Category Archives: Prayer Targets
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, current President of the Southern Baptist Convention, in his 2009 book told how prayer and fasting changed his life and his congregation. What he learned has helped pastors and churches of many denominations. His message is needed now, more than ever.
Forty-Day Corporate Fast – On several occasions in our history, we have led the church to be a part of a forty-day fasting journey. I am not talking about individuals doing forty days by themselves, but the church going for forty days. Individuals would be challenged to fast one day during that forty days or however many days they desired during that period of time.
Our church has done forty-day corporate fasting for evangelistic events. In 1993… we were praying and fasting for one thousand people to come to Christ over a seven-day period of time… Miraculously… in that one week we witnessed more than twenty-six hundred people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. All for Jesus! God heard our cry in prayer and fasting and did what only God could do. It was incredible!
We have done forty-day corporate fasting for revival, and … for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be upon our church… Our heart has always been for America so this was also in relationship to our nation as well. Prayer and fasting really give me the heartbeat that God is going to bring a mighty revival to America that will cross over all cultural, racial, ethnic, and denominational lines. Before Jesus returns, I believe we will see it occur…
A guide is important when you are leading your church in prayer and fasting….
Spiritual Goal - Fasting is abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind. The prayer guide defines the goal specifically and leads everyone to pray toward that goal… Oneness - a guide helps create a sense of unity. It promotes unity of spirit and oneness of heart. There is something unusually dynamic when we focus on the same thing together… Just knowing someone else, or twenty people, or five hundred people are praying at the same time for the same thing can elevate the entire church… Specificity - Powerful praying occurs when you pray specifically. Can you imagine your entire church praying for the same spiritual goal in complete oneness with one another and even with specificity over each request? Powerful! Life changing! God-sized results! Consistency - When you have a spiritual goal before you, knowing others are praying with the same specific prayer guide, you will be consistent in the journey… we organize most things, but at times we do not organize prayer. The Holy Spirit can lead you in the plan (and) the process.
RISING UP – I am not sure anything is more powerful than the church rising up to pursue God through the disciplines of prayer and fasting. While the walls around us seem too high, too deep, and too thick to overcome, through prayer and fasting each wall can be crushed and destroyed. When the church comes together in prayer and fasting, a mighty army is rising up to ascend the hills toward God, and NOTHING can stand in its way. For too long the world has seen what the church can do. Now is the time for the world to see what God can do through the church! … Prayer and fasting are God’s gateway to spiritual breakthroughs. Prayer and fasting will lead your church to experience God (Floyd, Power of Prayer and Fasting, 2009).
Dr. Bill Bright challenged Ronnie Floyd to fast for 40 days and it changed his life. Now he is calling for a trans-denominational prayer and fasting movement as the greatest hope for revival in our churches and nation (listen to Tony Perkins’ Interview with Dr. Floyd).
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12
Dear Praying Friends,
We should strive always to be peaceable and civil in speech but bold to speak “the truth in love” (Eph 4:14-15). Many martyrs, even as they submitted themselves to the stake, repeated Jesus’ words: ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:24). All eyes are upon us.
Their bold proclamation of God’s truth, spoken in love, despite the cost, was at the center of the martyrs’ testimony. We, too, are called to speak the word of God boldly to one another, to the lost around us, to those in power, to this “evil generation!” (Mt 12:34). We will face hostility, deception, danger, “the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14).” Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mt 10:16).
Thus, we must be bold to speak “the truth in love” even if “evil men and seducers” grow “worse and worse.” In our backslidden nation, many “lie in wait to deceive.” Lies and deception have become rampant in the American public square: in government, politics, the media. In the White House, our executive agencies, even the halls of Congress, lying has become an art form. Distinguishing lies from the truth has become a full time job for the American people, including those called to be Christ’s Ambassadors. The Church must be grounded in the Truth in order to speak it in love vigilantly, boldly, and winsomely. If truth does not prevail in the public arena, our Republic cannot survive. Darkness will instead prevail. Hostility toward those who believe will increase. Persecuted Christians will likely go into hiding as many have done in other nations (Pr 28:12). But if God’s people in America will arise now, go on the offense, and boldly speak the truth, refusing to allow lies and liars to prevail, there is hope.
