It is nearly impossibly to summarize a truly amazing weekend and in many ways, a historic weekend in the ongoing fight for religious liberty! Renewed hope…a strengthened resolve…a sharpened focus…a bold declaration and an energized movement! These are just some of the descriptors as over 50 members of Congress and state legislators were joined by a few high-level leaders at the recent LIFFT America Religious Liberty Summit held in Charlotte, North Carolina. All told, 25 different states—half the country—was represented!
We gathered together to identify relevant trends and threats to religious freedom and coordinate a tactical strategy that will challenge the anti-faith movement in this country. Although one of the winter season’s worst storms hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions—canceling and delaying hundreds of flights—participants still arrived full of enthusiasm and support. Why? Because they understood the extraordinary significance of the Summit.
Government leaders collectively said, “Enough! We will not sit idly by and watch our nation’s history and Judeo-Christian heritage be rewritten with a false narrative!”
As government leaders discussed ways to effectively equip and mobilize the country, I couldn’t help but reflect on other gatherings that took place over 200 years ago. The seeds of democracy and true freedom were first planted and nurtured by patriots who met in Boston’s Faneuil Hall to address their grievances toward an unrelenting British government, by legislators who held strategic discussions at Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg after the House of Burgesses was dissolved, and of course, at Carpenter’s Hall and the State House in Philadelphia, representing the genesis for the Declaration of Independence and our beloved Constitution.
We truly experienced a cohesive effort among all those who attended, to rise up and make a difference for the next generation. LIFFT—Leaders Inspiring Faith & Freedom To America—captured the very essence and spirit of what we hoped to accomplish during this special meeting. This unique, and first-of-its-kind, strategic Summit was convened by the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation in conjunction with Congressman J. Randy Forbes and Senator James Lankford (co-chairs of the Congressional Prayer Caucus); Lt. Colonel Allen West, Honorary Chairman of the CPCF; and key members of Congress. These are some of the most committed leaders in our nation and they are willing to stand up and fight for our religious liberties. It’s one thing for ordinary citizens to make this kind of bold statement within the marketplace of ideas, but to witness our government leaders step to the forefront and be counted among those who believe in our core values and beliefs, it brings great joy and ignites a spark of hope that we really do have a voice in the halls of power.
The goal was to walk away with an action plan that would unite like-minded people of faith and for them to see that our leaders are “All In” when it comes to their unwavering defense of America’s founding principles. The leaders who attended the Summit signed a Call to Prayer Proclamation, not only urging the citizens of our nation to prayer, but to ensure that God is welcome in the public square by promoting the widespread display of our National Motto, “In God We Trust.” These are just first steps—stay tuned!
When the Proclamation was signed, the gravity of the ceremony was palpable throughout the room and there was a quiet recognition that this was indeed another sacred moment in American history. The synergy of each prayer, the solemn commitment from each leader, and the presence of God’s Spirit, all came together as we commemorated this powerful moment of personal decision. No one needed to be reminded of the critical hour in which we now live. The reality that our freedom is at stake was clearly evident, and the sacrificial call to protect our First Amendment rights was lying before us on a parchment of paper. Each signature was a humble declaration that proclaimed, “Here I am, send me!”
There were many positive responses; however this one was particularly significant, “Just wanted you to know how encouraged I was by the Summit. It was THE most encouraging meeting I’ve ever been to or been aware of concerning the future of our nation.” We hoped that each one would leave inspired by this growing, national network of praying government leaders; and believe for brighter days ahead.
Some consider our country too far gone, slipping beyond the brink and into a chasm of godlessness, but we know better. The Lord often uses a small group of God-fearing, freedom-loving people committed to prayer and standing for truth, in order to transform a nation. John Quincy Adams, the nation’s sixth President, said, “Duty is ours; results are God’s.” There are many modern-day patriots who are ready and willing to band together for the revival of American values and liberty. Although the torch of freedom is flickering, it is not yet extinguished.
This Summit was a tremendous undertaking and we want to thank you for your faithful prayers and financial support. We realize it is not going to be easy or automatic, but we do believe it will be worth it. In the upcoming weeks, we will be inviting more government leaders, as well as citizens, to unite in prayer and action.
We feel hope arising in the hearts of Americans. Please, please keep these leaders lifted up. Also, pray for us as we seek creative ways to support their efforts with excellence. It’s not too late for America! This is not about one person or one group, but about God’s people joining in unity with one voice and one heart. The baton of our Founding Fathers has been passed to this generation—we must, “not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9).