Awaken Nashville is a thirty-day call to prayer for the city of Nashville. It began on January 26 and extends through February 23, 2020. We are participating this year along with over 537 local churches in Middle Tennessee representing several denominations in a practice that resembles the prayer meetings that preceded the Great Awakening. It is not too late for you to join in with us!
Everyone is asked to read a daily devotion provided by Awaken Nashville organizers, to keep a prayer journal during this time, and to pray daily for a list of people you know. Some of these people are your neighbors. Others may include those you see on a regular basis in the course of a normal week (cashiers, work associates, students and teachers, friends, etc.). Many in our church had one person they were praying for last year during the “Who’s Your One” emphasis. That one, and others like them, should round out your list of people you are praying for during Awaken Nashville 2020.
We are also encouraged to fast during this time. A fast can be for an extended period, or it can be for a regular interval during a season, possibly one or two days a week. Last year I suggested that participants considered a fast that begins on Tuesday night at bedtime and extends until dinner on Wednesday when you gather with your church family at our Wednesday night Fellowship Meal. We break our fast together and spend time in prayer and Bible study. If you are new to the practice of spiritual fasting, this may be a good way to ease into it. I commend this to you.
The Great Awakening was a time when churches in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and North America saw the hand of God at work convicting people of their sin, drawing them to express faith in Christ, and commit their lives to Him. Churches were filled with people. Bars were closed, jails were empty, police officers formed gospel-singing quartets because crime decreased, and pit ponies in the coal mines had to be retrained to respond to commands without profanity. It was a remarkable time that few of us can imagine.
I challenge you to imagine what a great awakening could look like in our day. Imagine churches filled again. Imagine our church filled on a Sunday morning. Imagine baptisms every time we gather for services. Imagine news anchors talking about good news because there was no bad news to report. Imagine having Bible study in your neighborhood because the hunger for God’s Word was that strong. Imagine our city changed for the glory of God.
If you can imagine it, you’ll want to see it happen. You’ll rearrange your life so that praying for an awakening becomes a consuming drive. Fasting won’t be a “thing to do” but your priorities will change in such a way that you forget to eat, or turn on the TV, or check your social media, or do a number of other things that have stood between you and God. You’ll pray, hard and fervently, for God to do something only God can do.
I know this: our church needs revival, but we will never know what a revival is apart from prayer. We are only kidding ourselves if we think otherwise. There’s no new book to read, no new song to sing, no new method or style of preaching, no new method or strategy that will bring revival or the kind of spiritual awakening that will fill a church. There’s only prayer.
Join us on this journey called Awaken Nashville 2020 and see if God will do something in your life, and consequently in your church that only God can do. If you are hungry for God, I’ll only have to ask you this one time. Pick up a prayer kit today from your church or go online to www.awakentn.com to download a prayer kit.
I hope to see you this Sunday in worship!