Prayer Targets: Nashville Awakening; All America; Day of Mourning; North Carolina Congressional Race
February 20, 2019
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:8)
Dear Praying Friends,
Larry Tomczak, evangelist, pastor, church planter and author, is a longtime member of Intercessors for America's (IFA) Board of directors. Known for his incisive cultural commentary, Larry's op-eds appear weekly in numerous online Christian publications. A friend for over 40 years, I am glad to share these excerpts from Larry's exciting recent commentary, 40,000 Christians Fasting, Praying Over Music City:
In over 40 years as a board member with a national prayer ministry, I've never witnessed what multitudes of us are experiencing here today.
Imagine 40,000 people from over 400 Christian churches uniting together to pray for everyone by name in our city and metropolitan area. Yet that is what's happening in Nashville as we anticipate a major move of God in our midst.
"Awaken Nashville" is the citywide, unified prayer and fasting initiative that began Jan. 27 with a packed kick-off event at historic Ryman Auditorium. It will conclude this Sunday, Feb. 24.
Intercessors from more than 400 churches willingly received a prayer warrior packet that included a unique list of 15 specific people to pray for during the month. It also included their addresses and postcards, to mail each one a handwritten note to encourage them, communicate hope and tell them of God's unchanging love.
A No-Competition Zone - In my 4 1/2 decades of full-time Christian ministry, I've watched repeatedly how envy, ambition, carnal promotion and strife go hand in hand undermining God's purposes for a church, ministry and the wider body of Christ (James 3:16). Satan knows "a house divided against itself will not stand" (see Mark 3:25), so he and his demons work overtime to foster polarization and fleshly pride.
In the Nashville area, we're committed to cultivating a culture of servant leaders committed to what leader and friend James Goll calls a "no-competition zone." We pray for God to help us reject our tendencies to remain isolated, so we can build relationally, avoid comparison, and come together truly to support each other. Ricky Scaggs and Michael W. Smith, both unquestionably famous, humbly take their places among us to advance the kingdom of God.
We believe there are essentials for cooperating with God for supernatural transformation of a locality. We must gain awareness of the urgency of the hour; be bold in addressing cultural issues like racism, abortion, immorality and so on; turn to God in humble prayer and fasting; and obey the Great Commission, sharing the gospel, consistently and calling people to repentance. Finally, leaders must intentionally pursue church renewal, trusting God for another Great Awakening.
We're also committed to be intergenerational in honoring spiritual fathers and mothers in the city as we co-labor with the upcoming generation of young men and women of God. Remember the beautiful acrostic, T.E.A.M.? Together Everyone Accomplishes More!
Fruit Is Coming Forth - Observers call Nashville "It City" because of our explosive growth and prosperity. Spiritual observers see something supernatural. Here are some visible developments:
- Months ago, about 18,000 Christians gathered in a large downtown auditorium for an evening of prayer and worship. Prior to the event, a couple hundred leaders and wives gathered for fellowship and prayer. Michael W. Smith led the evening's worship. It was a sacred assembly permeated by the manifest presence of God. Many exclaimed they'd never experienced anything like it!
- Praying that God would raise up righteous leaders and remove those who are not, we've seen a liberal, pro-abortion mayor resign abruptly after being exposed in a scandal of adultery and fraud.
- We've witnessed the election of our first female U.S. Senator, Marsha Blackburn, a devoted Christian. We elected Governor Bill Lee, a committed Christian who is uncompromisingly pro-life. Both govern by conservative principles, not political correctness.
- Recently, the last Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Nashville was closed. We must continue to engage in the monumental battle for the sanctity of human life.
- This week, our statewide newspaper, The Tennessean, featured an article with photographs of intercessors engaging in united prayer. People throughout our state learned of our endeavor.
- I met for brunch with the editor for civic engagement and the Op-Ed page. We are miles apart on many issues, including the LGBTQ agenda, but we are working together to nurture greater civility in our city.
We have a long way to go, but we are purpose driven and passionate for Jesus to be exalted in our families, churches and city. We thank God for His favor upon us here in Nashville. We take seriously God's promise 2 Chronicles 7:14.
