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DC Area Churches United for Second Washington Prayer Gathering

12045573_1638570996398172_4178230778367286697_oFor the second consecutive year, more than 300 Christian churches from all denominations across the Washington, DC metropolitan gathered at the Lincoln Memorial at 11:00 a.m. on Columbus Day to confess their shortcomings, pray for the needs of the region, and seek God for forgiveness and spiritual revival.

“The whole idea behind the Washington Prayer Gathering is for Christians to come together and seek God for our city,” Lon Solomon, senior pastor of McLean Bible Church, told a group of local pastors last month in preparation for this event. “We want to display to our city that in Christ, we have a unity that can’t be found anywhere else.”

The first Washington Prayer Gathering was organized in 2014 by a group of local churches that realized the need for a unified effort to reach the city. What began as several small prayer gatherings among these pastors grew into a large prayer event organized in less than six weeks that attracted more than 5,000 participants from diverse racial, ethnic and denominational backgrounds. Since then, the number of participating churches has been increasing daily, and 10,000 individuals are expected to attend this year’s event.

“We anticipate these prayer gatherings will strengthen relational unity and produce a commonality in not only what we ask from God, but also how we act for God,” said Stuart McAlpine, pastor of Christ Our Shepherd Church in Southeast DC. “Being together increases our expectation for shared answers and our hope for more effective city-intercession and just, social intervention.”

As a result of last year’s prayer gathering, a diverse group of more than 100 participating pastors are now meeting quarterly for prayer around the DC metropolitan area. This new momentum complements dozens of similar prayer gatherings that have already been meeting throughout the DC area on a regular basis.

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“Our unity is itself a testimony of the reality of the gospel,” said Bill Kynes, senior pastor of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church inAnnandale, Va. “I’ve been a pastor here for 29 years and have seen nothing quite like this.”

This year’s gathering went a step further in meeting the needs of region by raising awareness of hunger, which is an issue that continues to be a major challenge for the DC metropolitan region. Participants are invited to bring non-perishable food items that will benefit the Crowder Owens Food Bank operated by Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Northeast DC. The food bank serves more than 750 people each week.

“At the Washington Prayer Gathering, Christians from all over the DC area will participate in one of Jesus’ greatest miracles – feeding thousands,” said Bobby Manning, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of District Heights. “We will show the powerful works Jesus performed still can happen today as Christians unite.”


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