Franklin Graham, President and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, led tens of thousands of people from across the United States in a prayer march Saturday on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
From the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol, participants of Prayer March 2020 went along a 2-hour, 1.8-mile route, pausing at key locations for focused prayers on crucial issues in the nation today. Prayer topics included, among others, the security and peace for the nation; racial reconciliation; religious freedom; solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic; leaders at all levels of the government; and an end to abortion.
“Father, our country is in trouble, and we need your help,” he prayed Saturday. “I think we’re at a crucial point in this country. We’re that close to losing our nation.”
Just as the Prayer March 2020 began, Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise appearance, thanking faithful Americans for their prayers and highlighting the importance of prayer and the leadership of a country.
“In these challenging times, we are to remember that in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, we are to present our requests to God,” he said in a short address to the crowd.
“The Bible tells us to persevere in prayer. That the prayer of the upright pleases Him. That the effect of the fervent prayer of the righteous people availeth much.”
Also present at the Prayer March was American-Hungarian pastor Andrew Brunson, who led a prayer at one of the seven stops. Brunson, a North Carolina native, had suffered for his faith in prison and then under house arrest at the hands of Turkey over the course of two years. He wasn’t released until October 2018 after several court appearances, appeals, U.S. sanctions, international pressure, and repeated calls for his release by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other U.S. government officials.
“The religious freedom that we have in this country is very rare,” said Brunson. “People take it for granted because they have not experienced the persecution that many countries in the world have.”
Being imprisoned “forced me to pray,” he said.
In addition to the tens of thousands who descended upon Washington for Prayer March 2020, more than 3.8 million people from 57 countries reportedly participated in the event by watching it live on Facebook, YouTube, and the Prayer March website.
“You don’t have to physically be in Washington to join with this Prayer March,” online livestream host Mike Huckabee told viewers. “You can be praying with these folks right where you are.”
Co-host Cissie Graham Lynch added, “We want you to feel like you’re there.”
When the Prayer March ended, thousands lingered at the Capitol, in no rush to get back to their homes, cars, and hotels. Some clung to each other in prayer.
Since 2016, Franklin Graham has led numerous prayer rallies across America through his Decision America Tour – first, in the capital cities of all 50 states, then across dozens more cities, most recently in Florida this past January. The focus of these rallies has been to challenge Christians to pray for the United States and its leaders, and to live and promote Biblical principles at home, in public, and at the ballot box.
In a statement issued prior to Saturday’s march, Graham said, “America is in trouble and in distress but we have hope—our hope is in Almighty God.”
“This is why we are asking men and women across this country to join together and do the most important thing we can do—pray in the name of Jesus Christ,” he added.
This report was compiled by NRB Staff, with contributions by writers Trevor Freeze, Tiffany Jothen, and Gabrielle Redcay from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.