Thursday evening in Nashville, the major auditorium for concerts in "Music City USA" was packed to the rafters for a free event that participants pray would shake the city and beyond. They came not to hear Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood or Blake Shelton but rather to worship, pray and be spiritually awakened in these turbulent times.
What follows is my takeaway.
Night to Worship, Humble Ourselves, Pray and Be Awakened
Spiritual awakenings occur when the Spirit of God moves on God's people to humble themselves, come before His presence, confess their sins and pledge to turn their hearts back to Him. Our belief was that this coming together could be a catalyst for a fresh move of God in our city plus trigger similar divine interventions in other cities across America.
Nashville is currently labeled one of America's "It" cities. It is a hub of music, artistic creativity, incredible growth, activity and potential. Could it be that as leaders and the people of God align themselves with scriptural principles, God would actually show up in a supernatural way?
With only a couple months to get the word out to the Christian community on a shoestring budget and mostly social media/word-of-mouth promotion, what were the ingredients?
- It would be an evening of God-centered worship. In other words, no soulish whipping up the crowd with excessive emotion and manipulation from high-powered worship leaders and phony worship teams that appear more narcissistic than near to God.
- The focal point would be intentional prayer in accordance with 2 Chronicles 7:14. " If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." A diversity of prayer leaders led out in short but specific prayer points without starting to preach, pray in tongues, or go on and on as many glance at watches, wondering, How long is this gonna go on?
- Because "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6b, there would be no emphasis or promotion of leaders, ministries, titles or achievements. Instead there was a nameless, faceless fraternity of servant leaders who simply came to seek God's presence and do whatever was needed to promote unity and humility among the people of God.
[Note: About 400 leaders gathered two hours prior to the main gathering to enjoy Spirit-led fellowship, build relationships and pray together for the blessing of God on our time together.]
- The atmosphere was casual, and the auditorium was filled to capacity as the understanding was clear: We need God to awaken in us a greater hunger for Him and intervene to see transformation in our churches and culture today.
- No offering was received, but baskets were positioned afterwards to help fund a local Christian homeless mission serving the poor and homeless for many years.
Michael W. Smith Led Worship with No Hype or Histrionics
Michael W. Smith is a Grammy award-winning song writer and worship leader. He led the 20,000 gathered in a skillful and humble way that exulted Jesus not himself.
Imagine an auditorium jammed with passionate worshipers whose focus was on Jesus and not an insecure, manipulative showman who seemed more intent on entertaining than exulting the one we came to honor. At the end of the night, there wouldn't be one person among the masses who felt Michael fit the latter description.
Here's the deal: My wife and I plus scores of Christians left Nashville's Bridgestone Arena hours ago energized to honor Jesus and do all we can to help foster a fresh move of God here and across America. We hope what we experienced spills over into your locality and your local church.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). Hear his weekly podcast here.
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