BATON ROUGE, La. (Christian Examiner) – Between 4,000 and 8,000 people at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the Louisiana State University campus did without lunch or even coffee for six hours Saturday, January 24, choosing instead to fast and pray for revival.
"When I first walked into the PMAC [Pete Maravich Assembly Center] I was struck by the sight and sound of thousands of people of all denominations and races, holding hands in small circles and praying together," Mark Hunter, a member of Istrouma Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, said. "During an LSU basketball game you can feel the rise and fall of energy of the crowd as the game progresses, but at this event I could actually feel a buzz of the Holy Spirit in the building! It was powerful!"
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had called for The Response as a means to seek God's intervention in the present cultural decline and to ask His restoration of the strength of the United States of America.
Jindal had mailed a letter to each of the nation's 49 other governors, asking them to join him in the six hours of prayer and fasting. Likewise, he had dispatched 100,000 letters to pastors and other Christian leaders, inviting them to join him in Issachar Training, to learn the process and potential pitfalls of running for political office.
About 200 men and women took part in the Issachar Training event on Friday--20 percent of the 1,000 Christian leaders David Lane hopes will enter the political arena for the 2016 election.
Lane, founder and director of the American Renewal Project, and a Christian political activist, said he believes God gave him the idea that if 1,000 Christians ran for school board, city council or any elective office, it would radically change the nation for the better.
American Renewal Project funded the Issachar Training event on Friday and The Response on Saturday.
Jindal left the prayer rally for a time on Saturday to participate in an anti-abortion rally, but he did not go to Des Moines, Iowa, where several politicians with presidential aspirations spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit, described as the earliest showing of both candidate and voter interest.
Outside the Pete Maravich Center on Saturday afternoon there were perhaps 400 protestors waving rude signs and shouting anti-Jindal and anti-Christian chants. They claimed those inside were "haters" because they chose to believe in biblical marriage instead of gay marriage. Several speakers urged prayers for them and the response each time was uniformly loving in spirit.
Gov. Jindal, who had said the Response was a non-political event, gave his personal testimony when it was one of his three turns on stage for major addresses.
His was a seven-year odyssey marked by the seeds of Christian faith dropped by others along his journey through life, he said.
One day he was invited to a black-and-white film at a youth rally at The Chapel, a non-denominational church on LSU's campus. The movie included a scene of the crucifixion of Jesus, and that is when he understood Jesus had died for him.
"The single most important moment in my life is the moment I found Jesus Christ," Jindal, 43, said. "Actually, He found me. I'm the one who was lost.
"It hit me that that was really the Son of God – that He is really up there on that cross dying because of me and my sins – what I have done and what I've failed to do," Jindal said. "I don't mean he's up there for all of humanity, he's not up there for billions of people – he's up there for me, Bobby Jindal. How arrogant for me to do anything but get on my knees and worship Him."
Among other statements during this 25-minute message, Jindal said, "We need a spiritual revival to fix what ails our nation." Later he said, "Our God wins!"
During one of his times on stage, the governor prayed for God to give President Barack Obama the strength to do his job.
Jindal, considered by many to be in contention for the presidency in 2016, has repeatedly said he will decide "in a couple of months."