Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Daily Rush Through Devotions

Good morning. If we rush through our daily devotions, we no doubt also rush through prayer. A.W. Tozer's words back in 1948 are just as applicable today as they were back then. I know there are days when I have to get my Bible reading finished and I hurry my pray time. Tozer points out the tragedy of such a approach.

May we all today sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his voice. May God's blessings rest on you today. Bryan

"A generation of Christians reared among push buttons and automatic machines is impatient of slower and less direct methods of reaching their goals. We have been trying to apply machine-age methods to our relations with God. We read our chapter, have our short devotions, and rush away, hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy by attending another gospel meeting or listening to another thrilling story told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar. The tragic results of this spirit are all about us. Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit; these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul." ... The Pursuit of God [1948]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Historical Reminder Why We Need to Pray

Scott looks back a little over a century ago and reminds us why we need to pray for revival...

Layman's Prayer Revival
By Scott Ross
The 700 Club – Walk through the streets of any large city and you will hear the sounds of busy activity. But imagine the streets of New York City, Pittsburgh, our nation's capital, as well as major cities along the eastern seaboard silent everyday at noon as people join together to pray.

Too good to be true? It happened in the 1850s and it all started at the Fulton Street Church in New York City.

In 1857, the leadership of the Fulton Street Church in New York City saw a sharp decline in church attendance. They tapped Jeremiah Lanpher to lead the effort to reach the unchurched of the city. Lanpher was a former merchant with no formal theological training. He wasn't sure how to proceed, so he organized a noonday prayer meeting. He printed up notices and handed them to anyone who would take one. On the day of the meeting, Lanpher waited.

Jeremiah Lanpher announced he was a city missionary and there was going to be a prayer meeting. No one showed up and he began praying. Twenty minutes later he heard someone coming up the stairs and that first time maybe two or three joined him. The next time someone joined him and then the room was filled. And so he went from one room to two rooms to three rooms and he went to the church sanctuary.

In the following months, noonday prayer meetings sprung up all across the city. In fact, many factories blew the lunch whistle at 11:55 a.m., giving workers the chance to rush to the nearest church to pray for an hour. Churches of all denominations were filled with people praying on their lunch break. This caught the attention of the media.

The Layman's Prayer Revival had the motivation that we must pray one hour. Jesus said, 'Could you not tarry with me one hour?' And they wanted to go pray during their lunch hour so there was fasting and great prayer. The editor of the Herald Tribune was looking out of his window at a few minutes before twelve and he was shocked to see men running from their places of business, bumping into one another and within a minute they all disappeared into churches. And he said what's going on? So he sent a reporter down to see what it was and he said, 'they are all praying.'

The next day he got all of his reporters together, put them on horses to cover the whole city. They came and said there must be fifteen thousand people. So he began to write stories, and then before you know it, there were twenty-five thousand. The more stories he wrote the bigger the meeting got. And he put them on horse to cover the whole city and they came back and they said there must be about forty thousand men praying through the lunch hour. What's happening here? Because New York was center of the world at that time, all over America, in Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, people would read the New York papers and then revival began to break out.

Prayer meetings organized by lay leadership spread like wildfire across the United States. By 1859, more than one million unchurched Americans were won to Christ. God was pouring out His spirit, preparing America for one of its darkest chapters in history.

The layman's prayer revival took place two years before the Civil War. And think of all of the thousands men who were slain and cut down in battle. The only positive thing we can say is that many of them knew the Savior before they went into that battle.

Imagine if we all took an hour out of our busy lives to pray -- what could happen?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

"What We Need is Spiritual Power"

It is Sunday morning and there is no church worship because of the snow and wind. So I am at home right now. It is a little strange no worshipping with my brothers and sisters at Harvey Oaks Baptist Church.

It doesn't matter if we are at home or together with God's people, we need to pray for revival. Charles Spurgeon said...

"It is extraordinary power from God, not talent, that wins the day. It is extraordinary spiritual unction not extraordinary mental power, that we need. Mental power may fill a chapel but spiritual power fills the church with soul anguish. Mental power may gather a large congregation. but only spiritual power will save souls. What we need is spiritual power."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sweet Hour of Prayer

Good Morning. How is the weather where you are at? A big storm is coming to the Omaha area.

