Anne Graham Lotz, a renowned evangelist and Billy Graham's daughter, concluded the 2017 National Day of Prayer by leading those gathered for the observance at the United States Capitol Thursday night and those watching at home in a repentance of "national sins."
Hours after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on "religious liberty" and a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer, the 68-year-old Lotz, who chaired the National Day of Prayer Task Force, gave the keynote message at the annual National Day of Prayer observance on Capitol Hill.
"Our nation is in trouble and we had some wonderful things [happen] today," Lotz said early in her remarks, adding that she was in attendance at the White House when the president signed the executive order. "I praise God for the liberty that we have. In fact, I was telling Sammy Rodriguez before this that it's almost mind blowing that America has to have an executive order to guarantee religious liberty in America, which shows how far we have fallen from our foundation of faith in the living God."
Lotz continued by asserting that the United States has fallen so far from grace and warned that "if we forsake Him, He will forsake us."
"I believe we are going through a time in our nation that I would describe a spiritual drought," Lotz said. "If this is so and if the problems in our nation are coming because God is missing, then issuing an executive order will not fix that, and politics will not fix that, and immigration reform, and health reform, and some of these other things will not fix that."
"The only thing that will fix that is if God's people, who are called by God's name, will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways."
Toward the end of the observance, the evangelist provided time for people in the audience to pray and repent for their own personal sins. Following the time for personal repentance, she led a time of "national repentance."
Included in the observance program was a list of 12 "national sins."
"I thought maybe we would read this together. We will just read it together. I read it and you can read along," Lotz told the audience gathered in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. "But if you are not sure you want to do that because you are not sure what it is going to say, I understand that. I will just go ahead and read it anyway."
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Lotz, followed by the audience, stated:
"We confess our foolishness of denying You as the one true living God, our Creator to whom we are accountable, living as though our lives are a cosmic accident with no eternal significance, purpose or meaning.
We confess we no longer fear You, and thus we have not even the beginning of wisdom with which to handle the vast knowledge we possess.
We confess to believing that the prosperity of our nation is because we are great, while refusing to acknowledge that all blessings come from your hands.
We confess that we depend upon our military might and our weapons systems to defend us from harm and danger while denying, defying and ignoring You.
We confess that we have succumbed to the pressure of pluralism and our desire to be inclusive so that we honor other gods as though You are just one of many.
We confess that we have allowed the material blessings You have given us to deceive us into thinking we don't need You.
We confess that we feel entitled to what someone else has earned instead of taking responsibility for ourselves and our families as we trust in You.
We confess that we live as though material wealth and prosperity will bring happiness.
We confess our greed that has run up trillions of dollars of national debt. We confess our arrogance and pride that has led us to think we are sufficient in ourselves.
We confess national addiction to sex, to money, to pleasure, to entertainment, to pornorgraphy, to technology, to drugs, to alcohol, to food, to television, to popularity, to ourselves.
We confess that we have marginalized truth and mainstreamed lies.
We confess that we have become one nation under many gods divided and polarized, with license to sin and justice that often does not follow the rules of law."
Following the confession of national sins, Lotz gave the audience a couple minutes to pray in groups for God to forgive the country and for others in America to turn toward God.
Followed by the intercessory prayer time, former Southern Baptist Convention president and pastor of Cross Church in Northwestern Arkansas, Ronnie Floyd, offered an invocation in which he listed a couple more sins of the nation — racism and abortion.
"Lord, when we look across our country, we think about things that still breaks our heart. And forgive us of the deplorable, the wicked sin of killing the unborn and justifying it and rationalizing it," Floyd prayed. "Oh God, in Jesus name, please forgive us. A generation has been lost that You created and man has destroyed. God, please forgive us. Change our ways. Change our mindset in this nation."
"We pray tonight against the injustice toward people, against the wicked sin of racism, that is completely opposite of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," he continued. "We stand against it and we proclaim, Oh God, would You raise up the Church to model racial unity, racial reconciliation and racial love."