Prayer Targets: Solemn Assembly, Hagel, Collegiate Day of Prayer; Marriage War, March, Scouts
February 27, 2013
Sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people...Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD... Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Joel 2:15-18
Dear Praying Friends,
Prayer efforts like 9 Weeks of Prayer for Marriage, the National Day of Prayer and Call2Fall point toward the Biblical calls to Solemn Assembly like those under Moses (Ex 32ff), Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 17-20), Hezekiah (2 Chr 29-32) Josiah (2 Chr 34-35), Ezra (Ezra 7-10), Nehemiah (Neh 1-13), Joel (Joel 1-2:27) and others. Such were times of gravity, repentance, seeking God and His forgiveness, restored rule and favor. We need such Solemn Assemblies in America today. Rev. Richard Owen Roberts writes:
1. A Solemn Assembly is a time when normal daily work is set aside (Lev 23:34-36; Num 29:35; Dt 16:8)... to seek the face of God during times of righteous judgment.
2. A Solemn Assembly is a time when the entire body of people affected by God's righteous judgment must be in attendance (Joel 2:16). The spirit of rebellion that exists among professing Christians must be put away (I Sam 15:23).
3. A Solemn Assembly is a time of fasting. Fasting is way of demonstrating humility before God by acknowledging that putting away in an orderly corporate manner the sins that have provoked His judgment is more important than feeding the body.
4. A Solemn Assembly is a time for sacrifice (Num 10:10; 15:3). What sacrifice could be more significant than the sacrifice of time in order to participate fully in God's commanded method of reversing a righteous judgment against a church or nation?
5. A Solemn Assembly is of protracted duration. Where Solemn Assemblies are described in Scripture, the assembly met for as many as 7-14 days (2 Chr 7:8-9, 14).
6. A Solemn Assembly is a season of earnest prayer. Churches, in general, allot altogether too little time for prayer.
7. A Solemn Assembly is a mandatory occasion for corporate repentance. In preparation, a catalogue of sins for corporate confession and repentance should be prepared in advance. Every sin that has contributed to God's righteous judgment must be repented of.
8. A Solemn Assembly is an opportunity for Spirit-anointed preaching - searching truths of Scripture to deeply touch afresh the lives of God's people.
9. A Solemn Assembly is a wonderful opportunity for children to see their parents and elders demonstrating Christianity at its deepest corporate levels and solemnities.
10. A Solemn Assembly gives God an opportunity to respond to His people at a level He cannot possibly do when they are living in neglect of His Word or in violation of His commandments (Roberts, The Solemn Assembly, International Awakening Ministries, abridged).
God has responded to such repentant prayer by mercifully averting judgment and sending fresh waves of revival to believers, churches and nations. The spirit of Solemn Assembly is the only acceptable approach for a nation under God's judgment.
Chuck Hagel Confirmed - Today, former Senator Chuck Hagel began his new job as Secretary of Defense. Senate Republicans had rightly criticized Hagel as unqualified based upon his historic disdain for Israel, support for the Palestinian cause, favor of negotiation with Hamas and Iran, lack of any managerial experience, and more, yet 18 Republicans chose not to use their cloture vote to prevent his confirmation. Four supported Hagel directly in the final vote: Thad Cochran (Miss.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). With a President and Defense Secretary who have often shown hostility toward Israel and favor toward our mutual enemies, Bible believing Christians know the U.S. is on dangerous ground. Those in power have forgotten God's covenant with Abraham: to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her. Christians must keep extra vigil, standing in the gap for Israel and America, that our leaders will keep faith with our historic friendship and alliance. Students of Bible prophecy have said that amid America's declining American faith and morals, our support for Israel has slowed the advance of God's judgment since 2001. But each step we take farther away from Israel has repercussions with respect to that balance (see Hagel Confirmed, Case against Hagel, Republicans Fold).
- May God's people, who understand God's severe warnings against nations that oppose His plan for Israel, pray, stand boldly and speak out to preserve our nation's commitment to God's covenant people and land! (Gen 12:3; Ps 137: all, Is 40:1-2; 59:15-16; 62:6; Zech 12:3-9; Eze 36:24, 35; 37:11-12, 21, 25; 38:8; Hos 3:4-5; Joel 3:1-2; Amos 9:15; Zech 2:12; 8:7-8; Lk 21:24; Rom 1:16; Eph 6:10 ff)
Collegiate Day of Prayer - Tomorrow, February 28, 2013, believers everywhere will pray for our nation's colleges. So far, 1050 campuses have been adopted by prayer groups across America; 2139 campuses still need adoption; 1019 campuses, churches, and communities are signed up to pray from all 50 states. The hope for our young college men and women is God-sent spiritual awakening. Amid the Second Great Awakening (1790-1845), the Concert of Prayer for Colleges was birthed. By 1815 concerts were underway at Yale, Williams, Brown and Middlebury. By 1823, most major denominations and universities had embraced the day. Join us in prayer to transform our through Christ and righteousness! (see CDOP Website, History).
- Pray and spread the word to prayer for our young college students, the future leaders of our nation. May God send revival that produces God-fearing young people! (Pr 22:6; Ecc 11:9; Joel 2:28-29; 1 Tim 4:12; Tit 2:6-8; 1 Jn 2:13-14)
Marriage War at Fever Pitch - Hastening toward the U.S. Supreme Court's March 26-27 hearings on the California Marriage Amendment and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the war for public opinion is intensifying. A coalition of homosexual activists has pooled $1 million for full page ads in major newspapers and a television spot featuring President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Meanwhile, a group of prominent Republicans has submitted a brief to the Supreme Court in support of homosexual marriage, among them key officials in the Bush and Reagan administrations, six former Republican governors, business leaders from Apple, Morgan Stanley, Facebook, Intel and many more. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has written an open letter to all Republicans urging them to support same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, a bill to legalize SSM will be unveiled in Minnesota today, and advocates of SSM are expected to obtain 385,253 signatures they need to put on the November ballot overturn a traditional marriage amendment passed by Ohio voters in 2004. A same-sex marriage bill is also advancing in Illinois. But while the activists are pushing hard so are Christian and conservative professionals and laymen who are fully prepared to defend marriage in the states and Washington, D.C.! (see Ad Campaign, Pro-Gay Amicus Brief, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Republicans, Pro-family March for Marriage)
- Pray that pro-family leaders, Democrat and Republican, and our sharp pro-family lawyers will rise to neutralize this blitz campaign to confuse Americans and the Court. Continue to pray for each member of the Supreme Court and for those will argue the case for Biblical, natural marriage. May God extend mercy to America amid this onslaught of evil (Josh 1:6-8; Pr 28:4; Is 59:19; Acts 4:31; 1 Tim 2:1-8).
- Pray for a sweeping awakening among Americans and in the High Court that will turn the tide in the marriage argument for righteousness. May the right of states to govern themselves and to uphold marriage be reaffirmed and may DOMA be preserved, intact! May pro-family business and governmental leaders from both parties arise successfully to defend marriage in Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota and across the land (2 Chr 7:14; Ps 14:34; 82:1-5; Joel 1:14; 2:12-18; Lk 18:1-8).
Finally, Please continue to stand with FRC and ADF in 9 Weeks of Prayer for Marriage and the fierce battle for the soul of the Boy Scouts of America (see Petition, Church Bulletin Insert, PowerPoint). Thank you for your dedication to the critical ministry of prayer!