I would never base the foundation of this powerful move on this one thought, but on the lighter side, I was also pondering, “How can I vote for Jesus?” Maybe you’ve seen signs that say: “JESUS FOR PRESIDENT” and chuckled a bit, but the psalmist declared: Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. Psalm 22:3, NKJV Let’s get our praise on and vote for Jesus. Our President gets sworn in based on our votes, but Jesus is enthroned by our praises. Hallelujah! In February of 2012, I was still brooding on this vision, so much so that when our third son was born that month, we named him Anthem. An anthem is a song that carries identity with it. The anthem of a revival, school, sports team or nation is the song that encapsulates the identity of that movement or people. I began to see, in faith, a song that would shift the identity of our nation to be centered around Jesus. I went to a friend of mine here in D.C., Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, for advice. He had organized many events here and had often worked with the National Park Service (which administers much of the public space in the Capital City). I approached him now with my many questions: Where could we do something like this? How did we get the needed permits? Was it even possible? Rev. Mahoney had never heard of a fortyday permit being granted to anyone for an activity on the National Mall, and if anyone was an expert on what was possible, he was it. Pushing the limits is Rev. Mahoney’s M.O., and activism is his specialty. He is a friend, and his experience was incredibly helpful. He told me frankly that he thought it was impossible to get a permit for that length of time anywhere on the National Mall area. Personally he had never heard of a permit being granted for more than fourteen days of activity. We discussed the possibility of seeking McPherson Square as an alternative location. McPherson is a local park a couple of blocks from the White House, but not within view of it. Rev. Mahoney thought that getting a forty-day permit for McPherson Square might be more within the realm of possibility. Occupy DC, the D.C. manifestation of the Occupy Wall Street movement, had set up camp in McPherson Square for months that previous fall. “If they did it,” he reasoned, “then so can we.” Because Rev. Mahoney had developed a great relationship with the National Park Service, he offered to go on my behalf and see if McPherson Square was a possibility. Our understanding was that he would wait a couple of weeks before going. I was on another forty-day fast and wanted to finish it before he went. I don’t know if Rev. Mahoney forgot our agreement or just couldn’t wait that long. If you know him, you know that he salivates at wild visions. I was about on day thirty of the fast when I got a rather frantic phone call from him. The Bible, from time to time, uses the phrase “and suddenly,” when God did something amazing and life-changing. I had no idea that I was about to be interrupted with an “and-suddenly” moment. Rev. Mahoney had gone to the National Park Service office and asked for permit information for the use of McPherson Square. The ranger in charge went into another room to check for availability, and then came what I call “the miracle moment.” “Rev. Mahoney,” she called out to him, “The Ellipse 5 is open!” And with those words, I believe that God shouted a call of invitation to the people of America. For those who are not familiar with the Ellipse, it is an oval-shaped park within view of our President’s bedroom window. It lies smack dab between the White House and the Washington Monument. It was no wonder that Rev. Mahoney phoned me rather frantically. He was even then filling out the permit application, and I hadn’t given him any dates. “Jason, what are the dates?” he asked. I wasn’t prepared for this. After all, it was ten days earlier than I had anticipated, and I hadn’t finished my fast. I once heard an old adage, “God’s never early, but He’s always on time.” I’m sure you’ve heard that too. It’s a nice saying, but what happens when He actually is early and you’re not prepared? When I had talked with Rev. Mahoney about seeking a permit, we had considered it to be an impossibility, or at least a long shot, something like a football Hail Mary pass to the end zone. I wasn’t at all sure it could even happen. Now, with Rev. Mahoney suddenly on the other end of the line, filling out the paperwork at the National Park Service office and needing a date, I did some quick math in my head. “There are thirty-one days in October,” I thought. “Election Day is November 6th. That would be thirty-seven days.” To be honest, with the pressure of Rev. Mahoney on the other end of the line, filling out the permit application at the NPS Office, I stopped counting and just pulled my birthday — September 25 — out of thin air. Surely that would give us enough time. “September 25th through November 6th!” I barked back over the phone, acting like I had known the dates all along. I knew David was thirty-seven years old when he brought the Ark into Jerusalem, and on September 25, 2012, I was going to turn thirty-seven, so it felt right. Rev. Mahoney filled out the application, and two days later it was approved. It was more than we had asked for, but not more than we had dreamed. I must confess that, in our unbelief, we had joked about the Ellipse during the conversation in which we had settled on asking for McPherson Square. “Wouldn’t that be crazy?” I had said, “Right off President Obama’s back porch!” Well, the “crazy” had actually happened. We had gone to the authorities, asking for a permit for McPherson Square and come back with one for the White House Ellipse instead, and we hadn’t even asked for that. This miracle moment had the fingerprints of the Lord all over it. This was truly a work of God. I firmly believe that, with the act of giving us the White House Ellipse as a venue, God was calling to America, “I desire to be central again!” He is calling, and I hope we are listening. He was raising up David’s fallen tent, and I was humbled to have a front-row seat.