CIU students, president travel to D.C. to pray for America

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith with Darryl Strawberry.
September 28, 2020

By Bob Holmes

Over two dozen Columbia International University students, President Dr. Mark Smith and other CIU administrators joined tens of thousands on the National Mall who were crying out to God on behalf of the nation at Prayer March 2020 in Washington, D.C.

The Sept. 26 event was organized and led by Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. The event was also live streamed on the internet with more than 3.8 million people watching and praying. 

Among the CIU students who made the trip was freshman Aynsley Vivian, who was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Australia. She was especially praying for peace.

“I have seen so much unrest, distrust and subversion, that there exists an uncomfortable atmosphere over everywhere I have been,” Vivian said. “I just really want God to alleviate the burden of pain and allow forgiveness to thrive.”

Praying alongside Vivian was senior George Huff who prayed for the November election and “supernatural wisdom in casting my own personal vote.”

“I also prayed for all the Covid-19 patients in the world right now,” Huff added. “I prayed God would heal them if it be according to His will (and) I prayed for the racial tensions in our nation right now. I prayed for unity.”

Both students said they were struck by the sense of Christian unity along the National Mall even before the praying started.

“Thousands of people just started singing songs like “Great is thy Faithfulness,” “Blessed Assurance,” and many others,” Huff said. “It was incredible to see how the songs would travel all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument. Seeing thousands of Christians unified under singing was truly a life- changing experience! I will never forget that moment!”

Vivian added that it was “amazing to be gathered in our nation’s capital and sing as one body to our God.”

Surprise visitors at the beginning of the event were Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen. The vice president said when he travels around the country “the sweetest words we ever hear, and we hear them a lot, when people reach out and simply say ‘I’m praying for you.’”

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