Fellow pastors, the turmoil, corruption, inequity and distress we are experiencing in our nation today can be addressed. It can be reversed. Our culture can be transformed. Will it take humbling ourselves before the Lord? Yes. Will it take concerted and united prayer? Yes. Will it take an awakening in the body of Christ? Yes. However, all these things are possible if we will return to God’s Word, principles and precepts as the basis for our lives and seek His face and fire on behalf of ourselves, families, churches and land.

Nothing is too far gone or out of reach that God cannot revive it. Yet, in order to turn our nation to God, we—His people—must make a collective effort to return to Him first.

Revivals do not happen spontaneously. Awakenings do not happen unknowingly. Rather, they are first conceived in people’s hearts, then fed through prayer and fasting, which then give birth to the organization of and call for localized and collective solemn assemblies, thereby giving way to lasting transformation.

Whenever a solemn assembly or sacred gathering was called in Scripture, it often was called by those in leadership, whether that was a priest, prophet or king.1 Often it first would be called for a specific, smaller leadership sphere before spreading to the entire nation. In America, our historical records verify that prior to every national awakening, the spiritual leadership of the day placed a heavy emphasis on fasting and gathering for times of solemn assemblies, typically in smaller groups that then led to larger gatherings.

During its inception, God often will speak to people in separate locations, giving them a similar vision of the need for this type of gathering. As a result, synergy arises between denominations and leadership that might not have been there before.

A solemn assembly for the purpose of restoration is a sacred gathering in which God’s people, during a specific time of fasting and prayer, seek the renewal of their relationship with Him through the repentance of sin and the passionate pursuit of the return of His presence in their midst. It also can be defined as a specific move of God, by His Holy Spirit, through His leadership where He gathers the saints to Himself.

Biblical history is replete with a similar theme of the assembling of the saints and God’s subsequent restoration. After all, God has a heart for reconciliation. From the garden in Genesis to heaven in Revelation, God ushers a call repeatedly for reconciliation prior to issuing judgment. He is swift to spare if we will ask Him for new hearts and new spirits. This is His prescribed pathway to seeing hope restored and lives transformed (Eze. 18:30-31).

It is time we called the body of Christ together for a national, solemn assembly in order to seek God’s hand of healing in our land.

1 2 Chronicles 12:1-8, Rehoboam; 2 Chronicles 15:1-19, Asa; 2 Chronicles 20:1-29, Jehoshaphat; 2 Chronicles 29-31, Hezekiah; 2 Chronicles 34, Josiah; Ezra 10:7-9, Ezra; Nehemiah 8-9, Nehemiah; Joel 1-2, Joel.

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About The Author

Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of over 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. The first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, he has been named one of the 12 Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World by Baylor University. His radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on more than 1,200 US outlets daily and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans launched the Tony Evans Training Center in 2017, an online learning platform providing quality seminary-style courses for a fraction of the cost to any person in any place. The goal is to increase Bible literacy not only among lay people but also among those Christian leaders who cannot afford nor find the time for formal ongoing education. For more information, visit TonyEvans.org

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