James Dobson participated via phone, offering a prayer and seeming to tie the health care bill and the country's overall political direction to none other than the Devil: "I just pray that You will frustrate the plans of the Evil One, and revive us again with conviction and forgiveness. Show us how we can further your cause, Lord and advance your kingdom, and we will be careful to give you the praise. Just begin a revival in our hearts that will restore us as one nation under God."
The event included members of Congress, almost all of them Republicans -- but there was one Democrat, Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina, who appeared via a pre-recorded video message. "You know, the power of prayer knows no bounds," said McIntyre. Â "The true source of power is not found in the halls of congress or the chambers of the Supreme Court or the Oval Office of the west wing, but rather on our knees at the throne of grace." Â McIntyre did not specifically comment on the health care bill, but we can probably count him as an irreconcilable vote against it.
Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) also led a prayer, thanking the Lord for the Godly men and women who are in public life, and asking forgiveness for government leaders that haven't looked to God:
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) gave a video message, hearkening back to the Pilgrim Puritans for their use of the Bible as a direct guide for the conduct of government: "We could learn from the Pilgrims by understanding that the Bible is not just a book of how to be nice to people, it is an entire blueprint for the way civilization can be structured."
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) also appeared, and DeMint asked for God to change the Democratic Senators' minds. "Whether they've been mesmerized by the president or just convinced somehow in their own heart," said DeMint, "we just need to pray that God'll channel their hearts to realize that the exceptional nature of this country did not come from government control of everything, but from limited government, and a free people with Judeo-Christian principles, that created the character and integrity that made this country work."
The event ended with a 30-minute continuous prayer by various speakers. "Give kings sleepless nights across America," EngleÂ implored passionately. "Lord, break into their hearts while they sleep tonight."