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: 2 Chronicles 7:14
By Janet Bagley, Connecting NowFaith
When Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn addressed the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast in 2019, he spoke about the need for repentance and return to prayer for the healing of a divided nation. More than a year later, Cahn has brought those ideas, which he says were spiritually birthed in Vero Beach, to fruition by holding the National Day of Prayer and Repentance in Washington D.C. on Sept. 26. He called the event The Return.
Tens of thousands packed the National Mall for The Return, praying for God to help the United States and the world during these challenging days of division and pandemic.
“I had the blessing to be with you in Vero Beach, and I shared with you the need for revival,” Cahn said in a video message. “I told you there was a word given about a revival that would begin in Vero Beach and touch the whole nation.”
Prayer Breakfast organizer John Bona said he remembered Cahn’s words clearly in April 2019, so he was anxious to participate in the National Day of Prayer and Repentance in Washington, D.C. “There were at least 50 people working on this for the past six months,” Bona said. “With so many people involved, it was just amazing how everything just flowed together.”
One of the highlights of The Return was a prayer march that was led by Rev. Franklin Graham. Other past Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast speakers Anne Graham Lotz, Pat Boone, Alveda King, Tony Perkins, and Pierre Bynum also spoke at The Return.
“There was such a huge turnout; Franklin definitely brought the crowd,” said Bona. “There was a huge crowd of diverse people showing respect for one another.”
While pausing to stop and pray at the Lincoln Memorial, Graham asked for help from God in healing the divided nation.
“Our Father and our God, we come to say thank you,” he prayed. “But Father, our country is in trouble. We need your help.”
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen participated in the Prayer March and said in times of turmoil, Americans have always turned to prayer.
“Since the founding of our nation, our leaders and our people have gone to prayer in challenging times,” Pence said. He also delivered a message from President Donald Trump, who could not attend the event because of a conflict with announcing his new nominee for the Supreme Court.
“On this inaugural National Day of Prayer and Return, the First Lady and I join millions in the United States and around the world in prayer as we turn our hearts to our Lord and Savior,” said Trump. “Our great nation was founded by men and women of deep and abiding faith—a faith that has stood the test of time.”
“The trials and tribulations the American people have faced over the past several months have been great. Yet, as we have seen time and time again, the resolve of our citizenry—
fortified by our faith in God—has guided us through these hardships and helped to unite us as one Nation Under God.”
While the entire Washington Mall was packed for The Return, Bona said tens of millions of Christians watched the live-streamed event to churches across the nation and the world. Communities came together to pray,
“We have reports that 12 million Americans were on live-stream,” Bona said. “Across the world, Christians from 160 nations were able to participate, with the event translated into 90
different languages in real-time.
We even had reports that people in Jerusalem were watching.” In Indian River County, local churches presented the live stream to their congregations, allowing Christians locally to participate and pray without having to travel to Washington. Bona said local pastors worked together to present The Return at different sites, including Oceans Unite, Freedom
Church, Lakeside Fellowship, and Central Assembly of God. Bona and Cahn said The Return was spiritually birthed at the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast.
“We discussed hosting a National Day of Repentance and Prayer in our nation’s capital on the way back to Orlando International Airport,” said Bona. The two talked about an apparent
awakening among Christians in Vero Beach that started at the Prayer Breakfast and vowed to continue praying and reaching out to more and more people across the nation.
The Return was a family event for the Bona’s, with daughters Jennifer and Rebecca helping with logistics. John and his son Matt were the only father and son to minister together during The Return.
Matt Bona, one of the youngest speakers at The Return, told the crowd, “Jesus not only preached liberty but he also laid down his life as a sacrifice for each and every one of us.” To watch the full presentation by John and Matt Bona, go to https://youtu.be/b3O2BiEg5Ks
Cahn said the link between Vero Beach and the National Day of Prayer and Repentance could not be understated, and he issued a call for Vero Beach Christians to come together
“Our nation needs to come back,” Cahn said in his video. “If we don’t have revival, then the nation is lost. We are at a critical time, a critical year 2020, with an election coming that is critical.” But Cahn reminded people that The Return is a movement and revival has to
start in their own lives first.
“We can’t be praying for revival without choosing revival and living in revival in our own lives,” Cahn said. “I am giving you the charge to bring a revival, seek it every day, pray for it every day for you and our nation.”
With The Return taking place successfully throughout the nation, Bona said it appears that God had another plan for last year’s Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast—to serve as the impetus for the National Day of Prayer and Repentance.
“On Saturday, everyone was on their knees, praying,” said Bona. “Congressmen, business leaders, pastors, it didn’t seem to matter. I think God granted repentance that day, and it
started with the people of Vero Beach.”