People worship outside the California tent at Awaken the Dawn.
People worship outside the California tent at Awaken the Dawn. (Jessilyn Justice)

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Worship and prayer tents line the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in the very same spots where millions have gathered in previous years to cry out for change. This time, though, these tents are spiritually charged with the presence of the Lord.

Shofars sound. Millennials jump in praise. Hands raise. Messages in tongues are spoken so unashamedly that anyone walking by can hear. There is a tent from each state and then some for a total of 58. Each has an "Appeal to Heaven" banner hanging proudly while people openly rebuke principalities and break strongholds.

This is Awaken the Dawn.

Will Ford, Mike Berry, Larry Tomczak, Doug Stringer, Dick Eastman and Nick Hall are just some of the men and women who prophesied and declared hope and revival from a stage positioned in between the Washington Monument and our nation's capitol building. It's hard to gauge an attendance count, as people mill about 24-7 to encounter the Lord.

Those who work the tents have traveled from as far as Alaska and Hawaii, anxious to be part of a birthing ground for revival. Attendees want to see abortion end in Lou Engle's lifetime, for the church to be a catalyst in ending racism. But most importantly, they want a nation completely surrendered to the Lord.

"We stood in awe as a nation when an eclipse went across our country," Ford says from the stage. "Well we've heard from the hurricanes. We've heard from the floods. We've heard from the shots in Las Vegas that went around the world, but God would you hear the cries of mothers in this hour who are crying out for their sons and daughters to be set free in the suburbs from the opiate crisis? Would you hear the cries of mothers in the inner city crying out for deliverance from black-on-black crime, from crack-cocaine addictions? ... We've heard from all the crises God, but would you release something that would eclipse every move of the Spirit? Will we hear from Heaven, God? We want to hear from Heaven!"

This is an event—and perhaps one of the largest revivals of our time—decades in the making, says cultural commentator and author Larry Tomczak.

Tomczak moved to Washington after college where he became part of a movement of young people desperate to see the country on fire for the Lord. It was the beginning of the Jesus Movement and the moment when, Tomczak says, David Bradshaw had the vision for Awaken the Dawn.

"God launched my ministry from this simple prayer furnace. He did the same either directly or indirectly with other major leaders touching the world like Che Ahn, Lou Engle [and] Tom Hess," Tomczak says. "At this same church in January of this year, a young zealot named David Bradshaw, who previously sat under our teaching ministry, shared for the first time with Lou Engle the vision of the A.T.D. gathering on the DC Mall. Fifty-seven tents, filled with dedicated Christians from every state and territory in America, would gather for a four day epic event to celebrate Jesus Christ and appeal to heaven for a fresh Jesus movement in our day."

This weekend, the city saw it come to pass.

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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