America is broken and no government is going to fix or law is going to heal it. Prayer always precedes any great move of God. Hosts Jeff Eckart and Jayson Brewer discuss the topic of prayer and spiritual climate of America with the new President of the National Day of Prayer, Ronnie Floyd.
Ronnie Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest, AR. He has been there for almost 32 years and has authored over 20 books. He is currently the President of the National Day of Prayer. We spoke with him on the Thought Factory Podcast. Here are the highlights of the interview:
Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.
“I really wanted to be a college and professional football coach. I grew up 90 miles out of Austin, Texas, so I wanted to be the head football coach one day at the University of Texas. And then of course graduating to the Dallas Cowboys and, you know, dominating life. But the Lord redirected my path.”
What is your outlook of the next generation?
“Overall, I’m encouraged. Yet, I’m concerned because I do not sense that their allegiance at times is to the Lord and to all of his Church, versus just to the Lord and perhaps just student ministry. But, the same concern would be for someone who is in adult ministry, so it’s not like I’m picking on all the young folks. It’s just more about the American mindset how can the church help me the most? But, at the same time, I do believe that is so encouraging to me is that, when these teenagers get turned on, I mean man, they really get turned on to Christ. I came to Christ in the back end of the Jesus Movement through student ministry. With that I would say that I see teenagers today that are really more like some of us were in my older teenage years when they came to Christ and they had that experience with the Lord. I mean, it really transformed their life and it really radically transformed their future.”
Talk about prayer in your personal life and ministry.
“In my high school years, after I came to the Lord, I just developed the commitment to doing that. When I went to college, it really deepened even more. Learning various tools, not from the college itself, but from being exposed to people around that I met who were believers and really started going up in my spiritual life. I can’t even remember the last day I didn’t meet with Christ, first of a day. I made a strong commitment in that time of my life, that I would always begin my day with God. Whatever the time is, it’s a matter of that it’s the first priority in my life. That’s what I run my life by. I’ve done it for decades now and God is just really taking a lot of that and developed it deeply. I don’t believe you can talk about prayer alone without talking about the Bible, the word of God in the life of the believer. When we couple the Word of God with prayer, we really see prayer and the power of God ascended into situations.”
You recently became President of the NDP. What is your vision for the NDP?
“I really, deeply believe that we’re here to help mobilize unified public prayer for America. Since 1988, the National Day of Prayer has been the first Thursday in May. That came out of a law that originated in 1952, that was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate. Then President Reagan signed it into order, into law that the first Thursday of every May in America will always be deemed as the National Day of Prayer.
I’m always quick to tell people that we don’t need the law to permit us to pray because we live in a great nation, but when the law is permitting us to pray, we need to celebrate it. We need to do everything we can to maximize the opportunity to bear for the strong witness of the power of God through prayer. We will have thousands and thousands of gatherings all over the United States and even beyond in relationship on the National Day of Prayer, calling for people to pray for America. Our theme this year is unity. That we are making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit, through the bond of peace and the Church of Jesus Christ, the teenage communities of Jesus Christ, the student ministries of Jesus Christ, regardless of denomination. We need to come together in Jesus’ name, to do everything we can to make a difference for Christ and to call upon God together.
To unite with anyone who believes the Bible is the work God, Jesus is the only way to salvation, and the hope of the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we believe those things, everything else is secondary.
The bottom line is, you can go to God anytime, anywhere, about anything. I am absolutely with deep faith and conviction that God would love to have the fellowship of the next generation in his ear for this nation.”
What is the role of prayer in the spiritual climate of America?
“Historically, prayer has played a major part in this country and thank God it has. But, I think we also can play the biggest part when we are able to just encourage people to look at what’s happening in America. Look at what’s happening in the culture. The cultural backdrop is friendly to us right now. I mean, there is a gloom and a blackness of despair. A polarization in this country and the lack of security, not only in the schools, but in any public arena across this country. As well as, in homes in certain situations and even businesses. There is an incredible uncertainty right now and what we can do, as Christians, is encourage people to call out to God in prayer.
America is broken. Division is undeniable. Racial tension has been alarming over the last five years in this country. We’re seeing it everywhere. Lawlessness is abounding. There are certain days, reconciliation between generations, ethnicities, even families appears to be impossible. I remind people everywhere I go, government cannot fix us. It has its place but it cannot fix us. Politics, they can’t heal us. I believe every Christian should at least be aware of what’s going on in the culture and needs to be involved in that because it’s our a role of being a citizen of the United States. The politics are not going to heal us and the one thing I know, that I know, that I know in my lifetime, I have never seen America at a place we are today. I mean, we need God more in America today than we have ever needed him before. This is a time where the church, all generations, could literally become the voice for the Lord in this culture and that’s what I would really urge people to do.”
What final thoughts would you have for youth workers as an encouragement to them?
“Well, first of all, you’re in one of the greatest challenges of life, as a leader, but you will never do anything more rewarding in your life than when you see a child’s life, a teenager’s life, a college student’s life be transformed by the gospel of Christ by and through being discipled to become what God wants them to be. When you look at it biblically and historically, prayer always precedes and forwards any great move of God. Prayer always precedes and forwards the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this world. If you want to be used as a student worker, to really advance the gospel in your town, in your city, in your county, prayer has to precede that. When you pray, it shows you’re totally dependent upon God and when you don’t pray, it shows you’re depending on yourself. And I promise, I know God can do more in a moment than I can ever do in a lifetime.
I would urge you live in the Word of God, pray like it all depends on God and get out there and put your life into teenagers and students like it all depends on you, and trust God for the results and walk in it.”
(Jeff) That’s such an inspiration! I want to encourage all of you listening that work with students to continue to remind them of that daily appointment with God. It is so critical.
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