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Pray the Way Rally Shortened But Thousands Still Participate

Thousands of Christians endured lightning, thunder and periods of heavy rain Sunday for an abbreviated Pray the Way rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Thousands of Christians endured lightning, thunder and periods of heavy rain Sunday for an abbreviated Pray the Way rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

"We pray Lord that you’ll raise up an army of intercessors across the Assemblies of God on behalf of our nation," General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask prayed in the closing minutes of Sunday’s rally, which came at the end of the 50th General Council of the Assemblies of God.

The rally had been scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and continue for more than two hours. But earlier downpours had turned the National Mall into a muddy mess, and more storms were on the way, according to the National Park Service, which oversees events on the Mall.

Still, around 3:30 p.m., leaders of the Fellowship and several members of Congress took about 30 minutes after the Fine Arts Festival Celebration Service to pray for the nation.

General Secretary George O. Wood prayed for families across the country and through the Fellowship and built his prayer around the various monuments lining the National Mall.

The Washington Monument pays tribute to the "father" of America, and Wood prayed for men in America to find their strength in God.

"We pray, Lord, for the fathers of this country and we pray for the parents of this country and we ask, Lord Jesus, that you would bless them," Wood prayed.

His prayer continued with intercession for peace and reconciliation in divided families, represented by the Lincoln Memorial and the Civil War; for those who have suffered violence and a "gash" in their families, represented by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and its gash; and for wise decisions within families, represented by the U.S. Capitol, where daily legislative decisions are made.

Assistant General Superintendent Charles T. Crabtree prayed on behalf of churches in America, seeking a fresh move of the Holy Spirit through congregations.

"We ask that every pastor will have a new mission and vision born within his heart and within his soul," Crabtree prayed.

Scholar and missionary Peter Kuzmic prayed for peace and reconciliation in war-torn lands, including India, Kashmir, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

"You are the Lord over the nations, you are the Lord over history, and you will have the final word in history," he prayed, asking God to send forth more missionaries to spread the gospel.

Assemblies of God leaders were joined by three members of Congress: Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Virginia; Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colorado; and Todd Tiahrt, R-Kansas.

Davis read from Psalm 91, a passage of Scripture declaring that God is our refuge and strength, a fortress for those in need. Musgrave offered a prayer for the families of veterans, especially those who have lost a loved one serving in the military. And Tiahrt prayed for forgiveness for the nation, declaring that America must be a land where people choose to walk in the ways of God.

L. John Bueno, executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions, interceded for the nations of the world, knowing that answers to problems around the globe can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The abbreviated schedule limited the number of people who were able to participate in the prayer event, and shortened the amount of time available for worship and praise. But Christian artist Michael W. Smith still led the crowd through three songs of heartfelt praise, and as the sun broke through clouds, he encouraged the Fellowship to "stay strong and finish well."