Prayer Targets: North & South Korea; Congress Out; Texas Privacy Bill
August 09, 2017
The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Exodus 15:3
Dear Praying Friends,
The North Korean threat has reached a critical level. Following in the footsteps of his father, Kim Jong-un, now 33, assumed the role of “Supreme Leader” of North Korea, misnomered Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) at 27. For years, he has been issuing threats to its neighbors. South Korea, Japan and his archenemy, the United States. North Korea’s testing of missiles and nuclear devices has unnerved its neighbors, but the recent report that North Korea now has nuclear warheads heads small enough for ICBMs capable of reaching most of the U.S has ratcheted up concern. President Trump, responding to Kim Jong-un’s repeated threats warned, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire, fury and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Kim followed up the President’s threat with another threat to bomb the U.S. Airforce base in Guam.
The nation most seriously threatened by North Korea’s is its immediate neighbor to the South, South Korea, whose Capital, Seoul, is just 35 miles from the North Korean border and 120 miles from Pyongyang, North Korea’s Capital, Seoul is also the headquarters for the U.S. 8th Army.
Over the years faithful U.S. missionaries have significantly impacted South Korea. One-third of its people now claim Christ as Lord, South Korea has become home to numerous megachurches including the largest Assembly of God and the largest Presbyterian church in the world. The pastors and prayer leaders of South Korea are reaching out to their counterparts in the U.S., given the escalation of North Korean hostilities, asking that they join them in a prayer partnership to deal with the crisis, which threatens both nations. Believers in South Korea are ever grateful for the sacrifice of nearly 34,000 American servicemen and the families of those who gave their lives in the Korean War and nearly 129,000 who were wounded. South Korea is one of America’s closest allies. Indeed, the U.S, 8th Army and other strategic military personnel maintain a presence in South Korea of over 28,500 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.
In June, FRC Executive Vice President, Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin and I attended a special “Korean-American Christian Leaders Luncheon Prayer Meeting” in Washington, D.C. We were invited by Pastor Sharon Lee, Senior Pastor of the International Calvary Church in Springfield, Virginia and Rev. Young Hoon Lee, Senior Pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul Korea, former President of the National Council of Churches in Korea and immediate past chairman of Korea’s largest conservative evangelical Council, representing over 12 million Korean evangelicals, numerous U.S. Korean churches, councils and associations were the sponsors.
The group issued a formal invitation to the churches in the U.S. to partner with the churches in South Korea for extraordinary prayer for our nations amid the current crisis. As a week-long guest at Yoido Full Gospel Church some years ago, I saw the gargantuan sanctuary filled each weekday night to overflowing for all-night prayer meetings. They were not a special program, but actually a regular practice of the church, year-round. I had never seen such fervent prayer. And they prayed not for their own needs, but for their nation and their leaders, for the spread of the gospel, and especially for their Korean brothers and sisters to the north who had become slaves in the worst kind seen anywhere else on earth. Moreover, they spent considerable time – both in their prayer meetings and in the Sunday services, praying for America. I was radically impacted as I saw South Korean believers praying more fervently and in a more thoughtful and focused for America than I had ever seen American believers praying for their own nation. May we respond to their invitation to join them in prayer for their nation and kindred.
House & Senate in Semi-Recess – This does not mean they will be playing golf and spending the month by the pool. Instead many will be behind the scenes discussing and wrangling over the issues that must be dealt with quickly and efficiently when they return after Labor Day.
After Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to keep the Senate in Washington for two additional weeks into August, the Senate heard and voted on several bills to repeal and replace Obamacare and the various amendments in record time, exhausting all their options before presenting the final option – a partial repeal of Obamacare known as the “Skinny Bill.” They knew that two Republican Senators: Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) planned to vote against any measure. But it was Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) recently diagnosed with brain cancer, who in a dramatic entry in the early hours of July 28th, entered the Senate Floor and was given the floor for a speech. McCain voted against the bill, and ended all hope of anything passing before the recess. After the weekend, the Senate, in breakneck speed, confirmed 60 Trump appointees by voice vote, which was made possible by a special agreement between McConnell and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Most of the confirmations were for important Agency posts,that have sat empty for six months.
Officially, the Senate is not in full recess and can be called back at any time. But both House and Senate members are likely to be meeting with constituents in their home offices, and some will try to have town hall meetings. You can be sure that constituents will be eager to communicate their views (see Leave and Learn: Senate Heads Home to Regroup).
- May our members of Congress all get the rest they need to be alert, and morally, spiritually and mentally sharp. May they obtain constructive feedback from their constituents. May those in the “resistance” movement fail in their efforts to stop constructive town hall meetings. May God refresh those who are fighting for what’s right and may they come back to Washington with the encouragement, energy and determination they need to get the job done! (Ex 23:12; Josh 1:7; 23:6; Ps 26:2; 144:1; Is 40:31; Rom 12:2)
Benchmark Privacy Bill Needs a Miracle – The adversaries of privacy, modesty and common sense have made Texas their target and the next few days we will know whether those values are going to lose and along with them the people of Texas and a whole lot of other Americans. As I wrote last week, Texas has become the new target for LGBT activists. Despite support from the Governor, Lt. Governor, the Senate, and most the members of the Texas House, Texas men who identify as transgender will be able to use public school and other public bathrooms intended for women and girls with impunity because of one man: Joe Strauss, Speaker of the Texas House and a “moderate” Republican. Strauss, in both the regular session and a special session called by Gov. Abbott, has refused to allow members of the House to vote on this measure. But his position is anything but moderate. To make matters worse, like in North Carolina (HB 2) and in Indiana (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), big business has jumped in to muddy the waters on the side of the sexual activists – utterly confusing the issue, and giving elected officials who know better a smoke screen to hide behind. The CEOs of Shell and Exxon, IBM, Amazon, Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Capital One, Ben & Jerry’s, Facebook, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines have opposed the bill. The Texas Association of Business says 650 businesses, chambers of commerce, and convention and visitors’ bureaus have come out against the bill, including 50 Fortune 500 companies and more than 400 small businesses. Texas is a bellwether state, and this is a picture of what every state and many counties and municipalities across America are going to face in the months and years ahead. Are the husbands and fathers of America going to allow misguided big business CEOs and politicians make their wives and girls vulnerable to confused or malicious men surprising them in the restrooms they expect to use with privacy? Or are they going to raise their voices as citizens and take their responsibility to stop such insanity? This is bigger than Texas and it is coming to your community, if it has not already.
- May our prayers help the people of Texas, most of whom want privacy for their children in school and public bathrooms and locker rooms, embrace their liberties and responsibilities as citizens and speak up. May they make their collective will known to their elected representatives. If they fail to prevail in this round, may they prevail at the ballot box to elect representatives who fear God, who have common sense and courage, and who will pass upright laws that will protect every man woman and children in their state. May believers and citizens across America learn from this episode and put out the effort needed to protect their children in their states and communities. May God yet move upon the Texas House Speaker to change his mind and let the people – not him - decide this issue. (Lev 18:6-19; Dt 22:5; 1 Cor 12:23; Ph 2:15; 1 Tim 2:1-9. v. 9; 1 Tim 5:22)
Thank you, dear friends, for praying!