Student Volunteer Movement (Part 2)

The Best and the Brightest

The students that were volunteering as foreign missionaries had the best minds and the brightest futures of their generation. Upon graduation, if they desired it, they were all but assured of high-paying jobs in the highest echelons of society and promised lives of prestige and honor. Yet, these student volunteers were captured with a different vision than the so-called American Dream. These students had been swept up into the grand vision of “the evangelization of the world in this generation” and to these student volunteers, anything less than the accomplishment of this vision would have been failure.

In fact, in his later years, John R. Mott, the missionary statesman and primary leader of the Student Volunteer Movement, was asked by President Woodrow Wilson, an earnest and early supporter of the student volunteers, to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to China, a post that promised wealth and prestige. John R. Mott responded by telling Wilson that though he was profoundly honored by the offer, he had to decline. Upon further persuasion with promises from the White House, as legend goes, Mott firmly responded that the problem in accepting was not that the job was too big, but that the job was too small for him as he was already an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Wilson later told reporters that Mott was “one of the most nobly useful men in the world.” President Taft had earlier referred to Mott as “one of the great men of this generation.”

The Holy Spirit had directed these young men and women–the cream of the crop–like the daughter of Psalm 45 to “forget your own people…and your father’s house…So the King will greatly desire your beauty.” These student volunteers were consumed not by the things of this world, but by the vision of finishing the task of world evangelization and bringing back the King.

Are there young men and women like that today?

Student Volunteer Movement (Part 1)

“Has any such offering of living men and women been presented in this age–in this country–in any age, or any country, since the days of Pentecost?” – President McCosh, President of Princeton College (now University) in May 1887, referring to the Student Volunteer Movement

In 1886, 251 young men from nearly 90 colleges gathered together in Northfield, Massachusetts for a month-long Bible conference with famed revivalists D.L. Moody, A.T. Pierson, and others. The students would daily gather together with Moody for 6am prayer meetings, a morning Bible study on the subject of the Second Coming of Christ, and games and sports in the afternoon. Despite Moody’s lack of any formal education, he captivated the hearts and minds of some of the best and the brightest college students with a vision of a great awakening in the hearts of college students to the revelation and beauty of Jesus.

In the midst of this month-long conference, a young radical named Robert Wilder, a recent graduate of Princeton, began to envision his fellow students with a dream to evangelize the world in their generation. Though missions was not the purpose of the month-long conference, it became the dominant theme in the minds of the students as Wilder spread his passion for a collegiate missions movement among the other students. John R. Mott, the future leader of the Student Volunteer Movement, remembered, “You could hardly go anywhere without somebody crossing your path and presenting this great missionary message.”

Robert Wilder’s sister, Grace, had prophesied to her brother that 100 college students would be set apart for missionary work at the summer Bible conference. On one of the final nights of the conference, students gathered together who had consecrated themselves to the finishing of the task of world evangelization in their generation. One by one they explained their reasons for their commitment to this great undertaking. Many remembered the power and effect of this meeting for years to come.

Then, on the night before the conference would end, those who had committed themselves to the missionary cause gathered together for one final prayer meeting to present themselves to the Lord and consecrate their lives as foreign missionaries. There, 99 students gathered together, and as they began to kneel together before the Lord, one final student slipped through the back door and joined his fellow students. These initial 100 student volunteers would come to be known as “the Mt. Hermon 100.”

In a breathtaking moment, just as had been prophesied earlier by Grace Wilder, exactly 100 students who would come to be known as “the Mt. Hermon 100” launched the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions. Within one generation, these Student Volunteers would explode from 100 college students to over 20,000 young men and women who became foreign missionaries preaching the gospel in every nation of the earth.

Could it happen again?

Fasting 101: Practical Tips and Helpful Guidelines

“Fasting begets prophets and strengthens strong men. Fasting makes lawgivers wise; it is the soul’s safeguard, the body’s trusted comrade, the armor of the champion, the training of the athlete.”
– Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (AD 330-379)

With this call to enter into an extended season of fasting, we must prepare ourselves adequately so that the fast can honor God and fulfill its purpose. Here are some items to help and encourage you:

1. Seek advice and permission before the fast. Seek medical advice before the fast, especially if you have any existing medical concerns or conditions. If you are under 18 years of age, discuss your desire to fast with your parents. Spiritual covering, submission, and unity are important factors when fasting. Discuss your plans with your church leaders. Remember, fasting is an attitude of the heart! Ask them if they would consider fasting with you!

