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DO NOT BE INFLUENCED BY THE IMPORTANCE
OF THE WRITER, AND WHETHER HIS LEARNING
BE GREAT OR SMALL, BUT LET THE LOVE OF
PURE TRUTH DRAW YOU TO READ. DO NOT
INQUIRE, “WHO SAID THIS?” BUT PAY ATTENTION
TO WHAT IS SAID.
MEN PASS AWAY, BUT THE WORD OF THE
LORD ENDURES FOREVER.

~ THOMAS À KEMPIS
THE IMITATION OF CHRIST

“We are dependent upon God for even our sense of worth as individuals. Our uniqueness and dignity are rooted in our creation in the image of God. Our value is not tied to wealth, status, accomplishments, or position. It is a gift. Obviously, this wonderful truth flies in the face of the modern technology to define people by what they produce or what they have…

The terrible reality of the Fall was… a repudiation of our dependence upon God.”

~ Richard J. Foster, Freedom of Simplicity

“For most of us, perhaps, it is still harder to secure the quiet heart”

~ D.M. M’Intyre, The Hidden Life of Prayer, 35.

 

 

November 21 2014 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Ronnie Floyd has released a motivational tool book to help pastors and churches across the SBC engage in concerted prayer for the next great awakening in advance of the 2015 annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Floyd announced the release of his ebook in a press conference call Nov. 19, joined by Southern Baptist editors, writers and state convention leaders. The announcement also marked the release of the annual meeting theme, “Great Awakening: Clear Agreement, Visible Union, Extraordinary Prayer,” based on Romans 13:11, for the June 16-17 gathering.

During the conference call, Floyd highlighted several recommendations from his ebook: intercessory prayer for pastors on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings in advance of weekly sermons; a month of preaching on the subjects of repentance, extraordinary prayer, revival, awakening and teaching on God’s word; the dedication of a full Sunday morning worship service to congregational prayer; a day of prayer and fasting in May, and attendance at the Columbus meeting.

Floyd11-21-14-1.JPG

 

Floyd’s ebook, “Pleading with Southern Baptists To Humbly Come Together before God in Clear Agreement, Visible Union, and in Extraordinary Prayer for the Next Great Awakening and for the World to Be Reached for Christ,” is available for free download at pray4awakening.com, sbc.net, RonnieFloyd.com, ibookstore.com and other sites. Additional tools and resources to promote the call to prayer are available on pray4awakening.com, including sermons from SBC pastors, encouraging pastors to learn from one another, Floyd said.

“I believe pastors need handles,” he said of the ebook. “I think sometimes we operate in generalities, like you should do this, or you should do that. But I also believe there’s historical precedence set in the awakenings, of them coming to agreement about a certain thing.

“I mean for example, let’s just say that a few hundred of our churches would really try their very best to have a month where they’re preaching on matters like repentance, and revival and awakening and reaching the world for Christ, and fasting and those kind of matters,” he said. “I mean that makes a major difference.”

Southern Baptists need to be in prayer for their churches, for their pastors, Floyd said. He called for three minutes of prayer each Saturday evening and Sunday morning for the anointing of God to come upon pastors as they preach His Word.

“I think we’ll have less conflict if we learn how to pray together,” he said. “And we’ll have a greater force of the Holy Spirit and His power in our churches if we pray regularly. And the sunrise and sunset is an image; that’s all it is. It’s a reminder to pray, either one or the other, when people get up or when they go to bed at night.”

Floyd compiled the book in consultation with theologians and leaders across the SBC, and referenced such stalwarts as Billy Graham, Jonathan Edwards, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Jeremiah Lanphier, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody and William Booth.

“Surely we can embrace with clear agreement that spiritual revival personally, spiritual revival in the church, and spiritual awakening in the nation are all needed so we can accelerate our pace in reaching the world for Christ,” Floyd wrote in the book. “Certainly we can deny ourselves, defer our own preferences, and visibly unite in extraordinary prayer for the next Great Awakening and for the world to be reached for Christ.”

For the rest of the post…

“The worldly church is not only corrupt but cowardly, for much contemporary worldliness is a voluntary capitulation to the spirit and system of the age. There are times when the powers of the age openly seek to seduce the church or brutally subjugate her to their own purposes”

~ Os Guinness, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times, 119-120.

We can debate the reasons, but we cannot debate the reality: churches across the United States are aging, and many of them in the coming decade will face the agonizing prospect of closing.

Church planting addresses the need for new evangelisic outposts, especially in areas where Christians of previous generations feared to tread. But what about the 150-year-old rural churches that have succumbed to population loss? What about the historic urban churches that could not transition with their neighborhoods? What about the suburban churches, vibrant just one generation earlier but now surpassed by newer, flashier options? Must these churches die?

Mark DeVine and Darrin Patrick tell the encouraging story of one venerable Kansas City church that defied the trends and has thrived under new leadership. Yet the transition seemed anything but certain in the middle of conflict and clashes. This tale plays out in the pages of a new book, Replant: How a Dying Church Can Grow Again. DeVine, then a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, teamed up with his former student, church planter Darrin Patrick of The Journey across Missouri in St. Louis, to write this account of how God faithfully equipped an old church for a new mission.

DeVine, now associate professor of divinity, teaching history and doctrine, at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, joined me to share some of the story and counsel other churches struggling to survive let alone thrive. During this 30-minute interview I was especially interested to learn how he contended with lay leaders. As DeVine writes in the book, “A pattern had emerged, a valuable lesson for church leadership: give the right person the right amount of rope at just the right time, and they might, in undoing their own misguided aims, achieve good things for the people of God.”

For the rest of the post…

“If a person doesn’t have a growing sensitivity toward sin and doesn’t have a desire to become more like Christ, it’s questionable whether that person ever had an authentic conversion.”

~ Jim CymbalaSpirit Rising97.  

“A satisfying prayer life… elevates and purifies every act of body and mind and integrates the entire personality into a single spiritual unit. Such prayer can only be the result of a life lived in the Spirit…In the long pull we pray only as well as we live.”

A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), The Root of the Righteous

A W Tozer.jpg

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me.” 

Dietrich BonhoefferLife Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

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