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).