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1980 - Beginnings - Washington For Jesus

By Jay Rogers
Published August 1, 1980

It is hard to imagine that sixteen years have passed since the first Washington For Jesus. On that day, Iran still held Americans hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. We were still locked in a Cold War with a growing Soviet nuclear arsenal. America’s sense of patriotism was at a low ebb. Memories of Vietnam and Watergate lingered in the minds disillusioned citizens and the outlook for the coming decade was not generally optimistic.

But almost a million Christians gathered to pray on the Mall in Washington D.C. Washington For Jesus was a cry of repentance from the American church about the need of our nation to turn back to God. Many of the speakers at this prayer rally guessed that as a nation we were in a race between spiritual revival and judgment from God.

But a few carried a different message. God was not done with us as a nation. Although the problem of evil was great and spirituality seemed to be at a low point, God desired to turn us around, to restore America to greatness and give us back our respect both at home and abroad. We were not headed for a slow demise or a sudden nuclear holocaust, but for a glorious future in which the light of God’s truth would shine through us once again as a part of a global awakening in which the nations of the world would turn to God.

There needed to be some way of heralding this truth. Since only a few small voices could be heard echoing this hope. God obviously used Washington For Jesus 1980 to sow the seeds of heroic actions and thoughts into the minds and hearts of America’s young people. Many prophecies were given saying that a great spiritual awakening that would occur. Looking back on the past sixteen years it is safe to say that some progress has been made. Of course, the work is not over yet and we have not seen the Awakening we looked for, but we can celebrate many victories for the Kingdom of God as we look back.

While it is impossible to say exactly how much of an impact Washington For Jesus 1980 had on the trend toward patriotism and spiritual awakening in our nation, it is apparent that God spoke clearly on that day proclaiming the great destiny our nation possesses in His divine purposes.


» » Tenth Anniversary Issue

Your comments are welcome!

It was a blessing to one of thousands praying for our American in Wash D.C. in 1980. Thank you for the memories and for the years that are yet to come with the greatest revival America has every known . . . I’m 80 and still on fire for Jesus

Posted by Rev Barbara Irvine on 05/06/2015 07:04 PM #

I was there! Three of us traveled together from Seattle. It had been pouring rain all night and during the morning commute as we traveled there from our lodging. As soon as people began to arrive, a breeze came up and the clouds opened up over the area. It actually got warm.

We spent the whole day praying and singing.

When we were on the Mall, there were different Christian leaders speaking and bands leading music. The place was so huge and so many people there we weren’t able to hear everything from where the Washington State group stood, so we gathered as a group and sang and prayed among ourselves.

Before we finished the day, we all walked around the government buildings singing and praying. People leaned out of the windows in those buildings as we passed, waving and blessing and praising the Lord! They were one in the spirit with us!

Even the police were amazed. They had around 100 protestors at the Pentagon that day and were spread thin. They were worried and shared their concern with the WFJ leaders. We prayed for them. They made a whole bunch of arrests at that protest. And they made a media statement that our huge group (nothing like it before or since) was peaceful and left absolutely no litter on the grounds. I saw as we were leaving that the garage cans were overflowing, but the trash that didn’t fit in them was all right there, surrounding the full cans. I still have that article.

Of course I didn’t want to leave so I lingered until most of the people had left just breathing it in… I finally decided to leave as the breeze came back, the clouds came in from all directions and it began to rain again.

It was the most amazing day in my life.

Would this perhaps be a time for this again in America? Would you seek what the Lord may say about this?

2 Chronicles 20:21 NASBS
When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

Posted by Linda Cowin on 07/31/2020 04:29 PM #

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

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