WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of Christians from all over the country assembled on Sunday evening to worship on the National Mall to intercede for the nation amid an ongoing pandemic and tense election season.
As part of worship artist Sean Feucht's multi-city nationwide tour called Let Us Worship, the Sunday event was the 45th place the California-based musician had led worship, often in places where violence and discord have manifested earlier this year such as Seattle, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon. A cold drizzle periodically rained down on the crowd with temperatures in the 40s.
Feucht explained from the stage that the Let Us Worship movement was in part born out of alarm and distress over California Governor Gavin Newsom's policies related to the shutdown of churches, particularly his words prohibiting singing. These draconian measures, he said, have caused many in the Church to react in fear and intimidation but the Church should be comprised of the least fearful people.
Participants who drove to or flew into the nation's capital for the event spoke of the importance of the times and the dire need to pray and worship given the tumultuous political climate.
Gail Hawkins, who co-pastors New Life City church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband, Alan, said in an interview with The Christian Post that she had been watching what Feucht had been doing and felt compelled to make the trip to D.C.
"Something struck a chord in me that I needed to be here this weekend," she said, "so we just followed the lead of God and we came."
"And the timing of the event, we just know that God's at work. And we feel like we're in the west [part of the country] where we're separated from the seat of government but we're not separated because we're all on one accord and we're all praying and seeking passionately the hand of God in this nation."
"And if felt like 'for such a time as this' that we had to be here," she said, referencing Mordecai's words to Queen Esther in the book of Esther.
Standing in a throng of worshipers singing the popular anthem "Way Maker" by Nigerian artist Sinach, Rhoda Mehl from Rosemount, Minnesota, told CP she felt that the spiritual significance was "breaking the heavy yoke of the heavy [spiritual] chains that were binding and suffocating the nation."
"We get to come and sing outside and praise the Lord from the bottom of our hearts. That is what our nation was founded on — liberty, on freedom ... Our worship is our weapon.
"We're here standing 'peacefully protesting' by praising God, believing that this is His war, that this is His battle. And He will win."
She came to Washington because she was disturbed by how churches were being closed and their voices silenced.
"The Church is confused about whose authority they need to respect and respond to," she said.
"We need to fear the Lord first and then honor the king."
Among the guests who showed up and spoke and prayed from the stage was Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri. He had just come from the U.S. Capitol, where the Senate had just voted to advance the nomination of federal appellate court judge Amy Coney Barrett to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court.
Not everyone who showed up to the event was glad to be there.
Feucht noted on his Facebook page late Sunday that spiritual breakthrough was evident given what happened to one of his team members, Charles Karuku, the senior pastor of International Outreach Church in Burnsville, Minnesota. Not long after Let Us Worship DC concluded, a Satanist threw a bucket of blood in the face of the Kenyan-American pastor, he said.
"It happened so fast," Karuku said in a Monday phone interview with The Christian Post.
The assault occurred as he walking with some of the team to an Uber taxi near the event site.
"I didn't even notice what had happened until two seconds after when I heard a sound like 'boom' and then I realized I can't see clearly. So naturally, I touch my face and I find so much sticky stuff on my hands."
He described the perpetrator as a 150-pound white male who stood 5 foot 5 inches tall and had been standing nearby. Karuku said he saw him out of the corner of his eye as his vision cleared. He hopes to take his blood-stained clothing somewhere to test it to see if there are any contaminants and find out what type of blood it is.
Asked if he saw any occultic symbols on the assailant's clothing, the pastor replied that attacks involving throwing buckets of blood are "pretty typical of Satanists."
"They tried to do this before in Washington state, in Seattle," Karuku explained, "so it's a repeat of something."
"Nobody carries blood around except Satanists," he said, adding that he believed it was from a Satanic ritual.
"I'm trying not to make it a big, big deal but try to take care of [my] body to make sure we don't have any contamination."
Feucht added late Sunday on his Facebook page: "You can’t keep our joy down devils!! Over 35,000 showed up to declare the name of Jesus over our nation's Capital!! GOD ALWAYS WINS!!!!"
Echoing Feucht, Linda Enciso, a hairstylist from San Bernadino, California, felt the urge to travel to D.C. for Let Us Worship in light of the heavy restrictions on churches in her state. She believes the Holy Spirit is causing the church to stand up and not be fearful.
Her friend, Isis Michael, an insurance agent from Orange County, sees the "heavens open" over America.
"We were born for a time like this," she said, telling CP an interview next to a row of food trucks that she fervently intercedes for her kids, family, city, her home country of Egypt, and her adopted country of the United States.
Enciso chimed in: "God is gathering His children and this is the time for us to stand up. No more playing around."
Joe Centener of Staunton, Virginia, drove a few hours to D.C. for Let Us Worship just as he did last month for The Return, a repentance and intercessory prayer rally that occurred at the exact same spot on the Mall. Now retired and working full-time for a church, he thinks God is drawing the American people into repentance and revival.
While walking to a food truck to buy a hot drink, he told CP, that "God's going to do a cleansing and exposing because we're praying 'God, expose all of the evil. Make it crystal clear for every unbeliever so they can see the truth.' And with that, they can make a decision clearly and see evil and good."