Democrat, Republican, Independent, Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Male, Female, the list is endless on ways we can identify ourselves. Rather than look for similarities, we often look for differences. While those differences make us unique, they can sometimes lead to division and strife. Similarly, this generation is one of the most cause-driven groups in history. Unfortunately, rather than serve together, it is often divided by those very causes. Even Christians, who are called to be “one body,” are often divided by their theology, how they worship and doctrine.
But what if for one day, we set aside our differences and sought unity? On July 16, 2016, from 9AM-9PM one million people are expected to gather at the National Mall in Washington DC for “Together 2016,” the largest faith event of the year. The free event will feature 40 faith leaders and recording artists including Lecrae, Hillsong United, Kirk Franklin, Michael W Smith, Casting Crowns, Francis Chan, Christine Cain, Ravi Zacharias, Ann Voskamp, Jennie Allen, Mark Batterson and more. They will lead a time of prayer, worship and make a challenge for unity. For those unable make it to DC, there is a simulcast available via www.reset2016.com. Additionally, Pope Francis will share a recorded personal video invitation.
The team from Reset shares,
“July 16, 2016 is the day when this generation lays down what divides us and lifts up Jesus who unites us. On a day of unified prayer, worship, and a call for catalytic change, we will meet on the National Mall to declare that Jesus changes everything.
We believe Jesus can do unprecedented things in our time. Our dream is for more than one million people from all backgrounds to be part of this generation-defining day.”
“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. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
In addition to the day of prayer and worship, there will be 10,000 service opportunities within 100 miles of DC the week before Together 2016 and the week after. There are more than 22 participating organizations. Interested volunteers can serve in various opportunities including helping with anti-trafficking, hunger, homelessness, prison, elderly and more.
Throughout history, there have been several events whose reach went beyond the actual event itself including: Explo 72, Promise Keepers’ “Stand in the Gap,” crusades led by Billy Graham, Luis Palau and Greg Laurie. These events profoundly impacted not only the people that attended but the culture as well. Attendees experienced personal spiritual revival and as a result churches and communities were changed for Christ.
The Reset team shares what their prayer is for this culture.
“Jesus directly challenged a culture of division. He prayed we would be one—one family, one body. And He told us to love our enemies. Everyone loves their friends; it’s when we love those who aren’t like us that the world takes note. It’s time to come together around Jesus in a counter-cultural moment of unity and love for each other.”
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20
Pray and worship! If you are close to the DC area, consider attending with a friend or your church. Even if you can’t physically attend the event, take an hour out of your day to worship via the simulcast. Whether you are at work or at your house, you can listen in to the speakers. You can even gather your friends, family or small group and have a mini-event at your house.
Pray for unity. Pray that God would use this event, the speakers, leaders and artists to unify our country. Pray that the Holy Spirit would guide and direct the day or worship and teaching. Pray for all believers to “humble themselves, pray earnestly and repent” (2 Chronicles 7:14) so that God would heal our land. Pray for healing and forgiveness within the body of Christ, that leaders would set the example of going to each other and asking for forgiveness.
Pray for our nation’s leaders. Whatever your political affiliation, God makes it clear that we are to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4). Ask God to soften their hearts and draw them to Himself, if they aren’t already Christians. Pray that God would give the believers boldness to share their faith with others. Pray for all that God would grant them wisdom to lead our country. Pray for the faith leaders of the world, that God would give them opportunities to share their faith with other world leaders.
Serve your community. You don’t have to be in DC to do the day of service. Serve through your local church or check out service opportunities at other ministries and organizations that serve the needs of others. From homeless to youth, there are hundreds of groups that need your help. If there isn’t a group or organization reaching out to the cause you are passionate about, prayerfully consider starting an outreach or hosting an event.
For more information about the event, click here.
To read our interviews with Hillsong United, Michael W. Smith, Casting Crowns and Matthew West visit www.risenmagazine.com