In answer to cries from people on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, faith leaders are launching a joint prayer and fasting initiative this month to seek divine intervention in resolving border problems, and the drug cartel violence and trafficking plaguing the region.
The Cinco de Mayo Initiative is being spearheaded by Mark Gonzalez, founder of the Hispanic Prayer Network, according to an announcement Friday. Beginning April 15, participants will be convening for 21 days in Dallas, Texas, and Mexico City, and at the border for prayer.
"This is not about governments. This is not about the Mexican government. It's not about the U.S. government. This is about the government – the government of God – through His legislative body – the church – coming together to deal with this," said Gonzalez.
The initiative comes in response to a prophetic directive given by Cindy Jacobs, president and co-founder of Generals International, a missionary organization devoted to training in prayer and spiritual warfare.
The initiative began when the self-proclaimed prophet received a call in January from some leaders in Mexico with a "Macedonian Call" appeal for help in prayer "to break the spirit of violence in their nation."
Jacobs, who has been working on problems at the border, realized "there are no natural remedies; only God can give us supernatural remedies."
She charged the founder of HPN to develop a joint prayer effort between the United States and Mexico. Explaining the mission of the initiative, Gonzalez said in an interview with Jacobs that their aim is "to raise up prayer, fasting and intercession for all that is taking place in Mexico and the U.S. and the border region, dealing with the cartel and with all that is happening there, with the violence … and at the same time bringing awareness because we need to know what's happening."
Gonzalez noted that there are "a lot of things … are not being put forth in the media" and people on the ground are hearing cries and calls for help.
According to North County Times, there is currently unprecedented numbers of U.S. law enforcement agents working in Mexico, with high-profile arrests occurring monthly in the drug war. There have been more than 34,000 deaths since 2006 when President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels.
When Jacobs received the call for help earlier this year, she said the faith leaders in Mexico were doing everything they could to try to deal with the escalating problems – problems that are "eating their way up through our borders," Jacobs noted.
Now, U.S. faith leaders are collaborating with them in this "supernatural battle."
"God is supernaturally breathing up on this," said Gonzalez. "Something supernatural is about to take place that has never been seen, I believe, with both countries. But they're both going to have to ... give God the glory because God's about to do something that to this day neither government has been able to do."
The 21 days have been marked out with a prayer guide, with the first day being a "day of cleansing" – which includes dealing with stereotypes and racism on both sides. The guide also features information on the drug cartels and the names of the different gangs, among other things.
In addition to the guide, there will also be a 24-hour prayer wall on hispanicprayernetwork.com, prayer watches every evening at Christ for the Nations in Dallas, and services at churches along the border (on both sides).
Participants will then round it out with a national prayer service on May 5.
Both Jacobs and Gonzalez believe that "God is lining things up" as the end of the 21 days of prayer falls on Cinco de Mayo, the day Mexicans commemorate the unlikely victory over the French in 1962 at the Battle of Puebla, and the same day the U.S. is observing its National Day of Prayer this year.
"We've got to move forward on this and begin to ask God, why May 5? … I began to realize the significance, both historically speaking of Cinco de Mayo, which then has a spiritual connotations for us as well," said Gonzalez.
"It is very exciting and knowing what happens through the power of prayer and then you bring fasting into the mix, as we know that there is nothing impossible."
Jacobs agreed with him, saying, "It is a supernatural battle focus. We cannot win it with natural power."
"We're going to see the government of God supersede any other government. We're going to seal these borders. We're going to see righteousness come. And we're going to establish covenant between Mexico and the United States and we're going to re-institute the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that we are called to be good neighbors," Jacobs concluded.