Sweet Hour of Prayer

by: Joni Eareckson Tada

"Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. `Simon,' he said to Peter, `are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?" -Mark 14:37

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer, That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father's throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.

God invites us to make all our wants and wishes known to Him. It's not only a marvelous invitation, but it's what prayer is all about. God wants you to tell Him your problems so that He can comfort you. He wants to hear about your longings so that He can purify them. Tell Him about your temptations so that He can help you conquer them.

Talk to God about everything that's on your heart. And when you do, remember that prayer is also the chance to hear the heartbeat of God. He desires to make known to you His wants and wishes.

When you pray this way, you may discover that a whole hour-an entire hour of sweet communion has just flown by. Time races away all too quickly when you're spending it in intimate conversation with your dearest friend.

And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word, and trust His grace,
I'll cast on Him my ev'ry care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.*

Lord, You are my friend and I want to tell You about my wants and wishes. More so, I want to hear You share Your heart with me. As I open up Your Word, speak to me. And as Your Spirit opens up my heart, may my prayer be honest and real. Lastly, tell me, Lord, how much time I am to spend with You in prayer.

*Walford, William W., text; William B. Bradbury, music, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," The Hymnal, Word Publishing, Waco, Texas, 1986, p. 433.

Used with permission from Zondervan Publishing

For information on other books by Joni, disability training materials, Family Retreats and more, visit Joni online at

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Prayer First Gathering

Hi: I will heading to the Prayer First Gathering in Sioux Falls in March. Information is below.

PRAYER FIRST gatherings

Prayer First Gatherings
For Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Spouses

March 5-7, 17 Sioux Falls, SD

Inviting you to this years's PRAYER FIRST gatherings for pastors, missionaries and chaplains is a piece of cake. Do we need to pray? The tsunami killed over 100,00 people in Asia. Terrorism is wreaking havoc around the globe, with persecution of believers closely tied to it.

Closer to home, neighbors are lost without Christ , churches in conflict, a nation in cultural combat, divorce, abuse, drugs, alcohol, pornography...

Closer still, there is the struggle in our own hearts. The fight of faith, of hope, of purity, of love, of marriage and family - who is exempt from these things? Let him stay home. The rest of us need a couple days to worship, pray, and seek God's face together.

But in addition to this, please come to pray because of Fire&Reign -- a time of focus on spititual renewal called by our BGC President, Jerry Sheveland. All of this MUST be bolstered with fervent prayer, or it is a waste of time. Imagine trying to whip up the Holy Spirit's firepower for the spread of Christ's divine reign without prayer. Even the thought is embarassing.

Please make time in your schedule for these vitally important prayer gatherings. LEAD teams -- why not come together for the gathering? You absolutely will not regret it! How could we regret times of focused worship and prayer with our partners in the Greatest Work in All the World?

Dana Olson
director of PRAYER FIRST

Produced by Communications, Baptist General Conference
2002 S. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Please address comments or questions to: Gary Marsh.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Prayer Moves the Hand that Moves the World!

Wow, it has been a week since I have posted anything. Here goes...

Moving the hand that moves the world
But there's a power, which man can wield
When mortal aid is vain'
That eye, that arm, that love to reach,
That listening ear to gain.

That power is prayer, which soars on high,
Through Jesus to the throne,
And moves the hand which moves the world,
To bring salvation down.

J. A. Wallace, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p. 139

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Revival is Impossible Apart from Prayer

Good morning all. My recent entries have focused on defining revival and on the necessity of prayer for revival. Notice the words of English 85 year old pastor Sidlow Baxter:

"I have pastored only three churches in my more than sixty years of ministry. We had revival in every one. And not one of them came as a result of my preaching. They came as a result of the membership entering into a covenant to pray until revival come. And it did come, every time."

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Revival and Prayer are Linked

Good Afternoon. Do we have to pray in order for God to send revival? The answer is YES!

Frank Beardsley wrote 103 years ago:

"It is possible to have revivals without preaching, without churches, and without ministers, but without prayer a genuine revival is impossible."

