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Why Tennessee Has Officially Declared A Month Of Prayer And Fasting

by | Mon, Jul 1 2024

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Tennessee legislators are calling for 31 days of prayer and fasting across the state from July 1st to the 31st, imploring that the state’s citizens “seek God’s hand of mercy healing on Tennessee.” The state’s lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the resolution in a bipartisan vote with only a handful opposing the bill.

The proclamation mentions numerous social problems that place the state in need of God’s mercy. They include the pervasiveness of violent crime, human trafficking, drug addiction, drunk driving, the 9,000 children in need of foster care, and corruption in the federal government that “stands to impact every Tennessean.”

“We recognize that God, as Creator and King of all Glory, has both the authority to judge and to bless nations or states,” the resolution declares, continuing: “We, as public servants in the Tennessee General Assembly, seek God’s Mercy upon our land and beseech Him to not withdraw His Hand of blessing from us. We recognise our sins and shortcomings before Him and humbly ask His Forgiveness. We ask the Lord Jesus to heal our land and remove the violence, human-trafficking, addiction, and corruption. We ask that the Holy Spirit fill our halls of government, our classrooms, our places of business, our churches, and our homes with peace, love, and joy.”

The resolution calls on all those who are “physically able and spiritually inclined to do so to join in a thirty-day season of prayer and intermittent fasting … as a means of seeking God’s blessing and humbling ourselves to receive His Grace and Mercy, transforming ourselves, our communities, our State, and our Nation.”

The resolution cites the example of the nation’s second President John Adams, who issued a similar proclamation on April 15, 1799:

Focus On the Family’s Daily Citizen reports: “Our nation has a great history of seeking God’s forgiveness and mercy during times of need. In fact, the custom began with our very first President George Washington and was continued by Presidents John Adams, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln and others. During the Constitutional Convention, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 25 to September 17, 1787, [Founding Father] Benjamin Franklin observed that the convention would not succeed without God’s help. Therefore, he proposed that the convention be opened each day with prayer.”

“We live in difficult and troubling times from the rise of “transgenderism” to the prevalence of abortion, wars, corruption, human trafficking and economic hardship, just to name a few. It’s truly encouraging that Tennessee is continuing our nation’s long-held tradition of imploring God’s mercy and pardon,” the Daily Citizen continued.

The bill was introduced by Republican lawmakers Monty Fritts and Senator Mark Pody with 30 other State politicians acting as co-sponsors. In a letter addressed to Christian residents of Tennessee, they described the bill’s historic passage as “bipartisan recognition that the issues we are facing cannot be effectively addressed without the intervention and favour of our Lord.”

“We are respectfully inviting you to join with us in leading the people of God across Tennessee into a time of humbling ourselves, praying, seeking God’s Face, and repentance during July. Let us model for those who are not called by His Name a better way to bring about the positive changes we so desperately need,” the pair urged.

They invited believers to examine their lives in the light of God’s Word and to acknowledge that “We, as the Church, have failed to stand for the principles of God, ask for His Forgiveness and Mercy, and commit to stand firmly on those principles going forward”. Representative Fritts and Senator Cody plan to visit all 95 counties in the state to visit courthouses and places of worship to read the resolution and call on Tennesseans to repent and pray for God’s mercy.

Intercessors for America which prays for US governments and their leaders observes that while state governors have often issued similar proclamations in the past, it is “rare to have a state Congress petition a sincere cry to God to intervene in the affairs of human beings”.

Tennessee is the 16th most populous state in the US with the tenth highest homicide rate. Its capital Nashville is often referred to as the “Buckle of the Bible belt.” It’s home to the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as Christian publishers Thomas Nelson and LifeWay Christian Resources, and a large number of contemporary Christian music labels.