Archive for the 'Prayer' Category
The entire church of Jesus Christ in our nation needs to convictionally come together in unified prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in America. There is no greater need in America. What will it take to wake us up, die to ourselves, and come together under the banner of the cross?
There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God’s people. Regardless of our denominational identity or independence, the time is now for us to come together before God in clear agreement, visible union, and extraordinary prayer for the next great move of God that will catapult us into reaching the world with the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that unified prevailing prayer will lead to these results.
Learn from History
Jonathan Edwards was a man who believed in the absolute sovereignty of God. As a catalyst for America’s first and second Great Awakenings, Edwards called upon God’s people to act. He believed God would listen to the promptings of His people. Edwards called for prayer and fasting, both in secret and with one another.
George Whitfield was used by God to shake America. His powerful preaching of the need to be born again was used by the Lord to bring thousands to Christ. God used both Whitfield and Edwards in a supernatural way in the mid-1700s.
In the early 1800s, the second Great Awakening occurred, and God used men like Charles Grandison Finney, Timothy Dwight, and others to become instrumental preachers of the gospel.
In 1857-1858, Jeremiah Lanphier was a layman who had a burden to pray. Eventually, thousands were praying daily for a mighty move of God in the land, and our God shook America. In a two-year period, 1 million Americans came to Christ and another 1 million converted to Christ in Great Britain and Ireland. The church was revived and the fires of evangelism burned brightly. Missions exploded with the Student Volunteer Movement, where 20,000 young people surrendered their lives to missions.
God used these great movements of God to further impact leaders like Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, and William Booth. These men and others were shaking the world for Christ.
Sadly, it has been since the Jesus Movement of the 1960s – early 1970s since we have seen such a movement of God upon our land. Churches were exploding in size as thousands were saved and many were called into gospel ministry.
In each of these great movements of God, unified prevailing prayer was occurring.
Prevail in Unified Prayer
If the churches and spiritual leaders of America cannot unify around the need to pray for the next great move of God in America, then we need to repent of our pride and our personal preferences. Stop ignoring history! Learn from it! Take action to pray for spiritual awakening in a compelling way that is unified around the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel. James 5:16 (CSB) says, “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” This is prevailing prayer. This is what the Church must learn to do together.
Regardless of what we see with our human eyes, we must be faithful to cry out to God in our desperation, appealing to Him with all we have. God, we cry out to You with all we have and are: Wake up Your church in America! By Your grace give us the next great move of God in our nation.
The world is growing desperate for answers to everything going on today. The church must grow desperate for God to usher in the next great move of God in America!
Three Actions to Take Beginning Today
1. Pray Extraordinarily: This means praying for spiritual awakening even more than you have been. Create ways to unite with other people, leaders, and churches in prevailing prayer for spiritual awakening in America.
2. Awakening Brings Evangelization: Billy Graham asked the question, “Can Revival Come?” He believed firmly that, “An awakening can bring about evangelization of the world in our generation.”1 While denominations and churches try to fix their lack of genuine evangelism, they need to realize that a true spiritual awakening is the ultimate answer to this problem. While we must equip others and practice evangelism personally, we need to believe that God can do more in a moment than we can do in a lifetime. This is why we must prevail in unified prayer for spiritual awakening.
3. Maximize Prayer and Minimize the Rest: As we maximize the need for unified prevailing prayer for the next Great Awakening, we need to minimize the rest. It is a call to understand that only God is the One who can change the hearts of Americans from the inside out. While we work with our hands to make a difference in every way in this world, we bow our knees to the One who can change everything immediately.
We Can Do This
We, the churches and spiritual leaders in America, can humble ourselves and unify in prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in America. We can come together in clear agreement that this is our greatest need. We can become a visible union, standing together in prayer. We can pray more than ever before, and practice extraordinary prayer for the next great move of God in America that will catapult the message of the gospel nationally and internationally. We can believe God in faith that He alone is able to do it! I believe God can do it. I am trusting God to do it.