2. Fast and pray in order to humble yourself and purify your worship. In fasting we are not trying to get something from God, but rather we are seeking to realign our hearts’ affections with His. In fasting we can more readily say, “We love you Lord, more than anything in the world.” Lust of any kind is perverted worship, but fasting enables us to cleanse the sanctuary of our hearts from every other rival.

3. Don’t boast about your fast. Let people know you won’t be eating only if you need to (Matthew 6:16-18).

4. Do the fast with someone else. Two are better than one! We encourage roommates and friends to fast together. We encourage parents and kids to consider fasting together. People fasting and praying together has a powerful impact!

5. Have a clear target as your prayer focus. Without a vision (a clear, prophetic prayer goal) the people perish. Write down your vision, so you can run with it (Habakkuk 2:2).

6. Make your commitment and determine the length. You can fast in many different ways. Pray and ask God what he will give you faith for as far as the length of time.

* A Daniel fast, with vegetables and water, is good for those carrying a heavy workload, such as students.

* A fruit or vegetable juice fast allows you to enter into fasting but still gives enough energy to function. Out of consideration for their health and metabolism, we encourage young people to use juice and protein drinks to sustain them. If you have sugar sensitivities or problems, consult you physician before attempting this fast.

* A water-only fast has been done by many people. We would not encourage this without strong medical supervision, particularly for young people.

* A total fast is without water. Do not go beyond three days without water. Discuss your plans with your doctor, church leaders, close friends, and spouse or parents. We do not encourage this type of fast without specific confirmation from the Lord through your parents and church leadership.

7. Prepare physically. Two days before you fast, limit your intake of food to fruit and vegetables. Fruit is a natural cleanser and easy to digest. Stop drinking coffee before the fast. Drink lots of water to help your body detoxify. Prepare yourself for mental discomforts such as impatience, crankiness, and anxiety. Expect physical discomforts. You may experience dizziness, headaches and different kinds of pains. The headaches are not a sign to stop fasting. Your body is working to cleanse itself of impurities.

8. Take time to pray and read the Word. This may seem obvious, but busyness and distractions can keep you from devotions. Reading books with testimonies of victories gained through fasting will encourage you too. Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting by Derek Prince, God’s Chosen Fast by Author Wallis, Hunger for God by John Piper, and The Rewards of Fasting by Mike Bickle are just some of the helpful books about fasting that are available.

9. Expect to hear God’s voice in the Word, dreams, visions and revelations. Daniel prepared himself to receive revelation through fasting (Daniel 10:1-2). Revelation is a reward of fasting (Matthew 6:18).

10. Prepare for opposition. On the day of your fast you can bet donuts will be at the office or in class. Your roommate (or your mom) will suddenly be inspired to cook your favorite meals. Press through. Many times you may feel more tension build at home. Satan tempted Jesus on the fast, and we must expect the same. Discouragement may come in like a flood, but recognize the source and take your stand on the victory of Christ.

11. If you fail, don’t give in to condemnation. The “to fast or not to fast” dilemma can be a major tool of the enemy. Even though you may fail several times, God always extends grace. Just hit the “delete” button and continue on your fast!

12. Feel free to rest a lot and continue to exercise with supervision.

13. Breakthroughs often come after a fast, not during it. Do not listen to the lie that nothing is happening. It is our conviction that every fast done in faith will be rewarded.

14. Break the fast slowly over several days with fruit juice or light soups. On a light juice fast or a water fast, your digestive system shuts down. This can be dangerous if you eat too much too soon. Break the fast with several days of diluted, non-acidic juice, then regular juice, followed by fruit and vegetables.

New Testament Prayers and Promises

Using the New Testament prayers as a basis for your prayer meeting will help you establish a Biblical prayer model. These prayers are recorded in the Scripture for us so that we have language for corporate prayer that is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Using these prayers as the basis of your prayer meeting will help set corporate unity and give proper language for corporate prayer. These prayers also carry very specific heart values that the Holy Spirit desires to be the focus of our corporate prayer meetings. For example, you will notice that all the prayers are centered on the church in a local area because the solution to the need of the hour is a strong and vibrant church. You will also notice that the apostles always highlighted the positive rather than the negative in their prayers. Praying for the impartation of positive values rather than the removal of negative values helps posture our hearts rightly as we pray corporately.

