By Marcia Kessler and Denise Cochran
Prayer/Action Chapter Leaders, Topeka, Kansas
On Sunday, January 9, 2011, the new governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, declared that God is welcome in Kansas. A new beginning was experienced inauguration day, January 10, as many from around the state gathered at the Capitol to pray and worship.
Concerned Women for America along with several other ministries, which included Capital Commission and Kansas Family Policy Council, sponsored a history-making event called “Prayer on the Hill.” The event began at 7:00 a.m. and lasted until 7:00 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court room. Nine and a half inches of snow fell during the day, and it was very cold, but that did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance. We were reminded of the Scripture in Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”
The event included a prayer walk around the Capitol building at 9:00 a.m. Approximately 25 hardy prayer warriors took to the unplowed sidewalks of the capitol and prayed out loud as we marched in opposite directions around the building. We carried a sign “Prayer on the Hill” that allowed even more to join us when they saw us through the windows. It was such a surreal experience as we prayed out loud and read Scriptures, to be blanketed by snow and not even get cold. It was as if the Lord was washing the crimson sin white as snow and giving a fresh start to this new administration.
At 10:00 a.m. several legislators joined the many intercessors in the Old Supreme Court room; the intercessors prayed for each of the legislators. They were surrounded by a group of 30 or more prayer warriors as their legislative duties and their families were lifted before the Lord. At 11:00 a.m., Gov. Sam Brownback’s inauguration was moved inside to the House chambers. There were so many people that we could not even get close, but prayer was offered during this ceremony as well. Teams of prayer warriors also went into the House and Senate chambers during the lunch hour and covered those rooms before the swearing in ceremonies at 2:00 p.m. The guest book numbers show that at least 79 senators, representatives, families and prayer warriors stopped by the old Supreme Court room throughout the day. Live worship and praise music was played throughout the day by several different groups as people came and quietly prayed, worshiped and thanked God for His mercy.
Senators and representatives continued to drop by throughout the day until about 4:00 p.m. when visitation began to slow down, and the snow started up again. As we began to pack up the information tables, we turned to see Gov. Brownback who stopped by and personally invited a few of the participants to his office to pray for him. Later as Marcia was showing her husband and boys one of the murals on the second floor, they met Lt. Gov. Colyer in the hallway where she mentioned the prayer event to him. By the time Marcia and her family got back to the prayer room, the Lt. Gov. was there, and she joined a group that prayed for him. David DePue, the Capitol Chaplain and head of the Capitol Commission, said this was the first time EVER he was aware of that we were invited to pray with both the governor and lieutenant governor! While we know that God had been glorified all day, it was then that we considered our mission complete.
Joy and hope for the near future are two words that describe the day. Joy was experienced by CWA members who worked hard to help bring about this event. We believe with all of our hearts, that God was glorified, and that there were many who were blessed. It was truly memorable.
However, as we bask in exhaustion of obedience, we can not sit back and consider the mission finished. We are convicted now more than ever that our duty to keep encouraging these legislators has just begun. The Lord gave so many Scriptures for the day but Isaiah 7:9, “You must stand firm in the faith or you will not stand at all” remains our prayer for the legislators. There are over 10,000 elected officials in Kansas; the pressures our Christians friends in elected office face is enormous. We must continue to support them not only through prayer but tangible cards and notes to support them in the battles they will face over the next several months. I Corinthians 16:13, “Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” is the message we must now send to keep these legislators encouraged.