Do you pray for a spiritual revival in the United States?
If so, God is answering those fervent prayers in a glorious way.
In the last several weeks, an unexpected wave of renewal has swept across Tennessee.
The revival was sparked by a movement called Awaken Tennessee. Led by several pastors across the state, the movement has urged churches to take part in thirty days of fasting and prayer.
Barbi Franklin, one of the organizers of Awaken Tennessee, said, “[It] began with…a fasting movement we saw in Nashville, Tennessee last year. A leader, a young humble pastor started a 30-day fast and 400 churches joined him.”
Nashville pastor Dave Clayton of Ethos Church had united 400 churches to pray for “every single resident” of their beloved city.
So this year, Franklin and others were hoping to get another 400 churches to participate in a statewide version of the movement. But they may have underestimated God’s power!
Instead of just 400, over 1,000 congregations across the state of Tennessee pledged to fast, pray, and seek God!
“Basically this year, more churches wanted to participate, so there are literally over a thousand churches participating this year in this 30-day fast,” Franklin added.
“This year, what we saw was that all of the churches that had already heard about [last year’s movement] really wanted to join and participate as well this year.”
The 30-day movement, which lasted from January 26 until March 1, lit a fire of spiritual revival across the state of Tennessee.
The churches that participated in the Awaken movement had hoped for revival, but many of them were not expecting to witness such an incredible season of repentance, conviction, rededication, and salvation in their communities.
“In the past you’ve had revivals that have been somewhat based in one thing or another,” said Pastor John Butler, who leads East Rogersville Baptist Church in Rogersville, Tennessee.
“I think for us this really is a Word-driven and prayer-focused time of revival.”
The spiritual movement is based on a deep hunger for the Word of God and a desire for communion with God, and it didn’t take long before churches were seeing the effects of the Scriptures and prayer.
“About a week into this fast, we had [been] invited to this church and they had revival meetings scheduled already,” reported Franklin.
“And as soon as the service began, and the worship began, it was such a beautiful experience to see people running to the altar with no invitation. And that’s a sign of revival.”
This church wasn’t the only one experiencing intense spiritual renewal. Congregations across the state began to see changes in their members and their communities.
“What we’re seeing is God’s presence is in this place,” Pastor Butler said. “People are convicted of sin, they repent. If they’ve got a relationship with Jesus, they repent and He cleanses them.”
Many Tennessee Christians are now experiencing a deeper relationship with God and flourishing in their spiritual lives – even unbelievers have been affected by the revival too!
“If they don’t have a relationship with Jesus that’s what happens, they’re born into the Kingdom,” Butler continued. “We’re seeing people saved. God’s doing a considerable work.”
It’s not a complicated process. Fasting, prayer, and the Word of God is changing the hearts and minds of Tennessee’s people.
“People are coming and we’re worshiping God and God is changing lives,” Butler added. “People are getting serious about dealing with personal sin and people were coming to Christ for salvation.”
The effects of the revival have proven to be a powerful witness to the Gospel.
“30-year feuds were made right, relationships have been restored, and many masks have been removed,” Butler concluded. “People made public confessions of sin, bitterness, and laziness about their involvement in God’s kingdom activity.”
God’s presence is powerful, and He’s been on the move in Tennessee for a long time.
“There has been a 50-year history of intense prayer across our region,” noted Sheldon Livesay, the East Tennessee coordinator for Awaken Tennessee. “And the last two years we’ve seen God lead cities of churches together to do prayer walks, crusades, and tent revivals.”
Livesay added, “Awaken Tennessee…has brought that extra Holy Spirit presence through prayer and fasting that we see exploding in church after church.”
“I absolutely believe it could [lead to nationwide revival],” said Franklin, who is excited by the possibility of the movement expanding beyond Tennessee.
Franklin urges Christians everywhere in America to pursue prayer, fasting, and the Word in hopes of continuing the revival.
“If the people of God will press into Him in prayer…it absolutely could inspire another great awakening.”
Praise God for His work in Tennessee, and pray that a revival will spread across the nation. America needs God’s power and presence more than ever!