Prayer Targets: Trust God; NDP; Obamacare Repeal; N. Korea; Voters; Religious Liberty; CR
April 26, 2017
The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. (Ps 33:11-13)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Jonathan Den Hartog (see Curriculum vitae) studied at Hillsdale College and earned his Ph.D. at Notre Dame. As a professor of history at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, he has written much about America’s Christian heritage and the intersection of faith and government. These excerpts are from his recent article, ‘In God We Trust,’ Even at Our Most Divided…
On April 22, 1864, Congress approved a significant revision to the nation’s coinage: the addition of “In God We Trust” on several U.S. coins... Governmental officials believed it would help America through a time of crisis. As the country continues to slog through an era of deep division, it’s worth studying the ideals that informed this refinement of American currency.
The Civil War was raging. Bloody battles [had killed hundreds of thousands] ... Southern secession had left the nation physically and spiritually fractured.
With political life frayed and the war effort faltering, adding a new motto to American coinage might have looked like desperation or propaganda. It was neither. Abraham Lincoln and Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase had long known about the idea. In 1861, the Rev. M.R. Watkinson of Pennsylvania asked Chase to consider recognizing “the Almighty God in some form on our coins.”
Chase, an abolitionist Ohio Republican, had liked the idea for years. “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense,” he wrote to the director of the U.S. Mint in 1861. “The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.” Some three years later the motto was approved by Congress and stamped on coinage in Philadelphia.
The change fit the mood of the time. Facing the dissolution of the Union, many Americans looked for divine aid to help heal the national divisions. They recognized that faith could sustain liberty and self-government. This echoed the acts of earlier generations of Americans, who during the Revolutionary War had flown battle flags bearing the motto “An Appeal to Heaven.”
President Lincoln’s reflections in his Second Inaugural Address in 1865, were brief but profound, drawing on biblical language. The president rejected the South’s claims, but did so with humility. “It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged” Mat 7:1-2.
Rather than assume a morally superior position, Lincoln used the moment to call for self-reflection. The North had also been entangled in slavery and the violence of the Civil War, and it was in no position to claim perfect conduct. “The Almighty has His own purposes,” he said, “so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,’ ” evoking Ps 19:9.
If both North and South stood under divine judgment, then a new attitude was demanded, one of humbly working for the common good. In his summary Lincoln called his hearers to steady service: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.”
The most important task was “to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” Lincoln called to mind the good Samaritan (Lk 25-37) who, finding an injured man, “bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine ” His injunction to help the widow and the orphan echoed the Book of James, which taught that “pure religion” consisted at least partly of visiting “the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (Jas 1:27).
Lincoln concluded this vision to be global, doing “all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” The 16th president demonstrated that the best religious reflection in public life could lead to humility, self-criticism, care for fellow citizens, and renewal of civic ties. That seems like a beneficial reminder from the random coins jangling in our pockets. (‘In God We Trust,’ Even at Our Most Divided; The story behind the Civil War-era motto that still appears on America’s coins, Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2017)
The National Day of Prayer is a time to humble ourselves before God as per 2 Chronicles 7:14. Ought we not to consider the division that exists in our own nation and how we might both stand firmly for what is right, humbly and prayerfully? Only God can heal our land!
The National Day of Prayer Just One Week Away – Upwards of 45,000 prayer events are expected at courthouses, parks, and other public places across America. Some will be short events during the lunch hour; others will be all-day events, some small, some large. Some will be led by personnel associated with the National Day of Prayer Task Force, others will be led by independent organizers. Many churches will open for the day to allow members and guests a place to come and join with millions of American believers, from every denominational and non-denominational background, as they gather publicly and privately to pray for our nation.
But American Christians will not be the only ones observing the NDP. Rev. Warwick Marsh, founder of Australia’s Fatherhood Foundation, leader in the Australian Christian Values Institute, framer of The Canberra Declaration, and leader of the Australian National Day of Prayer and Fasting, is organizing believers in 100 nations of the world to pray and fast for America for the five days from April 30th through May 4th, our own NDP. Click HERE to see the short video and feel the love of God as expressed by our praying brethren overseas.