Words are not enough! Paul points to the unseen world, where God’s praying people must wrestle and prevail against “principalities,” “powers,” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” These powers will bring our nation down (Pr 14:34; 16:12). Only God’s people can pull down these wicked spiritual strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). Spirit-led, bold praying will beget Spirit-led, bold preaching, bold witnessing, and bold truth speaking in the public square (Jer 1:10; Mt 9:38; 28:18-20; Lk 10:19; Acts 4:23-31; Heb 10:16; Jas 5:14-18; Rev 12:11). As FRC and our allies are assaulted with lies, deceit, and dishonesty on every side, only the prayers of God’s people will enable us to make the impact we must make. And it will not be with words alone. Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Cor 4:20). Your prayers multiply the power with which we accomplish His work in Washington, the State Capitals, and your community (PB).
Circuit Court to Decide on Marriage in Four States - A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard cases today that challenge traditional marriage amendments in four state Constitutions: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Each of the Amendments, duly passed by a majority of voters in each state according to their own Constitutional process, was ruled unconstitutional in federal district courts. The Appeals Court will consider all four as a single case. In nearly every federal jurisdiction, it seems activists can find liberal district judges who agree with the argument that same-sex “marriage” is a fundamental right by expanding the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Christians are tired of this fight, and many, including prominent pastors, have given in (Read FRC’s Dr. Chris Gacek’s recent article in the Cincinnati Inquirer “No Fundamental Right to Same-Sex Marriage” to understand why they are wrong).
- Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever! Your design for marriage is not only divine law and points to the union between Christ and the Church, but it has tremendous social benefits. Man may try to change it, but to do so it is to invite the sad consequences. May your people stand, proclaim truth lovingly, and refuse to bow to the lie, however craftily presented. Please move the Appeals Court to reverse these tyrannical and immoral rulings that usurp the clear intention of God, the expressed will of the people, their duly enacted state constitutions, their history and heritage! (Pr 22:8; Jer 18:14-18; Mt 19:4-6; Acts 4:31; Eph 5:32; Heb 13:8; Rev 3:8)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:13-14
Dear Praying Friends,
On January 25, 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan delivered his famous “City upon a Hill” speech. John Winthrop, future Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, had penned the phrase that echoes Matthew 5:16 on the Arabella, sailing across the Atlantic with the wave of English Puritan Christians in 1630. His Model of Christian Charity set forth the principles and spirit by which citizens of “New England” were to live. Winthrop outlined a society built upon a covenant with God, the rule of law administered with justice and mercy, and God’s promised blessings of life, liberty and prosperity. Winthrop wrote:
First, in regard of the more near bond of marriage between Him and us, wherein He hath taken us to be His, after a most strict and peculiar manner, which will make Him the more jealous of our love and obedience. So [as he told Israel] therefore will I punish you for your transgressions.
Secondly, because the Lord will be sanctified in them that come near Him. We know that many corrupted the service of the Lord [and were punished - some swiftly, some more slowly].
Thirdly, when God gives a special commission He looks to have it strictly observed in every article… [Saul failed to keep his commission and lost the Kingdom]…
Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work…. He will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these… dissembling with our God … [if we] embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves… the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and… make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.
Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. [If we do this] The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us… and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways … we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work… and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God… Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil… Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity (Colonial Gov. John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, 1630).
I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage… John Winthrop said, “We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. . . .” We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so… Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.” We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth (Gov. Ronald Reagan (CA), The City upon a Hill, 1974).
America’s broken covenant with God, our retreat from the vibrant Christian life and witness, our retreat from citizenship responsibilities that determine who will decide and what direction of our nation will take, have led to the greatest crisis in our churches, nation and world we’ve seen in our lifetime. Rev. Richard Owen Roberts gives us answers in his address, Something Must Be Done, delivered at FRC on Tuesday. I urge you to watch the video online. Afterwards, Roberts prayed that God would help us be willing to lay down our lives in prayer for the Church and our nation. See the Webcast message here and forward the link to others!
From that time Jesus began to preach… Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 4:17
Dear Praying Friends,
Rev. Richard Owen Roberts’ good friend, Dr. Henry Blackaby (bio), wrote the foreword to Roberts’s 2004, Repentance, the First Word of the Gospel.” Here are excerpts:
Have you ever heard the voice of the “weeping prophet”? … Every true prophet of God shares with Him the pain of a broken heart for the people of God. First, he cries toward God, and with God, in the knowledge of what could have been. Then, he laments with Him over the peoples’ terrible blindness and hardness of heart, with its accompanying tragic loss amid the immeasurable blessings that are assured by God Himself.
