event’s website:
The Washington Prayer March 2020 event is a dedicated prayer march that is focused solely on asking God to heal our land. It is not a protest or political event, and we are asking participants to not bring signs in support of any candidate or party.
This proclamation rang true to those in attendance like Krystal Pister, an occupational curriculum coach from North Carolina who drove to the event with a friend from California.
“This was about Jesus. There was no political agenda or pledging support for a president or a cause. This was people coming humbly before God,” said Pister.
The two-hour event was scheduled to pause at seven locations along the 1.8-mile route, and participants were asked to “pray silently using the focus and prompts for each location.”
The prayer march included the following prayer points, among others:
- Military, police, firefighters, other law enforcement, and their families.
- Frontline medical workers, salvation of the lost, an end to the coronavirus pandemic, strength in families.
- An end to abortion.
- The President, Vice President, their families, and those who work in the White House.
- Kindness to one other and respect between the races.
- Healing in communities torn by violence and injustice.
- Religious freedom and boldness for churches to preach in a troubled world.
- Congress, state and local leaders, and the Supreme Court and judges across the U.S.
Although police were present, attendees state the event was peaceful. Some report prior concerns for safety which were quickly dispelled upon arrival.
“There was an overwhelming joy of acceptance and oneness. No rudeness—just floods of people singing and praying,” said Pister.
Popular Christian musician, Michael W. Smith led worship on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as thousands raised their voices in song.
The prayer event drew people from all corners of the country. Andrew and Jacquie Ferguson came as ambassadors of their local Calvary Chapel in Apple Valley, CA. Andrew serves as Administrative Pastor and his wife, Jacquie works in church ministry and network marketing from home.
The Ferguson’s arrived the day before the prayer march to do some sightseeing in the nation’s capital. “I was concerned about safety because of the rioting we’d seen on the news,” said Jacquie Ferguson. “But we trusted God and as soon as we got off the plane, we were surrounded by like-minded brothers and sisters. As we walked around, we were able to pray with other pastors and police officers. There was no violence, no danger.”