How to Start a Prayer Meeting

At the heart of everything is the corporate prayer meeting. It is often a small and simple prayer meeting consisting of a “Daniel company” of committed believers whose hearts are joined in the place of prayer. Great breakthroughs can come from the contending intercession that rises from these small prayer meetings. Luke18 Project exists to see pioneering leaders raise up prayer meetings wherever they go. Starting a prayer meeting is actually simpler than you may think. In this guide we cover the essential elements of starting a prayer meeting. This guide is formatted so you can print it out, take it to the prayer meeting, and share it with your friends. Using this simple roadmap you can start a prayer meeting on your campus, in your office, or on the mission field.

How to Lead a Bible Study

Prayer is the foundation, but the Scripture is essential to the long term health and vibrancy of the prayer furnace, so a critical part of building a prayer furnace is incorporating a Bible study. While the corporate prayer meeting is the foundation of a prayer furnace, corporate study of the Word is the next thing that should be added to build solid community around the Word of God. Bible study does not replace your regular prayer meeting, but it enhances it because a prayer furnace can grow much deeper and have impact with a Bible study that it cannot have without one.

This reference guide provides a simple and straightforward way to begin to lead Bible studies and grow your prayer furnace in the knowledge of the Word. This guide is formatted so that you can print it and use it for your reference.

How to Meditate on the Word

The most substantial way in which we can bolster our prayer lives is by feeding on the Word of God. Meditating on the Word is simply the process of developing a dialogue with God using the Scripture. This includes engaging in active conversation with God as we read His Word. Scripture gives us the “conversational material” in our prayer life and this makes prayer more enjoyable.

How to Study the Bible

Systematically studying the Bible is much simpler when you have a plan for how you are going to study. This resources includes several simple ways you can begin to systematically study the Bible and some other helpful tips to help you deepen your existing study.

How to Develop a strong Prayer Life

Developing a powerful and consistent prayer life is within the reach of every believer and is not difficult. By setting a schedule, using a prayer list, and developing a right view of God we can easily develop a prayer life that is consistent, effective, and rewarding. This guide contains practical information to help you build and strengthen your prayer life.

Up Out In Prayer Model

Begin your prayer meetings by engaging in corporate worship. Worship will unify your hearts and turn your focus towards the Lord.
Suggested length of time: 10 minutes.

“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name…” Matthew 6:9
-Upward prayer is the prayer of adoration. Begin your prayer meetings by speaking forth the knowledge of who God is.
-The prayer leader may announce the transition into a time of “upward prayer” and lead the group in prayer.
-Take turns to read and pray sections of the Psalms or the Hymns of Revelation out loud and exalt the greatness of God.
-Sing and speak forth the truth of God’s nature by declaring the names of Jesus and of the Father.
Suggested length of time: 25 minutes.

Transition your prayer meeting from Upward prayer to Outward prayer through worship. This not only gives a smooth transition, but also helps to re-focus and re-unify the individuals participating in the prayer meeting.
Suggested length of time: 10 minutes.

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” Matthew 6:10
-Outward prayer is the prayer of intercession. Apply this verse to your prayer topics and ask for the breaking in of heaven in each situation.
-Your prayer leader may announce the transition into “Outward prayer” and lead the group by praying for one of the prayer topics. The leader may also announce transitions in between topics.
-You may pray as short or long as you desire through each topic. Take turns to pray out loud through your prayer focuses.
-Pray positive and scriptural prayers by using the prayers of Christ and of the apostles.
Suggested length of time: 25 minutes.

Use worship to transition between Outward prayer and Inward prayer. Have all persons engage together in worship, singing worship songs to God.
Suggested length of time: 10 minutes.

“Give us today our daily bread…” Matthew 6:11
-Inward prayer is prayer for your Christian community. Use scriptural prayers to pray for each other’s individual needs and for strength in his or her Christian walk.
-The prayer leader may announce the transition to Inward prayer and guide the group by either praying out loud for other campus ministries, your own ministry, or individuals in your ministry. The prayer leader may also have the group divide into small groups and pray for each other.
Suggested length of time: 25 minutes.

Close out your prayer meeting by coming together in corporate worship. Use this time to thank and praise God.
Suggested length of time: 10 minutes.

-Use the model as a guide, developing it into your own. Come up with your own prayer topics and take as short or as long on each section as you desire.
-If there is energy behind a certain topic or behind worship, allow the Lord to guide you and press into that prayer focus.
-Scripture promises us that God will make us joyful in His house of prayer, so have fun together as you press in for breakthrough on your college campus.