Archive for the 'Prayer' Category

A Great Move of God Always Leads to a Great Advancement of the Gospel

Gospel advancement cannot be divorced from the power of prayer. Nor should prayer be divorced from the need for gospel advancement regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Let History Teach Us Now

In 1806, there were five college students who began to pray twice a week for a mighty move of God to occur. The second Great Awakening had affected at least one of these five students. College student Samuel Mills’s father had served as pastor of a church that had been touched powerfully by this awakening.

These five students of the Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, had come together on a hot Saturday afternoon in August for their prayer meeting. They were going to discuss William Carey’s missionary manifesto, An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens.

On their way to their prayer meeting, a major rainstorm began, filled with wind, lightning, and thunder. They noticed a large haystack, which would provide an opportunity to seek shelter underneath from the wind, rain, and lightning. It was in that setting, after discussing Carey’s missionary manifesto, they went before God in prayer.

Samuel Mills proposed they would go on mission to India. While three of the five agreed with Mills to focus on reaching Asia, it was Harvey Loomis who believed deeply they must focus on reaching America first.

Dial in closely with me: Beginning with what is now known as the “Haystack Prayer Meeting,” two years later, in 1808, a group who became known as “The Brethren” was formulated. These five young men and others focused on prayer and missions. In 1810, after they graduated, they requested that a group send them to India as missionaries. The General Association of Massachusetts formed the first official missions organization in the United States in June of 1810. It was called The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

By the way, Adoniram Judson and his wife, as well as Luther Rice, were some of the first missionaries commissioned and sent across the ocean by this new mission board. It was Judson who became known as the father of Baptist foreign missions. Just think: It all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack.

After praying under the haystack that afternoon, these five young men sang a hymn together. It was then Samuel Mills said loudly over the rain and the wind, “We can do this, if we will!” That moment changed those men forever. Many historians would tell you that all mission organizations trace their history back to the “Haystack Prayer Meeting” in some way.

Yes, these men turned the world upside down. And it all began in a prayer meeting under a haystack. At the place where this meeting occurred, a monument stands today, commemorating this historic God moment. At the top of the monument is the phrase, “THE FIELD IS THE WORLD.” Underneath those words, it says, “The birthplace of American foreign missions. 1806.” This great gospel advancement all occurred because five college students cried out to God in prayer.

Prayer, Movements, the Power of God, and Great Gospel Advancement

The proper place of prayer is minimized. A spiritual movement is seen as mystical. The power of God is ignored. Then, we wonder why great gospel advancement is not occurring.

Integrating these things is imperative. In fact, it is biblical. Think of this familiar verse found in Acts 4:31. It says, “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.”

  • Prayer prioritized?
  • Spiritual movement occurring?
  • Power of God evident? 
  • Gospel advancement occurring? 

With the condition of things today, we need to return to the biblical and historical model now.

Six in 10 Protestant Churches are Plateaued or Declining

On March 6, 2019, LifeWay Research released a new study from Exponential. It revealed “Six in 10 Protestant churches are plateaued or declining in attendance.” It further said that more than half saw fewer than 10 people become new Christians in the past 12 months.

While growth is happening in some churches across America, it is more than evident that churches and the denominations many of them are connected to are not healthy and growing.

Unquestionably, we need to learn what we can from other churches, but more importantly, it is time that we get ourselves under the nearest haystack, study gospel advancement, and cry out to God over the challenges we are facing today.

Then, we can leave this unique place declaring what Samuel Mills declared over 200 years ago, “We can do this, if we will.”

We need to see what Samuel Mills saw.

THE FIELD IS THE WORLD.

Now is the Time to Lead, 

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
President, National Day of Prayer

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Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, President of the National Day of Prayer, and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email gaylao@crosschurch.com.

Visit our website at http://ronniefloyd.com
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd

3 Components in My Daily Time with God

I believe one of the most essential parts of Christian discipleship is teaching people how to have a time with God daily. When my sons were elementary age boys, I taught them these things.

If we can teach our son to throw a football or our daughter gymnastics, we can teach our children how to have a daily time with God. If we can teach our friends how to close a business deal or how to decorate a home, we can teach our friends how to walk with Christ daily.

I will stay brief today even though there is so much more to share.

Component #1: Practice Prayer

Prayer is a conversation with God. Prayer is not just you talking to God, but it involves you listening to God. Daily, I begin my time with God in prayer. Practice prayer.

Whether you are a rookie or a seasoned veteran in your spiritual life, prayer is one of the great disciplines in the life of the believer. Develop your prayer life. Learn how to pray.

While I am no authority on prayer, I do pray and believe in the power of prayer. Prayer built upon the Scriptures takes it to another level.

Take the time to organize your prayer life. When you do, you will find your prayer life becoming much more meaningful and perhaps even extended.

Interweaving with prayer is the second component in my daily time with God…

Component #2: Read the Bible

The most transforming discipline in my walk with Christ is the daily reading of the Bible. Nothing is more powerful than the Holy Scriptures. When the Scriptures speak, our God is speaking to us.

From my youngest years, I was taught the value of the Bible and its impact upon my life. Read the Bible daily.

The increasing impact of the Scriptures happened to me when I began to read the Bible through each year and since 1990, I have read the Bible through at least one time annually. In this last decade or so, it may be closer to one and one-half times per year.

The point is this: The more I read the Scriptures, the more I want to read the Scriptures. Faith is built upon the Word of God, not upon the words of others. In this noisy world filled with voices that amplify negativity and forecast constant doom, I must have the Bible, God’s Word, consume me daily.

It is the Bible that anchors my faith. It is the Bible that sustains and ignites my prayer life. It is the Bible, the Word of the Living God, that serves as my filter to separate all untruth from my life.

Component #3: Keep a Journal 

In 1990, God led me to not just read through the entire Bible, but to daily begin one of the most meaningful practices I have done in my walk with Christ. When I have completed my daily prayer and Scripture reading time, I close my time with God by writing no less than a one-page prayer to God.

This prayer to God that is written down in a journal daily often becomes a documentation of God working in my life. I have volumes and volumes of these prayer journal books that go back to this daily discipline that I began in 1990. Still to this day, I do this. The only change is that on most days, the letters exceed a page or two.

There is something powerful about transferring your greatest burdens and most special moments with God on to the pages of a journal.

Back to the Basics

How is your daily time with God going? Maybe today is a reminder that it is time to go back to the basics of walking with Christ daily.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
President, National Day of Prayer

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Dr. Ronnie Floyd is the Senior Pastor of Cross Church, President of the National Day of Prayer, and founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

To request an interview with Dr. Ronnie Floyd
contact Gayla Oldham at (479) 751-4523 or email gaylao@crosschurch.com.

Visit our website at http://ronniefloyd.com
Follow Dr. Floyd on Twitter and Instagram @ronniefloyd