Perhaps only months away from another recession or even economic collapse, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins is calling for prayer, fasting, and repentance as part of the “40 Days to Save America” campaign.
Joined by hundreds of major organizations, ministries, and houses of worship representing a broad swath of American culture, Perkins is asking Americans to pray, fast, and turn back to God in the 40 days leading up to the presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
“I think we’re headed down a path that very quickly becomes irreversible,” Perkins told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “We have a $16 trillion debt and building, and financial experts say we cannot sustain that kind of debt load much longer. We’re not talking years. We’re talking months. Our fiscal house is a wreck and I think it’s a reflection of our spiritual, moral, and cultural house, which has to be realigned.”
Perkins cited a recent Congressional Budget Office report that highlighted uncertainties about the nation’s economic future, including the possibility of another recession next year.
“We’re looking at a double-dip recession,” Perkins says. “We are now into another QE3, more quantitative easing – monetizing the debt. If you look at the timelines, these are becoming more frequent – trying to manipulate the money supply. That’s why the economists are saying that we are soon going to be at the point where even this quantitative easing is not going to work to relieve pressure on our economy and then it just collapses.”
Hoping to reverse the nation’s economic, moral, and spiritual decline, the campaign will kick off Sept. 28-29 during “America for Jesus – A National Call for Prayer” at Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Penn. More than 60,000 people are expected to attend. For more information, log onto www.afj2012.org.
“This is where the Declaration of Independence was signed, where the Constitution was formed, and where our Forefathers bowed in prayer at the very founding of our nation and asked for God’s protection, mercy, and grace,” says Billy Wilson, chair of the Awakening America Alliance and host of the TV program World Impact that reaches more than 300 million households in 200 nations.
“We are going right back to our foundational moment – to both remember that we are a nation under God, and also to pray that God would restore America’s spiritual heritage and vitality.”
Rick Scarborough, a pastor, founder of Vision America, and chairman of “40 Days to Save America,” says hundreds of organizations and houses of worship are encouraging people to pray for spiritual renewal and revival.
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“After those two days of prayer (in Philadelphia), we are going back to our churches and homes and will set aside a portion of each day to pray for America and to ask God to give this country a Third Great Awakening — much like He did just before the Revolutionary War,” Scarborough says. “We are asking for a mighty move of God that would redirect our country back onto a moral foundation from which she cannot long survive.”
The campaign is similar to other ones during times of national crisis. During the American Revolution, the Civil War, and at the outset of World War II, presidents as varied as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared national seasons of prayer, fasting, and repentance.
Today, the United States faces multiple crises — a potential economic collapse, moral disintegration, growing secular humanism, attacks on religious liberty, a spate of historic natural disasters, and a severe drought, according to “40 Days to Save America.”
These crises — together more daunting than those Americans faced in 1776, 1863, and 1941— are beyond the power of human beings to resolve without divine intervention — and “nothing short of a Third Great Awakening can save us,” according to the campaign.
The campaign follows the release this summer of a letter by famed evangelist Billy Graham calling the nation to repentance. In the letter, “My Heart Aches for America,” the 93-year-old Graham wondered what his late wife Ruth would think of a country where “self-centered indulgence, pride, and a lack of shame over sin are now emblems of the American lifestyle.”
“There is a growing sense among believers that America is in deep trouble, spiraling downward in a spiritual and moral free fall, and in danger of judgment,” says Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times bestselling book The Harbinger.
The book, which has remained on the NYT best-seller list since its release in January, is about an ancient biblical mystery that purportedly lies behind everything from 9/11 to the collapse of Wall Street in 2008. The book claims the same nine harbingers, or prophetic warnings, of judgment that preceded the destruction of Israel 2,700 years ago are now reappearing in America.
The book has spurred calls to prayer, repentance, and a return to God across the nation — tapping into growing anxieties about the nation’s future, says Cahn, the senior rabbi at the nation’s largest messianic congregation, the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, N.J.
“America’s ultimate hope doesn’t rest with the president but with God,” Cahn says. “Its ultimate problem isn’t political but spiritual. However, the political realm affects every other and holds a critical place. The Scriptures record that unrighteous and ungodly leaders can lead a nation away from God and to judgment, while righteous and godly leaders can lead a nation to restoration. America is at a critical juncture.”
As part of the campaign, Perkins, Scarborough, and other faith leaders are calling on pastors, priests, and rabbis to open their churches and synagogues for 40 days of prayer and fasting. They are also calling for “Christian and Jewish voters to make informed choices, voting not as Republicans or Democrats, but as followers of the living God.”
“One of the most active things you can do is not just pray, but vote,” Scarborough says. “In the 2008 presidential election, there were 30 million Christians who were not registered, or were registered and didn’t vote.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who declared Aug. 6, 2011 a day of national prayer, fasting, and repentance and invited fellow governors to attend The Response prayer gathering at Reliant Stadium in Houston, says there has never been a time in American history when “we need more spiritual courage and moral fiber.”
“There is another critical part of this equation and that is we’ve got to act – we’ve got to step into the gap and register to vote so we can speak with one voice on Election Day and firmly rebuke those are trying to steer us in the wrong direction,” Perry said during a teleconference call sponsored by “40 Days to Save America.” “We have to be salt and light. We have to redirect this country back toward the light as people of God.”
Perkins says the nation’s wayward direction was best illustrated during the recent Democratic National Convention when participants “literally voted God off the political island.”
“I think that’s reflective of where we are as a nation,” Perkins says. “We have those that are the elite, those that wield political power and control, who are moving to replace God with bigger, more expansive and obviously more expensive government and this is a time of choosing for us as a nation.”
Matthew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, says Deuteronomy 28 speaks of the blessings and curses of a nation when it follows or disobeys God.
“I think at the core of all our issues that we face today is a moral crisis,” Staver says. “And I think America’s future is bleak if we don’t repent, pray and turn back to God. America has never been guaranteed to last forever. We are only going to last as long as we maintain our Judeo-Christian foundation and reliance upon God.”
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