Archive for the 'Prayer' Category
I am one of you. For 39 years I have served as a pastor of a local church. The last 29 of these years I have served the same church. Even though I began when I was very young, God was and has been faithful to protect me all the way.
In the past few weeks, I have felt compelled to write you this letter. These are words that any local church pastor can identify with in life and ministry. Please consider these words, place them before the Lord, and then apply as needed or as He desires.
First, put Jesus first in your day. Start your day early with God and if early is not your deal, at least start your day with God first. Yes, first things first. If we do not begin our day with Jesus, then we forfeit the privilege to lead His people. Please begin your day with God; otherwise, defeat in life and ministry will become normal for you.
Second, renew your belief in the power of God. He can do anything, anytime, anywhere with anyone. He can do this with you and through your church. Refuse to dissect what He can and cannot do. Receive what He is able to do with you and through you. Begin to teach and preach about the power of God to your church. They need to begin to believe again.
Third, bring prayer back into the worship services of your church. Get beyond the, “Bless me prayers”, into appealing to the God of Heaven to manifest His presence to the people of God. Weekly, call out to God before your people. They need to hear you pray with both confidence and conviction. At times, move your people to pray together in groups around the room. At other times, call them to their knees in humility. Pray for revival to come to the people of God and for the next Great Awakening to occur in America. Prayer always precedes great works of God.
Fourth, prioritize evangelism again into the life of your church. Celebrate the reaching of the lost and the baptizing of new followers of Christ. Discover places in your community where the gospel has never been shared. Resolve to take the gospel into these places. Study the demographics of your city. Strategize how to win your city to Jesus Christ. Then, you will not cease evangelizing.
Fifth, call your people to support God’s work financially. Unashamedly, model and teach God’s people about giving the first ten percent of their entire income to their local church. Call them to give beyond this and challenge them to live life in the lane of generosity. Then, as a church, give to advance the gospel across the world exponentially. Give sacrificially and generously to forward the gospel throughout the entire world by planting gospel churches and supporting missionaries globally.
Sixth, stand upon the Word of God courageously. Our biblical Christian worldview is in constant conflict with the culture. Do not coward down to our culture nor cuddle with it. Stand strongly and courageously upon the Word of God. This will call you to be against some issues, when it does, communicate it in love.
Seventh, value each person in the world today. Stand for the dignity of each person and for the sanctity of life. Reject racism in any form. Renounce abortion in every way. Stand for the dignity and the sanctity of human life from the womb all the way to the tomb.
Eighth, learn from criticism. It will come. Count on it. Determine to outlive it. Refuse to become bitter toward any person being critical of you. Do not let anyone outside of your circle of love.
Ninth, lead cross-generationally. Do not be influential with just your generation; develop relationships with the generation before you and the generation behind you. Otherwise, your leadership will be limited and any potential legacy you may have will become short-lived. Invest in all generations. This is biblical.
Tenth, be humble before other people. When you are humble, God will raise you up. The way up is down. When you humble yourself before God, you can more easily humble yourself before others. God is not attracted to pride, but He is to humility. He lifts up those who are humble before Him.
Thank you Pastor for living for Jesus. Fulfill the calling God has given to you in your life. Please know I am with you in this battle and praying for you daily.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
There are many promises God makes in His Word in regard to the blessings we will receive through prayer and fasting. In my book The Power of Prayer and Fasting, I talk about seven specific promises. I want to mention three of them here that I trust will bless you as you read. I have seen each of these promises come true in my walk with God, and I’m confident they also can live in you, through you, and will be yours as you call on God to do His will in your life.
Promise 1: Prayer and Fasting Provides Freedom
When we pray and fast, God promises that He will liberate us. He will loose the chains of injustice. He declares that He’ll untie the cords of the yoke and will give the oppressed their long-awaited freedom. He will set us free from the bondage of what others think, making us realize that any comparison we make with others is a guaranteed fast track to misery. When we fast and pray, God steps in and frees us from the perceived alienation with Him that has kept us immobilized, fearful, and disobedient for so long. As you consider God’s call to fasting, perhaps for the first time, you may choose to start slowly, fasting and praying for only one day. Perhaps you’ll decide to fast and pray one day each week throughout the year where you declare that specific twenty-four hours as your time of obedience to be alone in the intimate presence of God. As you do, God will give you grace, comfort, and a new direction in your Christian walk. In the end you will be set free.
Promise 2: Prayer and Fasting Teaches us to Share
When we fast and pray, God teaches us how to share with those who have physical and spiritual needs. “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isa. 58:7 NIV). The book of Proverbs complements this passage by reminding us that when we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord. Fasting and prayer put the self-life into perspective. You are never more like God than when you give. Prayer and fasting can build within you the character to give. Giving is a joy, and we need to be willing to pour ourselves out to those who can do nothing for us in life. We need to be willing to pour out ourselves to anyone, anytime, anywhere. This is the heart of Jesus, and it needs to be our heart. Prayer and fasting build within you the power to give.
Promise 3: Prayer and Fasting Leads us to Answered Prayer
As you pray and fast, you will call on God, and He will answer you. Answered prayer is the quintessence of praying and fasting. If I were to share with you the five or six pages of the prayer journal I prepared prior to my first forty-day fast, and then walk you back through my journal since then, you would see one thing: My prayers were answered. They are still being answered. There is something to the disciplines of prayer and fasting. I could point you to every experience of long-term fasting where God has answered my requests before Him. This does not mean they were answered as I preferred, but it did not matter. He had worked in my heart, and I was released, fully confident that God was ordering my way. When we humble ourselves before the Father, and when God sees we are serious about giving Him our broken spirits, He begins to do things we have never seen before. It’s empowering. It sensitizes us to the needs of others at home and overseas as we suddenly find ourselves quietly praying for people, events, and situations with the knowledge that our prayers not only will be heard but that the Father will answer them.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Parts taken from The Power of Prayer and Fasting by Ronnie W. Floyd. Copyright 2010. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. All rights reserved.