- May God’s people set aside Thursday, May 4th to observe the National Day of Prayer, heeding the call of former presidents and Congresses, the example of our Forefathers, and the call of God Himself, and joining our faithful brothers and sisters from around the world, to pray for our nation, taking hold of the Lord’s exhortations and promises (2 Chronicles 7:14). May we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s Face and turn from our wicked ways, so that He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land! (1 Sam 12:14; 1 Chr 16:31; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 93:1; 95:6-10; 96:10; Lk 13:35; Rev 19:6)
Obamacare Repeal on Track – Part of our repentance is bringing to an end the taxpayer-funded abortion-filled, socialistic healthcare law known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Conservatives in the House, moderate Republicans, and the White House have been working together to fashion a bill that a majority in Congress will support. Little help can be expected from the Democrats, who have established a new litmus test for all politicians who want to be members of their party. Per the new DNC Chairman, Tom Perez, to be a Democrat one must support Roe v. Wade. Pro-life Democrats are welcome, but must keep their views to themselves. Tony Perkins reports that the House has rolled out an Obamacare repeal and replace plan that could be passed even this week (read House Rollout; Pressure to Repeal; Health Care Bill Pro-Life, Defunds Planned Parenthood).
- May the Lord superintend the healthcare legislative process, and may Congress pass a law that will truly drive prices down via free market laws and less government control. May it honor religious liberty and protect all human life, including the unborn and aged.
North Korean Crisis – Given North Korea’s threat to launch a “Super-Mighty Preemptive Strike” against the U.S., President Trump called the entire U.S. Senate to meet with him at the White House today. NK President Kim Jong-un is considered mentally unstable. The D.C. Council of Governments has announced that a full-scale drill will take place today, “designed to prepare for the possibility of a complex coordinated terror attack.” It will involve law enforcement agencies in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (see NK Threat; WH Meeting; DC Drill; The Washington Times on NK; Hear Tony Perkins, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin discuss North Korea Situation: Minute 2:21 through 24:16).
- May God intervene to restrain cultic, communist North Korea from its insane nuclear intentions. May God give our president and Congress supernatural wisdom. May America appeal to the God of Heaven, and turn from our sins, as this crisis converges with the National Day of Prayer! (Dt 20:1; 2 Sam 4:11; 1 Kg 8:32; 2 Chr 6:23; 7:14; Neh 4:2-4; Ps 27:2; 31:17)
Trump Voters Happy – Amid the daily anti-Trump barrage by voters angry with the election outcome, including the liberal media and Democrats in Congress, a surprising ABC/Washington Post Poll reveals that 96 percent of Trump voters would vote for him again. Meanwhile only 85 percent of Clinton voters would support Clinton. Ignored by the Post analysis was their data showing that were the poll taken today, Donald Trump would win the popular vote 43 to 40 percent (he lost the popular vote by 2 percentage points). (Post Analysis; Missed Results)
- Jesus said, every kingdom or house divided against itself “cannot stand.” May God silence those who seek to divide America, prevent the executive branch from fulfilling its duties, and the president from keeping his promises. May God bless our nation by restoring unity such that godly progress can be made. (Mt 12:25; Ps 133; Pr 28:4)
Finally, please pray: 1) A week before the National Day of Prayer, news reports reveal that regular prayer meetings and Bible studies are taking place inside the White House, with key Trump senior staff participating. 2) Tony Perkins and FRC have been working hard for a Religious Liberty Executive Order, desperately needed to protect American Christians from the burgeoning assault by liberal judges, state and local officials with progressive agendas, and anti-Christian activist groups bent upon punishing Bible-believing Christians who seek simply to obey God’s commands (see downloadable church bulletin). 3) Congress must soon pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, or face a partial government shutdown. Liberals will try to eviscerate the bill of life protections, and load it with liberal priorities. 4) Pray for our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, South Korea, and other trouble spots around the globe. May they know that we are praying for them in this week running up to the National Day of Prayer. Thank you for praying!
P.S. FRC will be hosting the annual National Day of Prayer Men’s meeting next Wednesday, May 3rd from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. It will be aired online for men everywhere to participate. Register and see the event HERE.