Prayer Targets: Call2Fall this Sunday! Military Transgender Policy; ACHA Status; SPLC's New Target
June 28, 2017
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. J. Edwin Orr (1912-1987), born in Belfast, Ireland (bio), devoted his life to understanding and furthering the work of God, especially in revival and spiritual awakening. Billy Graham said Orr, “in my opinion, is one of the greatest authorities on the history of religious revivals in the Protestant world... I know of no man who has a greater passion for worldwide revival or a greater love for the souls of men.” These thoughts are from Orr’s book, My All, His All:
The Holy Spirit is the Author of revival, both individual and general. It is His ministry that brings a believer to a sense of need, that brings a congregation to repentance, that brings a whole community to transformation. He convinces the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; but many believers mistakenly rely upon their consciences alone rather than on a conscience that has been enlightened by the Word of God and quickened by the Spirit of the Lord.
His work, therefore, is to show the sinner just how far he has fallen short, to show him also the perfect pattern of righteousness in Christ and to warn him of inevitable judgment. The Spirit of God carries out a corresponding work in Christians’ hearts, convincing them of carnality, also a falling short, spurring them on to total commitment, which means appropriating the righteousness of Christ for every day of living, and warning them of the judgment seat of Christ, where they may gain a prize or suffer loss.
It is to the Holy Spirit that the Christian must look if he ever is to find a measure of revival for his seeking soul. Certain blessing for believers is dependent on a cleansing, which in turn depends upon confession, that is dependent on conviction; and conviction comes with the searching of the heart by God’s own Spirit.
The most effective prayer for a spiritually hungry believer is the eloquent petition in Psalm 139:23-24.
In Scandinavia, the word “search” is rendered “ransack.” It takes not much imagination to picture the thoroughness of a job of ransacking, compared with a mere searching. Ransacking turns things upside down, and brings to light the things that are hidden or forgotten. In the usual times of backsliding, the Spirit of God is quenched and conscience smothered; and as life goes on, the natural tendency for a convicted person is to forget the unpleasant episodes. But in renewed conviction of sin, the debris of ordinary living is swept aside and the offending thing is brought again to one’s attention. To avoid a superficiality in confession, a thorough ransacking of the heart by God is needed.
The petition is personal: “Search me!” Too often, the more spiritual members of a church or group are more aware of the glaring faults of their less spiritual fellow-members than they are of their own shortcomings…
The disciples did not say: “Is it Peter...is it James...or is it Judas?” but: “Lord, is it I?” (Mt.26:22). There is a time for healthy introspection. Our prayers go unheard until we cease to regard iniquity in our hearts, and only by probing the heart is the sin dragged out to the healing light... Sin offends Almighty God, and only God can bring to light its real offensiveness... Man is utterly incapable of searching his own heart. Man will always rationalize his sin... No one can be trusted to examine his own heart. The heart is deceitful.
The Spirit’s searching of the heart and mind shows every believer how he has wandered from the way. Confession of the sin will lead him back to the path of fellowship. This, is individual spiritual revival!
First, he must recognize his needy state and humbly acknowledge his condition as outside God’s will. Then he must specifically ask the Spirit of God to search his heart... He must also give diligent attention to the reading of the Word, especially those injunctions suited to his need or his condition, for thereby the Spirit will convict. He must insert the key to open up the vaults of memory to recall the acts or tendencies that have derailed his spiritual life... [God wants to remove not only grosser sins, but also anything that grieves the Holy Spirit of God, is a hindrance to His blessing, or stands in the way of revival].
And what is the way everlasting? The Way – Christ Himself. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth” (1 Jn 1:6). The Holy Spirit never leaves a seeking heart untouched. Skillful is all His surgery, tender His healing. God’s chastening is love. (J. Edwin Orr, “The Searching Of The Heart,” Edited by Richard Owen Roberts, Herald of His Coming, June 2017)
Call2Fall – This Sunday, July 2, 2017 – This Sunday, just two days before Independence Day, churches across America will observe the Call2Fall National Prayer Movement. Pastors will lead their congregations to take to their knees in an act of humility for at least a few minutes of repentant prayer for our nation. Some will devote their entire service to prayer. Others will pray and then preach on the role of repentance, revival, and awakening as a vital part of our amazing spiritual heritage as Americans. We want to acknowledge our dependence upon Almighty God before we fire up the grill and break out the fireworks to celebrate our national Independence. We want to acknowledge that we owe our blessings of liberty to God and to Give Him all the glory. And we want to acknowledge our desperate need today, as individuals, as churches, and as a nation for Him. We want to return to Him with all our hearts and to come boldly before His throne to plead God to draw America to Himself again. We are desperate!
