Cry Out America looks at ‘vision of prayer’
by DAVID DAVIS Managing Editor
Sep 29, 2013 | 1224 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cry Out America
Prayer Center pastor, the Rev. Michael Obi, tells members of the local Cry Out America coordinating committee that Bradley County is ready for continuous prayer. Banner photo, DAVID DAVIS
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With Sept. 11 behind them, the local Cry Out America coordinating committee met Thursday for a debriefing of the seven days of prayer, the Cry Out America service and the ensuing 21 days of community service.

The Awakening America Alliance is considering reaching beyond the nation’s courthouses and into prison cells at Cry Out America 2014.

Awakening America Alliance is the umbrella organization for Cry Out America.

Cry Out America national coordinator the Rev. Kay Horner, interim executive director of International Center for Spiritual Renewal, said a representative from Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship, Campus Renewal and other leaders from around the nation plan to attend the strategy summit in October.

There was a prison gathering and a marketplace gathering, but next year, Horner said they would like to move Cry Out America from just county courthouses to all of the prison fellowship cells across the nation.

She is hopeful all of the Campus Renewal ministries and Care Net pregnancy centers will also join with them next September on the courthouse steps, in the churches, in the prisons and in the marketplace.

“We saw just a taste of it this year,” she said. “That’s kind of a vision we’re sensing the Lord might have for us next year.”

The Prayer Center Pastor Michael Obi observed that when God wants to take people to a different place, He sometimes gives them a taste of their intended destination — just enough to give them the momentum to overcome obstacles.

Sometimes, he said, God gives others sight of the destination ahead of time. The seven days of prayer, Cry Out America or the 21 days of service were not dreamed up by man.

“The idea of God visiting us is what we have come to rely on, but the idea of keeping Him when He visits, of hosting Him and letting Him stay brings us to a sustainable transformation,” he said.

“We don’t have to preach too much to know when God stays. There will be a living conviction like what happened on Azusa Street and in Wales.”

The Azusa Street Revival was an historic Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles. It began in April 1906 and continued until about 1915. The revival was characterized by ecstatic spiritual experiences accompanied by miracles, dramatic worship services, speaking in tongues, and interracial mingling. Participants were criticized in the secular media and by traditionalist Christian theologians for outrageous and unorthodox behaviors. A similar revival occurred in Wales in 1904 to 1905.

Obi said, “God knows what we can handle because He knows the mindset in this culture, so He takes us step by step toward a vision.”

Obi had a vision of prayer after graduating from Lee University and instead of returning to Nigeria, he remained in Cleveland to pray for this community.

He now believes the city of Cleveland is ready for 24-hour prayer because it already exists, but not in one place. The key for the tabernacle of David is prayer, praise, worship and unity.

“Unity is what makes it happen. Our church cannot do it alone because we are too few, but if we are able to sacrifice one aspect of our prayer meeting, we can at least begin where prayer is sustainable,” he said.

“If we will just start somewhere, I believe this is the reason God gave us the vision for seven days of prayer. It was just a taste so that we can see that it will work.”

Obi said they should not wait until next year to call for continuous prayer because if they waited until then, “we might lose ground in the Spirit.”

Locally, Horner said it would be wonderful if business owners in the Cleveland marketplace would close their doors for an hour Sept. 11, 2014, and pray, or set aside 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. as lunch breaks so employees could go back to the break room and pray.

She said there is no way of knowing how many people prayed Sept. 11 as part of Cry Out America. But, there were more ministries that promoted the annual prayer service at county courthouses across the nation.

OneCry, Intercessors for America, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, Alive Prayer Ministry and Family Research Council all promoted the service Horner said.

“From Alaska to Florida and from Maine to Hawaii, we’re estimating about 3,000 prayer points with somewhere around 300,000,” she said.

The national Cry Out America database contained 884 county coordinators, 181 intercessors, 1,805 ministries, 32 state coordinators and gatherings at state capitols in Ohio, Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Nevada.

“That’s just the ones we know. It just keeps going. It’s great,” Horner said.

Some events attracted 200 and others had 3,000. There were 600 to 800 gathered on the Bradley County Courthouse Plaza. Myrtle Beach, S.C., had three services throughout the day to give everyone an opportunity for prayer. Christian Market Place Leaders in Dallas held services at two different lunchtimes in a 12-story office building and there was a gathering at the Daley Center in Chicago.

The goal in Los Angeles County was to have gatherings at each of the 46 courthouses and have prayer by a conference call.

Horner said 88 of the 100 most populated counties had gatherings.

“Bradley County had 24/7 prayer leading up to Sept. 11 and others had eight days of prayer. Oral Roberts University had a prayer service with Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger,” with about 3,000 students,” she said. “Some of the response was like ‘Let this be the beginning of uniting together to accomplish God’s will for our churches, communities and our nation.’”

Another response from Indiana stated the word “repentance” came to the forefront and the Holy Spirit was “very present. Our small group prayed our hearts out. Tears were shed.”

“We had gatherings the weekend before and the weekend after and we just keep hearing more and more from people,” Horner said.

Obi said he is thankful that Cry Out America originated in Cleveland “and impacted the nation in a very, very big way.”