TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Gospel music and divine inspiration lifted several hundred to people their feet. Their faith in Christ brought them down on their face.
Shawn- Marie Cole, who with her father, Pastor Walt Kallestad, created the ReignDown non-profit organization, gathered several hundred believers in a meeting of unity and repentance at MacLennan Park.
She asked the crowd of more than 500, packed tightly in a large tent just steps from Cedar Crest, to pray for themselves and this country.
"I want us to pray for the nation," the 38-year-old called out.
"We desperately need to as a nation, get on our face before God," she said.
Cole, who is from Arizona, says she herself was once lost, but a crisis restored her faith. In 2002, she said, her father suffered a heart attack.
"I was probably your typical "Footloose" pastor's kid," she said. "When I saw him have a heart attack, I just cried out, 'God, why are you taking my dad?' I got really upset and I turned around and I heard God say, "But what are you doing to me?"
The ReignDown movement was born, beginning with a prayer gathering in Washington D.C. in 2008.
Cole says God also pointed her to Kansas.
"I'm calling you to the heart, the heart of this nation," she said. "I didn't know where the heart was, I looked on a map and saw that Kansas, and Lebanon is actually the contiguous epicenter of this nation," she said.
Cole says from Lebanon, God led her to Governor Sam Brownback, who in turn was led to this gathering.
"This isn't about policy or politics, this is about us as a nation and our motto "In God We Trust," he said.
Brownback has proclaimed this a "Day of Restoration" in support of the ReignDown event - a move adding to criticism that he's overstepping his constitutional boundaries.
The governor says if that's the case, he's in good company.
"Well then I'm following in the tradition of Washington, Lincoln," he said. "It's a pretty good crowd."
Brownback says no state funds were used to put on this event.