Keep your perspective: Our greatest need in America is the next great move of God.
Now is the Time to Lead and to Pray,
1Dr. Billy Graham, “Can Revival Come?” (sermon, Louisville, Kentucky, October 4, 1993), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. http://equip.sbts.edu/article/can-revival-come/ accessed September 16, 2017
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, President of the National Day of Prayer, founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry, and host of the Ronnie Floyd on Life and Leadership Today podcast.
To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email email@example.com.
I want to reaffirm and give a clear, consistent call to every pastor regarding the place of prayer in public worship services in the church. Today, I want to lift up a specific and significant way to do this.
Let’s Return to the Pastoral Prayer
Prayer led by the pastor of the church used to be a normal part of worship services. What was deemed in the past as a part of public worship, has now been minimized, eliminated, or delegated. This is not acceptable or good for the church.
There are several examples in the Scriptures where spiritual leaders called out to God in prayer before the people of God. Their prayers were passionate, from the heart, and meaningful. Prayers offered by the pastor of the church during worship services should be the same way.
The Place of Prayer in Public Worship Services
Prayer by the pastor should be one of the highest moments in public worship services. As the spiritual leader of the church, the pastor is standing in the gap, calling out to God in prayer for the church. This moment of public intercession can be absolutely powerful.
I would like to suggest these things for consideration:
The pastor needs to set the context for this prayer moment. He can do this before or after asking the congregation to bow their heads, preparing to pray. Setting the stage for this moment needs to be an important part of worship planning.
The timing for the pastoral prayer is very important. Personally, I like to set it just before the offering is received, prior to the final song before the message. Many times, the previous song can help me set the context and the moment. Not only is the timing important, but the amount of time allocated for the prayer is important. Allocate enough time for a four to five-minute prayer led by the pastor. Having latitude to follow the Spirit of God is key in any worship service. If we are not careful, we are going to schedule God right out of our public worship services in the church.
Teach your people how to agree in prayer with you. As pastor, they need to be engaged with you while you are praying. They do not need to just be listening in, but involved with you in prayer. They can agree with you verbally while you pray. As we turn the church house into a house of prayer for the nations, people need to become involved as you pray.
While the pastoral prayer is determined to happen within a set time or to help create an atmosphere, what the pastor prays about should be planned as well. This is very important. The pastor needs to set this in his planning, so he can go forward that moment with purpose. If this is not planned, it can become meaningless and disconnected. The pastor can even list the topics of prayer to the people before the prayer begins.
When the pastoral prayer occurs, after setting the context in the best timing within the public worship service, and after planning for this moment, the pastor should pray with a strong conviction. A conviction is not just something that you have in your heart, it something that has you. Convictional prayer will illustrate to the people that you pray because you believe in it, and it really matters. It does work and it does matter, so pray with conviction.
When the pastor prays before the church in a public worship service, he needs to pray passionately. The people will become passionate in their prayers when they see modeled before them a pastor who prays with passion. Never should we be afraid to have our emotions involved while we are praying, from enthusiasm to expectation, to weeping, and perhaps even shouting. Regardless, be authentic, but make sure you are passionate.
National and Global
I am convinced that the pastoral prayer needs to be a time the church is led to pray for national and global needs. Pastors and churches need to pray for our national leaders, and about situations existing in the nation and across the globe. If we really believe prayer matters, we need to pray for national and global issues.
While most of the time I kneel in reverence to God when I do my pastoral prayer, sometimes I walk around the stage while I pray. This is something I determined at that moment and not before. By the way, I think it is very healthy for the people of God to see their pastor kneel as he intercedes for the people and national and global issues.
Experience Anew the Pastoral Prayer
Pastor, recapture the pastoral prayer in your public worship services. I promise you, you will never regret it. You are the Worship Leader of the church; therefore, lead like it.
Now is the Time to Lead and Pray,
Ronnie W. Floyd