A national network to pray for and with the nation's elected leaders is emerging in hopes of sparking a national revival, reaching from Capitol Hill to state and local governments.
An initiative of the National Prayer Center, it's called the Josiah Project, named for King Josiah of Israel who after finding the Book of the Law when rebuilding the temple led the nation to repent and pray.
“He tore his clothes and was convicted before the Lord and he saw the condition of the nation, the culture of Israel was in the toilet. They had pushed God out of the public square. Does all this remind you of something?” Tom DeLay, the former Republican House majority leader who is helping the National Prayer Center head up the effort, told TheBlaze.
“Josiah tore down the idols and brought God back into the nation or brought the nation to God. He was probably the most devout king of all the kings, including David,” DeLay said. “So that's why we named it the Josiah Project. In the presence of where our nation is today.”
The Josiah Project will not be involved in lobbying, DeLay said, but rather prayer intercessors approaching members of Congress and state legislatures offering to pray with them and for them. It will seek citizens to reach out in groups to their elected representatives. Chapters will be organized by congressional districts, he said.
“The Constitution is based upon a higher authority. This government cannot exist in the future if we give that up and put man as the higher authority,” DeLay said. “We need that higher authority and the truth that comes from that higher authority in order for us to survive. Otherwise we'll find ourselves where we are where man gets to define what truth is and everything crumbles.”
The National Prayer Center, located near Capitol Hill, was established to prompt citizens to pray for their leaders, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, “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;” and 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
National Prayer Center Founder and Executive Direct Ken Wilde is a pastor and formerly the chaplain for the Idaho state Senate. He began bringing a group of parishioners to Washington in 1995 to pray for their member of Congress, Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage. The idea grew as Wilde led the constituents of other members to pray – both Democrats and Republicans, and the National Prayer Center idea was born.
“As a pastor who has spent countless hours praying with and for elected officials, I can tell you the pressures they encounter in their families, health, reputation and even finances are tremendous. Whether Democrat or Republican, Christian or non-Christian, our elected servants not only appreciate our prayers, they covet them,” Wilde said on the website.
DeLay said the Josiah Project will “put on steroids what the National Prayer Center was. What we're going to do is we're going all over the country.”
The idea for the project, still in planning stages, was launched at a significant time in DeLay's life, after a near decade long legal battle with Texas prosecutors that charged him with a campaign finance violation. An appeals court overturned an earlier conviction.
“They give me a call and at the last minute in September and said DeLay, you've got to get up here. We've got some ideas that we want you to be part of it,” DeLay recalled of the center. “So I dropped everything and came up here. Got here on a Monday night. We spent two days planning the Josiah Project. Then on the third morning I get a call on my phone and it's my lawyer, Sept. 19, I get the ruling that I've been exonerated and acquitted.”
“That's where the Josiah Project was born, in September,” he said. “So we've been working and the Lord has been really moving in wonderful ways, raising the money that we're going to need. We're going to put together a staff in the next month or so and really going to be off and running.”
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