Prayer Targets: Floyd on Fasting; Christian Genocide; Hope for Marriage; a Holy Fast; Israel; More
August 14, 2014
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).
ISIS Christian Genocide and the U.S. - According to the Pentagon, ISIS will be temporarily slowed by the air strikes ordered by President Obama, but not weakened. The U.S. is dropping food, water, and humanitarian aid onto the mountain where Yazidis (religious sect), Christians and other minorities have fled, without life support and surrounded by ISIS' terrorist army. Speaking for the Joint Chiefs, Lt. Gen. William Mayville (USA), warned that ISIS "remains focused on securing and gaining additional territory throughout Iraq and will sustain its attacks against Iraqi and Kurdish security forces and their positions, as well as target Yazidis, Christians and other minorities." Experts say unthinkable and violent atrocities continue to mount. Meanwhile, President Obama has called Haidar al-Abadi, an ally and designated successor of outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, to pledge his support, but emphasized that there will be "no American military solution." Retiring Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) says at least 115 Americans have joined the ISIS terrorist army, flying to Turkey on commercial airlines and driving over land to enlist -- some have traveled back and forth, as can anyone who chooses to do so. He says Israel and America are next (See Airstrikes Won't Weaken ISIS; Buried Alive; ISIS Persecution Dwarfs China, NK; Vicar Pleads for Military Help; Hear Tony Perkins & Rep. Frank Wolf on ISIS; New Iraqi PM; Reluctant Obama; see Tony re. President & Iraqi Christians).
- May God give President Obama and the U.S. Congress wisdom and courage to do what we ought to stop this persecution and genocide of Christians and prevent it from spreading! May Christians and Americans repent and pray hat God can give us solutions to halt the spread of unmitigated evil across the Middle East and around the world (Dt 20:8; 28: all; Pr 4:7; Rom 13:1-4; Eph 6:20; Rev 12:11; 20:4; 21:8).
Hope for Natural Marriage - Last week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments in six lawsuits (from four states -- Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee) over lower court rulings against voter approved Marriage Amendments, which define marriage as between a man and woman. The oral arguments were contentious but the judges responded more favorably toward natural marriage and the right of voters to decide the issue than in other recent such hearings. Until a Tennessee County Court ruled in favor of biblical marriage; we have seen a 36 ruling losing streak (See Skepticism; Peter Sprigg's Hopeful Analysis of Sixth Circuit Case; Tennessee Ruling).
- Pray that each member of the 6th Circuit Court will uphold voters in these states, their constitutional amendments, the natural law and the Law of God when they rule. When this matter reaches them, may the U.S. Supreme Court reject the idea that a right to same-sex marriage can be found in the U.S. Constitution and that it overrides the will of the people (Ex 18:21; 2 Sam 23:3; Pr 29:2; Mt 19:4-6; Jn 7:24; Heb 13:8).
Prayer & Fasting for Virginia & America - Trumpet & Torch Ministries is hosting a 40 Day "Holy Devotional Email Journey" beginning August 27th. Founder Traci Alexander writes:
You are invited to unite with the Body of Christ for a very special journey which will begin on August 27th. God has set apart these 40 Holy Days to reconnect our heart to His. He longs to share His heart with us, and He desires to strengthen those hearts which are fully committed to Him. We need more of God in our life and He wants more of us. These 40 days have been set apart for just that purpose - so He can fill us with more of Himself. Please sign up for the HOLY devotional email journey at www.trumpetandtorch.org. During the 40 days of the journey you will receive a new email devotional each day (from August 27th through October 5th). Simply open your email every morning and receive the fresh manna the Lord has provided. Some believers may be called to fast their physical food during these 40 days, but that is not necessary to receive the intended benefit and blessing of this journey. We are simply asking everyone to take the time to "feast" on the spiritual food provided so we can all be united together at the same time - on the same page - in the presence of God - in His Word and in prayer - to be strengthened in Christ Jesus for 40 Holy Days! (Colossians 1:9-23!)
Finally, please pray for Tony Perkins as he travels to Israel! Praise God for the U.S. Senate's response to a UN resolution condemning Israel! Seek God for those stricken by the Ebola virus; and for scientists, doctors and governments seeking to help. Pray, too for FRC's Church Ministry team as we conduct Culture Impact Team Training in churches across North Carolina during the next two weeks of August. Don't forget IN GOD WE TRUST! The next Prayer Targets will arrive the week of Labor Day. Thank you for praying with us!