As I arrived at Detroit’s Ford Field to participate in TheCall—a
summons to prayer, fasting, repentance and sacrificial worship that
began at 6 p.m. Friday and ran for 24 hours—I passed a nearby park
where protesters set up an “Occupy Detroit” camp.
As we parked the car, we could see about 35 men, most of them
black, singing “God Loves Everyone” to the tune of “We Shall
Overcome” and marching with a police escort toward Ford Field.
I didn’t wait to hear what they may have said or talk with any of
them. I was too eager to join the prayer service inside. In fact,
despite the national headlines over the Wall Street protests, no one
inside seemed to notice the occupiers were there. The crowd of about
30,000 that gathered at Ford Field had a different purpose: praying
TheCall Detroit feels more intense and more anointed than the
gatherings I attended on the mall in Washington, D.C., in 2000 and in
Nashville on 7-7-07. On Friday night, most of the lower bowl was
fairly full in the home of the Detroit Lions.
TheCall was one of many prayer rallies held on 11-11-11. From a
platform at Ford Field in Detroit—decorated with huge banners
adorned with TheCall logo, featuring young people intently
worshipping the Lord and the words “No cost. Just sacrifice.”—event
leaders pointed to prayer gatherings in London, Mexico and Egypt.
Much like TheCall events in other cities, worship was central.
Some music was worshipful and slow like “Show me Your Face, Lord.”
Other music was worshipful and loud. Young people standing in front
of the brightly lit stage danced and worshippers raised their hands
in adoration of the Lord.
Interspersed by a wide variety of music, prayers were offered for
Native Americans, Canadians and Mexicans. But the strongest focus was
on America—getting this nation turned around.
The central figure on stage was Lou Engle, whose vision founded
TheCall. “The DNA is changing in America,” he shouted in his
raspy voice that is so recognizable. “People are hungering for
On stage Engle was surrounded by pastors from Detroit, like Andre
Butler of Word of Faith in Southfield, as well as national leaders
like Mike Bickle of International House of Prayer in Kansas City,
Mo., and author Francis Frangipane. Many took turns offering fiery
prayers asking God’s forgiveness of our national sins.
Cindy Jacobs, co-founder of Generals International who earlier had
issued a prophetic word about this being a turning point for America,
prayed that Canadians would forgive Americans for invading Canada in
the War of 1812.
Prayers continued to alternate with music in the early hours of
TheCall. Rather than sermons, leaders offered comments about abortion
or racism or turning Detroit around spiritually. Engle said he
believed a new “sound of worship” would come out of Detroit, the
same city famous for producing the “Motown” sound.
I decided only a few days before I went that the Lord wanted me to
drop everything and attend. I’m glad I was obedient.