This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
STUART, Florida – Sporting T-shirts reading "Binge Jesus" and "Team Jesus," the organizers of the 90-hour Bible Reading Marathon now taking place in the seaside city of Stuart, Florida, are urging more people to take part as they voice God's Word out loud on government property, praying for both the United States and Israel in its current conflict with Islamic terrorists.
"We want to bless Israel and we want to bless the United States, and we have to pray of the peace of Jerusalem," said Donna Healton, who co-founded the annual event with her late husband Gene Healton of the Spirit of Prophecy Ministries in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks against America on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Those things that are happening over there right now could be happening here in America, 'cause they call them 'the Little Satan' and us 'the Big Satan.' So we need to stand with Israel. It's important."
Donna Healton has since turned over the reins of the marathon to Eddie and Joanne Rodrigues of Step Into Grace Ministries in Port St. Lucie, Florida, who have been posting videos of the event online, encouraging people from all over America to read for 15 minutes before letting someone else continue.
"Please come out and be a part of this because it's special in more ways than we can ever say on a video," said Joanne Rodrigues. "Share this massively with friends and family."
Her husband Eddie explains: "We do 90 straight hours of proclaiming God's Word out loud from Genesis to Revelation."
"We just have a wonderful time gathering the community of Stuart, of Martin County, on the Treasure Coast stretching all the way from Miami to Orlando. Readers come out, even over the phone reaching out from Georgia to North Carolina people actually read over the phone and call in. ... We're actually proclaiming God's Word."
"The city supports it, the county supports it, local businesses support it, other ministries, churches, youth ministries, ladies ministries, men's ministries," he continued.
"It's a beautiful, beautiful time of uniting the body of Christ and non-believers as well. They just come out and enjoy it and see that it unites the community and everyone comes together, and that's really what it's about because our country has been so against each other and fighting and divided. That's not what this great nation is all about."
He also says readers should not fret over any difficult names in Scripture.
"We're not here to judge you or give you a grade on the pronunciations of all the words. Trust me, if anyone gets them wrong and messes them up, it's me. I don't care. I'm reading God's Word out loud. Not many countries can say that, but we can right here."
"There's parents that come out with their children and we have little platforms they can stand on," he said. "This is what a Christ-like gathering is."
The event, which began Saturday evening at 6 p.m., is taking place at the city band shell at Veterans Memorial Park, and, "The band shell actually faces, geographically, it faces Jerusalem. It faces Israel," he said. "Right now we know Israel is going through some tough times. Keep praying for them."
Donna Healton recounted the inception of the Bible Reading Marathon just after the 9/11 terror attacks.
"It happened right after the [Twin] Towers came down," she explained.
"God spoke to me and said it would be protection for our nation. And we're on government property. That's a miracle! In some cities and states, you can't do that. Some of them take the Ten Commandments away. We have the Ten Commandments down there."
"Someone came over that first night and said they couldn't sleep because they heard the Word of God and were so excited. People would come at night and sit and cry. People would come and just be touched. All types of different people came and it was just awesome."
She refers to the event as a "divine appointment and a "God thing," and asks for readers to volunteer even during the overnight hours: "Can you give God 15 minutes?"
Those seeking more information are encouraged to call 561-670-0469.