Given the nature of sin, God, in His justice, could simply judge His people completely and immediately. But He, in love, desires to extend His mercy, forgiveness, and restoration to all of His people in the hope that they will repent and return to Him… “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” … The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are working all the time to call and to draw people back from their sin to a full relationship with Himself.
This word “repentance” [must] become the first word from God to this generation. It must be clearly and persuasively taught and preached and urged among God’s people, and then, to an eternally… lost world. Roberts…is a true prophet to our generation… To me, true theologians are those who have been in the awesome presence of God and have a clear word from the immediate heart of God to their generation. Richard Owen Roberts is, in my judgment, such a spokesman for God. …
We desperately need men of integrity and spiritual power before God and men. When leaders depart from an intimacy with God, the people soon follow… Their ears become dull of hearing from God and their hearts become hard and heavy, so they will not hear, “lest they… should understand with their heart… be converted, and I should heal them” (Mt 13:15, Is 6:10).
(Henry T. Blackaby, Foreword, Richard Owen Roberts’ Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel).
Rev. Richard Owen Roberts, the “weeping prophet Blackaby describes, will speak at FRC headquarters next Tuesday, July 29th at 12 Noon (see rortrust.org). We would love to have you join us in person for his hour-long lecture or to view the webcast live via the internet. Please register here, and spread the word to praying friends!
Prayer Targets: Christian Zionism; Assault on Israel; RFRA; If 7:14; Prayer & Fasting, Pastors, More
Dear Praying Friends,
After 26 years as a U.S. Treasury agent, John P. McTernan became co-founder and Chaplain of Cops for Christ and a pro-life leader. In 2001, he and White House Correspondent Bill Koenig co-authored Israel: The Blessing or the Curse. His 2008 book, As America has Done to Israel, analyzes our nation’s relationship with the Jewish people and the State of Israel in light of Scripture. He points to evangelist William Blackstone (1841-1935) as the progenitor of modern Christian Zionism:
America had several powerful spiritual revivals that touched the entire nation. The Great Awakening of the 1740s… 1800, a great revival started in Kentucky and spread eastward until it affected the entire nation. The Second Awakening began in 1820… and shook the nation. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, huge segments of American Christianity began focusing on the second coming of the Lord Jesus and the rebirth of the nation of Israel… Powerful evangelists like D. L. Moody and William E. Blackstone were proclaiming this as were hundreds of lesser-known preachers. Blackstone’s book Jesus Is Coming (1878) affected millions of people.
Amid this revival, Russian Jews began pouring into America. The horrors of the Russian pogroms touched the hearts of American Christians, who began to help by providing food, clothes, and medical attention. The crisis awakened the church to the need for a Jewish homeland. Blackstone became the leader of this movement and traveled extensively throughout America promoting a Jewish homeland in Palestine… In 1890, Blackstone chaired a conference called, “The Past, Present and Future of Israel.” Some of the most influential leaders in the Jewish and Christian communities attended… Blackstone felt resolutions they produced were not strong enough, and met with President Benjamin Harrison and Secretary of State James Blaine to present to them a document, later called a Memorial, entitled “What Shall Be Done for the Russian Jews?” It helped spearhead the Zionist movement. Modern Zionism actually sprang from the church in the United States. The church… believed it was time for Jews to go back to their biblical homeland… six years before world Jewry initiated the first Zionist Congress.
More than four hundred leading Americans signed the Memorial. Religious leaders [including] D. L. Moody, leading members of Congress and mayors, powerful industrialists and bank presidents including John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, Cyrus McCormick, and Charles Scribner, editors and publishers from ninety-three leading national newspapers and religious periodicals… Most of America was behind protecting Jews and the creation of a Jewish nation… Cyrus H. McCormick, president of McCormick Harvester accompanied the Memorial with a letter declaring his deep belief in the Bible as the literal word of God. Quoting Isaiah 49:22 and Ezekiel 34, Blackstone requested that the President and Secretary of State take a personal interest in this matter expectant that God would bless (per His covenant in Genesis 12:3). While Harrison mentioned the plight of the Jews in his State of the Union Speech, he did not further follow through. But the spiritual force of the church was now engaged in a real way for God’s restoration of Israel. This awakening never died in America and remains alive to this day. (John McTernan, As America Has Done to Israel, 2008; edited for space).