(Photo: Harvest Ministries)
America is in trouble, but the problem is not in the White House, but in God's house, the Church, Pastor Greg Laurie and his wife, Cathe, told thousands of participants at a nationwide prayer rally Sunday, urging prayers for another revival in America through the upcoming Harvest America in Philadelphia.
"I believe that the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the earth. America! America! God shed His grace on thee. So true," Laurie said, appearing in a video played during a segment of a live webcast originating at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., the main venue of the prayer rally.
"But there's a trouble in our country right now," added Laurie, speaking to churches and individuals across the country who joined the Harvest America team through live streaming to pray for a revival through Harvest America in Philadelphia, to be held on Sept. 28-29. "It seems like things are upside down. It seems, these days, right is declared as wrong, and wrong as right. The Bible even says woe to those who say sweet is bitter and bitter is sweet."
Harvest America in Philadelphia will be a live nationwide event, streamed from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, to thousands of participating locations across the country. Featuring performances by top Christian artists and a clear Gospel message by Pastor Laurie, the goal of Harvest America is to impact a nation "desperately in need of hope."
Can America ever come back to God? Laurie asked. "I believe it could, if we would follow the promises of 2 Chronicles 7:14." The verse reads, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Originally, it was given to Israel, but principally it applies to any nation, Laurie said. "Many believe the problem is in the White House," he added. "But God says the problem is in My house… in His Church… among believers who are not behaving as true followers of Jesus Christ."
We need a revival, an awakening, Laurie said, adding, "That's what I'm praying for. I hope you are, too."
Pastor John Collins, the executive director for the Harvest Crusades and who led the prayer rally, requested Cathe to begin the time of prayer.
"Even though we've seen God moving in incredible ways in the past 20 some odd years, we know that all the planning, stage building and organizing and flyer printing and all the rest... with all of the hard work that's gone into it, we know that apart from the move of God's Holy Spirit, there's nothing of eternal value that's going to come out of it," said Cathe, who leads the national prayer initiative for Harvest America.
"We're totally dependent on a move and mercy of God in the lives of men and women," she said. "And that's what we are here for tonight, we're here to pray."
Cathe read out of Habakkuk 3:2, "Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy."
We have heard God bring revivals in history, and we are praying for revival in our country in our times, she said. "[But] Sometimes I think this is too big of a dream. This is just too big of an undertaking. It's one thing to organize a citywide campaign, it's another thing to expect God to do something with the entire nation of America."
However, she added, our prayers are at times small because our faith is small, and our perception of God is also too small. "We need to see that God is so big. His compassion for the lost is so great, that He wants to do something far beyond what we could ever expect or even imagine, in your community, in your town, in your home, in your family."
The rally, Cathe said, was to pray "some big prayers." She began the prayer time by praying for Pastor Laurie.
"We are praying for God to bring a revival to our country. We are desperate for it," Cathe told The Christian Post last week. "Revival is a mystery. It's really a sovereign work of God, but at the same time we have our responsibility as His children who follow Him and long to see His work in the hearts of those being saved. Number one, is to have a burden for people to be saved, second, is to pray, and thirdly, is to do everything in our power to make it happen."
Cathe said the biggest challenge is for people to realize that God wants to use us. "We are perhaps all too complacent and comfortable with the ordinary in our Christian lives," she said. "We are not tempted to dream big."
This is the second year for Harvest America.
Last month, the Lauries marked the 24th year of bringing the Harvest Crusade events to Orange County, Calif. SoCal Harvest exceeded organizers' expectations with a total three-day attendance of 105,000 and more than 9,263 people making professions of faith.