Rapper Kanye West will be bringing his Sunday Service to Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday as part of a massive day-long event that many are believing God will use to help spark the next national spiritual awakening in the United States.
Awaken 2020 had been scheduled for months, with tens of thousands already registered to attend, before news broke that West and his Sunday Service Choir will be performing.
Event organizer David Herzog told The Western Journal that shortly after announcing West’s participation, the event’s website crashed for a brief time due to the flood of traffic.
While close to 30,000 had signed on beforehand to attend Awaken 2020 featuring Christian speakers and performers like Daniel Kolenda, Brian “Head” Welch (a founding member of the rock group Korn), Lou Engle (founder of The Call prayer movement), Cindy Jacobs, Guillermo Maldonado and worship leader Jeremy Riddle, registration for the free event tickets has spiked since.
Herzog said he fully anticipates Sun Devil Stadium will be filled to its 53,000+ capacity, with likely an overflow area needed to accommodate those who cannot fit inside.
The event planner said he had a “really strong impression” months ago that West was going to be part of Awaken 2020 and even had a dream about it a few weeks ago.
In fact, multiple members of Herzog’s staff and people he did not even know contacted him to say they had similar dreams.
However, it was less than two weeks before the event was to take place that West signed on.
The gathering is intended to launch a “new decade of awakening America back to God at a critical time in our nation’s history,” according to a news release from Herzog.
The organizers are trusting God will manifest his love and power to heal to the country, as people from different backgrounds come together to worship him.
Engle told The Western Journal that he had a vision driving by Sun Devil Stadium back in 1997 that there would be a significant Christian event there in the future.
“I just felt the Lord speak to me, ‘I will fill that stadium one day, and it will rock the nation,'” he said.
Engle shared his vision with a group of students of the campus of Arizona State University, where the stadium is located, later in the day.
“It was there in Phoenix that night when I prophesied over Sun Devil, that I declared the hearts of the fathers are turning to the children … but [also] the hearts of the children are going to turn to their fathers,” he said.
The evangelist was referencing the Bible verse Malachi 4:6.
“I gave that message, and it was one of the most powerful moments of my life, and it birthed The Call,” Engle said, which he launched in 2000, with a gathering of 400,000 young people on the Washington Mall to fast and to pray for the United States.
Several mass gatherings worldwide occurred in the following years.
In a promotional video for Awaken 2020, Engle said he believes the event will be “like the opening of the womb.”
“Arizona, you’re the ‘A’ state. You’re the state that can blow this thing open. Gather from the north, south and east and west, believing that Jesus the evangelist starting there at Sun Devil Stadium will be manifested all across America.”
Hal and Cheryl Sacks — leaders of Bridge Builders International — were at the meeting back in 1997 at ASU when Engle shared his vision about Sun Devil Stadium being filled.
For 40 years, the two have been organizing gatherings designed to bring Christians from different denominations together and to pray for spiritual revival in Arizona and nationwide.
Hal — who became a Christian during the Jesus movement in the 1960s — told The Western Journal he sees West as the modern-day example of what God was doing then.
“I think Kanye is the very parallel to what I saw, the long-haired and the hippies preaching from the pulpit in the ’60s,” Hal said.
His advice to the church is to “allow God to use this man of God to really shake up the lost with the pure gospel of Jesus Christ and a call to salvation.”
Hal recounted, “Every time there was a great revival or spiritual awakening, it was always preceded or accompanied by a new sound of worship. Always. Every generation with a great move of God brought with it a new sound.”
He cited worship groups like Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and Bethel Music as part of this in our time.
“We’re also seeing Kanye bringing his new sound to the table, and it’s really attracting a whole new world,” Hal said.
Cheryl said she believes what will happen in Arizona in the week leading up to Saturday’s Awaken 2020 will be “historic.”
The couple’s ministry is hosting their annual “Start the Year Off Right Conference” on Thursday and Friday at Hillsong Church in Mesa, Arizona, working in synergy with Awaken.
The Sacks have set aside times of prayer at their conference for God to move mightily at Awaken.
Jacobs, who is participating in both gatherings, said she believes God is about to do something powerful in America.
The Christian leader related in a recent video, “I see Arizona is like the ignition switch — and that God is getting ready to start things in Arizona that’s going shake the nation.”
“Remember the word of the Lord many years ago was, ‘Arizona, take the point!'” Jacobs said. “Arizona, you are going to be part of this awakening of the nation!”
Michael Maiden — lead pastor for Church for the Nations in Phoenix, which has helped promote Awaken 2020 — shares Jacobs and Engle’s belief that the gathering will be very spiritually significant.
“The importance of this event is both chronologic and even geographic that God would choose Arizona in January,” he told The Western Journal. “It’s like the first domino in a series of things that’s going to happen for the kingdom [of God].”
“God is saying, ‘It’s time for America,’ and so Phoenix just happens to be the place,” Maiden added.
“We’re excited for our nation,” the pastor said.
“Right in the middle of political turmoil, right in the middle of all kinds of international turmoil, God is doing something unique and transformative right here in Phoenix, Arizona.”
Maiden said he believes “2020 is God’s year.”
Engle is particularly enthusiastic about West’s participation in all of this.
“We believe Kanye is a sign to this nation that in a moment, thousands and thousands can be swept into the kingdom when [God] converts key people and their voices will be like thunder,” the evangelist said.
Sun Devil Stadium has hosted the Super Bowl and college football championship games, and was even featured in the 1996 hit movie “Jerry Maguire,” but what is about to happen there in terms of national, long-term significance may eclipse them all.
Many are believing it just may be the location used to launch the third Great Awakening.
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