Churches across the state of Tennessee experienced what some described as “waves of repentance and revival” during a time of unified prayer and fasting in January and February.
A 30-day prayer and fasting initiative called Awaken Tennessee involved more than 1,000 churches in ten major cities or counties. In Nashville, more than 600 churches participated in unified prayer. John Butler, pastor of East Rogersville Baptist Church in Rogersville, TN, says that for many years he has been a student of revival, and he prayed fervently for it.
“I think for us this really is a Word-driven and prayer-focused time of revival,” Butler says. “When you look back at the first, second, and even third Great Awakenings, you see this word excesses, strange things happening. We’re not seeing any of that.
“What we’re seeing is [that] God’s presence is in this place, and people are convicted of sin. They repent. If they’ve got a relationship with Jesus, they repent, and He cleanses them. If they don’t have a relationship with Jesus . . . they’re born into the Kingdom.”
According to The Christian Broadcasting Network, the call across the state to fast and pray began in 2019 when Pastor Dave Clayton of Nashville’s Ethos Church led 400 churches to unite and pray for every resident of the city. Other pastors, of various denominations throughout the state, replicated the initiative in their communities.
Sheldon Livesay, East Tennessee coordinator for Awaken Tennessee, says that “there has been a 50-year history of intense prayer across our region.”