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God promises, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Our nation is deeply divided and God’s people have the key to our nation’s healing. Now is the time for believers across our land to cry out to Him and take hold of his promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Like the National Day of Prayer and other public days of prayer, Call2Fall is a response to God’s call and promise in the book of 2 Chronicles. What God requires is our absolute humility, genuine repentance of our sins as individuals and as a nation, and a desperate crying out to God for mercy. Only then can God heal and restore our morally and spiritually needy nation. God is our only hope. Healing must begin on our knees. The Call2Fall pledge is our response to God’s promise. It is profoundly simple.
“I will answer God’s call to fall on my knees in humility and seek His face in repentance so that He might forgive my sins and heal our land.”
Each one of us and every Christian church in America has an important role in the repentance and restoration of our nation, in averting God’s judgment, in returning to God, in reviving God’s churches, in rebuilding the moral and spiritual foundations of our nation, in reviving the godly vision of our Forefathers, and continuing a heritage of America being a missions-sending nation that blesses the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All this is in jeopardy if we do not embrace the simple biblical principles embedded in the Call2Fall National Prayer Movement. I pray that every person who receives and reads the Prayer Targets will participate in Call2Fall at church. If you are unable to attend, then observe it at home with family or friends in whatever way they can connect and pray together, or alone if necessary. In any case, you will be united with thousands of churches in all 50 states and multiplied thousands, perhaps millions of individual believers who will be praying in agreement on their knees before God’s throne.
- Father, search our hearts. Help each of us to humble ourselves in repentance for our own sins and the sins of our nation. Help us to unite as a people in the pursuit of holiness and to live daily your 2 Chronicles 7:14 call to your people. May we do our part so that you can forgive our sins and heal our land. Help us to honor and obey you in all things big and small so that you can bless and prosper us. Help us to impact our culture so that righteousness characterizes America and our influential relationships with the nations. May Call2Fall, together with other such God-stirred prayer movements, like tributaries, flow together and become a mighty river that unleashes your promises and an unprecedented move of Your Spirit, that brings America to its knees in repentance, and that revives the church in America to be salt and light at home and our churches and nation and even greater blessing to the nations than ever before. (Dt 28: all; Josh 24:14-16; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 95:6; Ps 139:23-24; Pr 14:34; Is 1:18; 44:22; 45:23; 55:7 Mt 5:13-16; 23:37)
Transgender Policy in the Armed Forces – Unless Secretary of Defense James Mattis steps in to stop or delay it, the Obama era policy requiring all branches of the U.S. Military to accommodate all troops who identify as transgender, with the predictable damage it will bring to our fighting forces, will go into effect July 1st. All troops must get used to mixed genital showers, special medical treatments for gender transitioning troops, etc. Commanders will be responsible to ascertain that all the special needs of their troops who identify as transgender are met. Army Chaplains, too, have been ordered to embrace the numerous extra challenges that they will face ministering to troops who identify as transgender and tasked with using their ministries to maintain good order. Take time to read the Army “Policy on Military Service of Transgender Soldiers Training Module: Tier 2: Commanders and Leaders” and pray! Forward it to fellow prayer warriors and urge them both to pray and to write President Trump, Secretary Mattis, and their Congressman and Senators with their views. The Marines have requested a one year delay and the Army a two year delay to prepare for this shock, but common sense dictates that this imposed distraction, which will weaken our national defense, should be stopped altogether. (See FRC’s Hail to these Chiefs...)
- May God remind us that He delivered defeat to Joshua’s army at Ai, due to the secret disobedience of one man, Achan, and his complicit family; that He will not go with our armies if our leade rs impose the sins of our culture upon our fighting men and women. God have mercy on us and deliver us from such self-defeating moral madness. (Josh 6:27-7:24; 22:20; Rom 2:2-11, esp. v 11)
Finally, please add these items to your prayer list: 1) The Health Care bill vote: Despite 6 GOP Senators having publicly announced their unwillingness to vote for the bill to go forward, a vote could still be called at any time. It is critical that firm pro-life language be part of the finished product. 2) The discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), whose “Hate List” targets Christian conservative groups, has been in the news again. First, the man who shot Rep. Steve Scalise and three others, while he attempted to massacre Republicans at a charity baseball practice, was a follower of SPLC. Second, GuideStar, once considered a neutral bureau providing information about non-profit organization to prospective donors, revealed its stripes by adopting the SPLC “Hate List,” flagging well-known Christian and conservative organizations in its own reports, before quickly reversing its policy under pressure from donors and others. Third, SPLC has hired 50 new employees and shifted its mission priorities to taking down President Donald Trump. It is time for Call2Fall! Thank you for praying!