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story.lead_photo.caption From left, Sharon Williams, Alan Jean Varrin and Tammy Smith pray together Thursday during a tent revival on the Capitol lawn. This was Varrin's first time attending a tent revival. The tent is one of three locations in the state for a 50-hour nationwide prayer and worship service. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

The Missouri State Capitol grounds are one of three locations in the state for a nationwide prayer and worship event.

Awaken The Dawn is a grassroots movement of day and night worship, prayer and missions. The event started in Jefferson City on Thursday night and is scheduled to continue through 10 p.m. Saturday.

Karen Leydens — a former Republican candidate for Missouri's 59th House District, which covers parts of Cole and Miller counties — is the organizer for the Jefferson City event. She said she has been to prayer events at the Capitol for almost 15 years.

"This started in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and I felt led to join in with the over 400 locations also participating this year across the country," Leydens said.

In 2017, the first event had 58 tents representing every state as well as some Native American groups, Leydens said. Last year, they held events at campuses and capitols, and this year, they opened it to any location that wanted to host an event. The other two Missouri locations holding events this year are Bonne Terre and Millersburg.

People from Alaska, California and Illinois as well as from all across Missouri plan to attend the event in Jefferson City, Leydens said.

"We want to open up the atmosphere for spiritual awareness and have people focus a little less on our everyday worries and instead focus on the Lord," Leydens said. "We also want to pray to see that pro-life bills that are in the Legislature are passed. Standing for life is one of our focuses."

For more information about this non-denominational event, go to awakenthedawn.com or AwakenTheDawn-Missouri on Facebook.

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