Prayer Targets: Revival Prayer and Fasting; Marriage Down, Cohabitation Up; Erdogan
November 14, 2019
Jesus said, "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." (Matthew 17:21)
Dear Praying Friends,
In April 1995, the Herald of His Coming, featured several articles on the theme of "prayer and fasting," among them, "Now is the Time to Seek the Lord in Fasting and Prayer":
A call for 2 million American Christians to fast and pray for 40-days before the year 2000, has been issued by Bill Bright, founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ. He himself was led of the Lord to set aside a 40-day period in the summer of 1994 for a time of fasting and prayer, taking only juices and water. He emphasizes that a person should consult a doctor before undertaking a fast of that length.
Main thrusts of Bright's prayers during this time of fasting, meditation and prayer, were for personal renewal and for a spiritual awakening in America, and for fulfillment of the Great Commission around the world. He received great blessing from God as a result of this time of seeking His face. "God showed me we will see a mighty awakening sweep our country," he declared.
Upon his invitation, about 600 Christian pastors and ministry leaders gathered in Orlando, Florida from December 5 through 7 for a time of prayer and fasting. It is Bright's hope that this is only the first of many such gatherings. A chief concern of the December prayer-fasting gathering was the moral decline in this nation and the church's responsibility for this. Concern was also expressed about impending judgment on this land if there is not repentance, and about the need for unity and racial reconciliation in this land.
Second Chronicles 7:14 says: "If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
A Biblical way to humble oneself is to fast: "I humbled my soul with fasting" (Psalm 35:13).
Derek Prince, writing on fasting, points out that, "throughout the Bible God requires His people to humble themselves before Him. The responsibility to humble ourselves is placed upon us. There are many different passages of Scripture which emphasize this." Four which he lists are:
"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4).
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Matthew 23:12).
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10).
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time" (1 Peter 5:6).
Now is the Time!
It is time--it is past time--to seek God in prayer and fasting--in humble repentance for sin, in search for a rekindling of our first love, in urgent petition for a great spiritual awakening in this land and every land, and for the speedy fulfillment of the Great Commission. It is time to break out of the comfortable routine in which many Christians rest, and to expend wholehearted effort in our seeking after God. God is calling us to final preparations for the coming again of our great Lord and King, Jesus Christ. What will our response be?
The article opened with the account of Dr. Bill Bright (1921-2003). He and his wife Vonette founded Campus Crusade for Christ (now CRU). Mrs. Bright founded the National Prayer Committee, established the National Day of Prayer Task force, and together with its founding members persuaded Congress to change the law to observe the National Day of Prayer annually on the first Thursday in May. Many believe Dr. Bright's 1994 meeting with key national evangelical leaders was historic, even nation changing. That was when Dr. Bright recounted God's call upon him to ask them to help lead God's people to pray and fast for our nation like they had never before done in their lives. In May 1995, a month after the Herald article, Dr. Bright published what I consider a modern classic, The Coming Revival: America's Call to Fast, Pray, and "Seek God's Face." It gives an all-in-one overview of America's condition, our need for revival, what revival is, what God has done in and through previous revivals, the role that fasting and prayer played in them, and much-needed detail on what we modern American Christians would need to do to prepare for 40 straight days of prayer and fasting. I have no idea how many people followed through on Dr. Bright's appeal, nor how many have persevered over the years, but I know that many did.
One of them was Dr. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of the great Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas. He embarked immediately on a 40-day fast and later over some years taught and led his church in several 40-day fasts. While still serving as senior Cross' pastor, he was elected Chairman of FRC's Board of Directors, and later President of the National Day of Prayer, before he was called to serve as President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee. Since 1994, Dr. Floyd has written several books on prayer and in 2010, he wrote The Power of Prayer and Fasting.
Dr. Bright passed away in 2003. I have no doubt that the meeting in 1994, the prayer and action of those who were there, and Dr. Bright's book changed the lives of multiplied thousands of men and women across America (as well as believers in other nations) and gave a huge push to the fast-growing national prayer movement. But the entire prayer movement could stand to re-read Bright's book, which will inspire any believer not only to pray, but to fast for our nation. Such prayer is the brightest hope for the real revival and awakening we so desperately need in America today. If you can forget dates and read Dr. Bright's 35-year-old book as if it were a prophetic call written today, it will change your life and help you change America -- especially during this critical national election year when the crises America faced when Dr. Bright wrote have only multiplied. God and America need men and women of prayer and fasting, now!
Cohabitating Couples Now Outnumber Married Couples in America -- A new Pew Research Center study reports that while marriage rates have declined, the number of adults who live with an unmarried partner has risen. A majority of Americans now say they find it acceptable for unmarried couples to live together, even if they have no intention to marry. Only a small majority "still say" they see societal benefits in marriage. But the study also shows that married adults express higher levels of relationship satisfaction and trust in their partner than do those who are cohabiting. Nevertheless, most Americans (69 percent) say cohabitation is acceptable even if a couple doesn't plan to get married.(See the numbers and more: Pew study; Pew trends; But who is the happiest?)
- Pray that the Body of Christ will arise, evangelize, and intentionally labor to impact culture in obedience to God, and may God give his hand of favor to our intercessions! (Is 1:4-6; Mk 16:15; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor 7:2; Eph 5:24-26)
Finally, President Trump Met With Turkish President Erdogan. The Washington Times reported that the U.S.-Turkey standoff over Ankara's plan to buy advanced missiles from Russia will likely escalate in the coming days, according to regional experts, who say President Trump failed to face the issue head on at a meeting with Turkey's leader over the Group of 20 meeting in Japan over the weekend, widening the stage for a diplomatic clash between the two NATO allies. They also say the White House hasn't backed away from its months-old threat to sanction Turkey and blacklist it from access to America's next-generation F-35 fighter jet if Mr. Erdogan goes through with the S-400 purchase. FRC continues to be concerned for the Christians and other minorities that have been harmed and are in danger of great harm.
Dave Eubank, founder of Free Burma Rangers, in a radio interview with Tony Perkins, discussed the aftermath of Turkey's invasion of Syria: "It's a zone of death, of murder, of ethnic cleansing and displacement. The people here call it a zone of genocide...There hasn't been one single day of ceasefire since this invasion started. Not one." Rep. Dan Crenshaw told Tony, "I think we should take a hard, hard line with them...I think it should be made clear to them that they haven't been acting as good allies -- not a good NATO ally or a good ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria. If anything, they're making the situation worse now...I want to hear what values we still share and how they're going to live up to those values."
Prayer and fasting are the essential factors in all we see happening. As always, thank you for praying!