Tennessee legislators are calling for 31 days of prayer and fasting in The Volunteer State beginning July 1, imploring the state’s citizens to “seek God’s hand of mercy healing on Tennessee.”

The state’s lawmakers approved House Joint Resolution 803 overwhelmingly in a 27-1 vote in the Senate in an 82-6 vote in the House.

Tennessee’s governor subsequently approved the resolution on April 16.

The proclamation mentions numerous ailments that place the state in need of God’s mercy – the pervasiveness of violent crime, human trafficking, drug addiction, and 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, adding,

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 recognize 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 the that 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 our nation’s second President John Adams, who issued a similar proclamation on April 15, 1799:

[This day] be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain, as far as may be, from their secular occupation, and devote the time to the sacred duties of religion, in public and in private; that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer.

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, 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.

Consider ways you can seek God’s mercy in your own life, even if you don’t live in Tennessee. We need all the prayer and fasting we can get.

Related articles and resources:

President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation Reminds Us to Give Thanks

The Christian History of Thanksgiving in America

Let’s Not Omit God from the National Day of Prayer

Presidential Prayers: Turning to God in Times of Need

Focus on the Family: Faith

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