Friday, February 09, 2007

How About Another Short Definition of Revival

Good afternoon. In recent days, I have been firing short definitions of revival at you. They are short and to the point. Let's keep it going...

Dr A. T. Pierson (see picture) once said, "There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer."

Are devoted (Acts 2.42 and Colossians 4.2) to meet with our brothers and sisters in Jesus on a regular basis to pray for revival?

Have a wonderful weekend


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another Defination of Revival

Yesterday I passed on a definition of revival by Vance Havner. Well, here is one by Pastor and author Jim Cymbala...

"Revival is where you see multitudes getting saved, not coming over from another church because there's a better program...a church loving each other and coming together to pray and call out to the Lord...a return to the Book of Acts."

That would be, as Vance Havner put it, normal Christianity!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What is Revival?

Good afternoon from cold and snowy Omaha, Nebraska. Vance Havner (see picture) has a very good definition of revival: "Revival is the saints getting back to normal."

Revival may seem extraordinary when it occurs. However, it is simply God's way to get us back to the way things ought to be in the local church.

Let us keep on longing for a true revival to come.

Stay warm (if you are in a cold part of the world) and stay close to Jesus.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coaching and Playing for Jesus

Good Morning: I receive this daily devotional from Links Player. Tony Dungy Lovie Smith and Aaron Baddeley teach us that whatever we do, we do it for the Glory of God. Bryan

Dear Links Player,
On Sunday, three remarkable men showed that sports can be doubly fun when they are played with Christ at the center. Let's see through today's devotional how that makes a difference for all of us.

The Lord's Way

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14, NIV)

"...two Christian coaches, showing you can win doing it the Lord's way."

Those words are credited to Tony Dungy, head coach of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, describing the kind of work he and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith did to get their teams to the NFL's ultimate game.

Of course, golf fans know that Dungy and Smith were not alone as winners doing it the Lord's way on Sunday. Across the country in Scottsdale, at the FBR Open, Aaron Baddeley fired consecutive 64s on the weekend to catch Jeff Quinney and hold his second trophy in less than a year on the PGA Tour.

At 25, Baddeley is beginning to realize the potential he showed when he won first the Australia Open as a teenage amateur seven years ago. And he's doing it the Lord's way.

The Lord's way is a long way from a lot of the scenarios played out during the Super Bowl's stream of commercials, particularly those pointing to other network fare.

In fact, the contrast was so stark when some of those advertisements played right after Dungy's comment, that you could hardly miss being reminded of the conflicting kingdoms on display: the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.

Sadly, it was equally stark each time NBC's commentators tried to "equalize" the drunken revelry that occurs annually at the FBR Open by saying things like, "Oh, but the amount of money this tournament gives to charity is phenomenal."

Now, I am fully aware that it is judgments of differences like these that garner criticism for followers of Christ, that we are party-pooping naysayers.

But if Dungy and Smith and Baddeley (and a large number of other faith-focused athletes) show us anything, it is that the greatest of all fun is when we win and win in the way God intended us to win. That way includes integrity and perseverance. It shows humility and self-control. It gives generously, especially when it comes to positive words about those who are doing well and compassion toward those who are not.

It is good to see these qualities in the athletes on television. And it is good to see them in those we know close to home who are set to the task of living righteously. But it is best to know that we ourselves are moving closer to this Christlike nature that wins games, perhaps—or contracts or friendships—but above all that wins the eternal approval of our Righteous Judge, the only One who can say without discrepancy, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Therein, the Lord will acknowledge that we have done it His way.

Jeff Hopper
February 6, 2007
Copyright 2007 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday- Friday at

The Links Letter 2007 annual magazine, featuring Jonathan Byrd, Scott Simpson, Stephanie Louden, Ken Blanchard, Craig Kanada, and more, is now available from Links Players International for individuals or groups. To find out more, visit us here. •

Forward email

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Why the Church Must Wake Up!

Good morning.

David Bryant ( makes it clear why we must pray for revival...

"Only a God-given reawakening to Christ and the full extent of His supremacy can resuscitate the Church's hope and passion, and re-engage her effectively in the worldwide advance of His Kingdom."

Praying for revival. Bryan