David Clayton, pastor of Ethos Church, served to inspire and help us in this citywide "Awaken Nashville." He said, "It can be hard to get churches to just eat barbecue together... to see something spiritual like this has been absolutely amazing!" He cast the vision for unified prayer and fasting that God gave him and his wife. In this healthy spiritual atmosphere, it was easy to discern this as the will of God. Churches and ministries throughout the metro area came together for His glory. We believe the best is yet to come!
All America -- FRC recently had the privilege of hosting Mark Anderson, long-time senior leader with Loren Cunningham at Youth with a Mission (YWAM) and senior leaders from across America, who gathered to launch "All America." Anderson is an evangelist who, over the last four decades has reportedly led an estimated three million people to Christ around the world through evangelistic crusades, church planting, and discipleship ministry. Holding very similar values to those that shaped "Awaken Nashville," All America is focused on helping to unite every church and para-church ministry and every believer to fervently pray, seek God, repent, and engage in the Great Commission, in order to reach every single person in the United States within the next two years. This vision was born among world evangelists who have been working together to reach the lost for Christ since the First International Congress on World Evangelization met in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1974. They have seen a great move of God in and through the church around the globe, while, "at the same time America is in rapid spiritual and moral decline." These evangelists are of the conviction that God has granted America and the church a short reprieve, a window of opportunity for God's people to 1) repent, 2) strategically pray for every person in America, and 3) reach out and "connect every person in America with the gospel."
On top of the average American believer's sin inventory are prayerlessness and disregard for Christ's commands to reach the lost – the Great Commission. All America (AllAmerica.org) hopes to energetically cast the vision and help individuals, churches, and parachurch ministries return to their first love and work together strategically to reach America for Christ during the next two short years. They've got the know-how, tools, and the experience to help make happen in America what has happened in other countries. At FRC, we also contend that without revival and awakening, freedom in America cannot long endure. We rejoice in what is happening in Nashville and elsewhere. We will be praying for the All America vision to spread and for God's people to respond with heartfelt prayer and obedience. If we do, America might truly become One Nation under God again.
- God, help all of us to embrace both our cultural mandate, to be salt and light to our nation by being a righteous influence in every sphere of culture, and the Great Commission -- sharing the gospel of Christ with everyone we can reach. May we not wait for external motivation, but ask God to guide us, prompt us, and work through us, taking every opportunity we can to share Jesus Christ with those around us. May we be a part of seeing All America come to Christ in the two short years ahead! (Ps 9:8; 11:6-7; Is 58:6-8; Mt 5:13-16; Mt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15 ; Lk 11:2; John 9:4)
Activist Mommy Calls for Day of Mourning -- This Saturday, February 23, pro-life families will travel to Albany, N.Y. to join "Activist Mommy" Elizabeth Johnston for several hours of repentance, mourning, and prayer over the macabre New York abortion law which has horrified Americans, pro-life and pro-choice alike. Similar gatherings are taking place elsewhere around the country as well (see CBN Report; Free Tickets).
- Pray that God will hear the tears and the pleas of his people and turn the tide once and for all. Pray that pastors and churches will call for such appropriate and important days prayer in the face of the horrific things that are taking place in our nation. (Ex 2:24; 6:52; 2 Kgs 20:5; Est 4:3; Neh 1:4; Is 38:5; Jer 9:20; Lk 7:44)
North Carolina Congressional Race Still Not Resolved -- Former Baptist Pastor Mark Harris, now North Carolina Congressman-elect, had his election called into question because of illegal actions by one of his campaign contractors about which Harris had no knowledge. Even with the irregularities taken into account, Harris would still have won. Yet, the Democrat-majority Election Board will decide whether to certify his victory, call for an altogether new election, or override the entire process and give the Democrat-led House of Representatives the opportunity to decide the fate of Mark's victory. (Read the story)
- Pray that righteousness will be accomplished and that the voters will be honored in the outcome! (Ex 18:21; Pr 16:11; 20:10; Mt 23:23)
Thank you for praying. For many other issues that need our prayers, visit FRC.org.