Prayer Targets: E.M. Bounds; Persevering Prayer for the Trump Transition Team & Cabinet
December 07, 2016
Provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. Exodus 18:21
Dear Praying Friends,
We have seen the fruit of relentless, united prayer across America. We have been given a reprieve. But our work is ahead of us. The unified, focused prayer that brought us a breakthrough must continue, and grow in quality and quantity. Every inch of new ground must be taken through prayer. God is with us! E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) wrote nine classic works on prayer. Here he writes of prayer’s necessity and preeminence in the work of God through his people:
God has placed Himself under the law of prayer, and obligated Himself to answer the prayers of men. He has ordained prayer as a means whereby He will do things through men as they pray, which He would not otherwise do. Prayer is a specific divine appointment, an ordinance of heaven, whereby God purposes to carry out His gracious designs on earth... man has it in his power by prayer to move God to work among men in a way He would not work if prayer was not made.
If prayer puts God to work on earth, then prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents Him from working. Prayerlessness excludes God from everything concerning men, and leaves man in this world with its tremendous responsibilities and its difficult problems, and with all of its sorrows, burdens and afflictions, without any God at all. The denial of prayer is a denial of God Himself, for God and prayer are so inseparable that they can never be divorced.
Prayer brings into play the forces of heaven and earth. God, angels and men are subjects of this wonderful law of prayer, and all these have to do with the possibilities and the results of prayer. Prayer lays hold upon God and influences Him to work. This is the meaning of prayer as it concerns God. This is the doctrine of prayer... Prayer puts God to work in all things prayed for. While man in his weakness and poverty waits, trusts and prays, God undertakes the work. “For from old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waits for him” ( Is 64:4 ).
“Whatsoever ye ask in My Name,” Jesus says, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” And again: “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what he will and it shall be done unto you” ( Jn 14:12-14 ).
To no other energy is the promise of God committed as to that of prayer. Upon no other force are the purposes of God so dependent. The word of God dilates on the results of prayer. The work of God stays or advances as prayer puts forth its strength. Prophets and apostles have urged the utility, force and necessity of prayer. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night. Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” ( Is 62:6-7 ).
Little and poor praying has weakened Christ’s power on earth and postponed the glorious results of His reign... Prayer puts God’s work in His hands, and keeps it there. It looks to Him constantly and depends on Him implicitly to further His own cause... Every movement for the advancement of the Gospel must be created by and inspired by prayer... Everywhere in His Word God conditions His actions on prayer. Man has personal relations with God. Prayer is the divinely appointed means by which man comes into direct connection with God. By His own ordinance God holds Himself bound to hear prayer. When Solomon closed his great prayer which he offered at the dedication of the Temple, God appeared to him, approved him, and laid down the universal principles of His action. In 2 Chron. 7:12-15: “And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself, for a house of sacrifice. “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among the people; 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. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place” (E.M. Bounds, The Weapon of Prayer, Ch.2 ; edited).
Our nation has new hope, but our eyes must remain fixed on Jesus. We must keep our hands steady on the plough in the work of prayer. Our nation will only see 2 Chronicles 7:14 realized and our nation healed when God’s requirements are fulfilled and he graciously answers our desperate, humble, and repentant prayer. It is not time to pull back.
Trump Appointments and Transition Team - Atop our prayer list is President-elect Trump and his transition team, now working around the clock to vet the men and women most fitted and capable to lead the executive branch of our federal government for the next four or more years. The well-known axiom “Personnel equals policy” tells it all. The character, morality, education, experience, and religious devotion of each appointee will dictate the kinds of policies, rules, and regulations they will produce.
The transition team is being capably led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a follower of Jesus, and President-elect Trump is making final decisions for his Cabinet and other key appointees. Among the most recent picks: Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as nominee for Defense Secretary (DOD); U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as nominee for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Sen. Jeff Session (R-AL) as nominee for Attorney General.
The DOD has 2.7 million military and civilian personnel and a $598 billion budget (2015), or 16% of federal spending, what is deemed as “discretionary spending.” HHS had spent over $1 trillion by itself in 2015. HHS, Medicare and Health, Social Security, Food Assistance, Unemployment, and other “mandatory spending” cost $2.45 trillion, well over 4 times the cost of the military .
Over the past eight years, President Obama has used the entire federal apparatus to push sexual orientation, gender identity, and abortion on all American citizens. It will be up to the new president and his appointees, like the good Kings of ancient Judah who tore down the nation’s idols, to tear down some of the evil programs Obama has instituted and to refocus on the task for which their agencies were intended: Military -- defending the American people, fighting and winning wars; HHS -- administering public health and not abortion and sexual anarchy; Justice Department -- administering justice, seeing that the good guys are vindicated and the wrongdoers punished, not vice versa. It is not going to be an easy task.
But while President Obama has focused on advancing sexual anarchy and abortion at home, he has also used American influence abroad to promote special rights for LGBT behavior by threatening the withdrawal of foreign aid from needy countries who do not wish to comply with his agenda. Americans have watched the demise of religious liberty around the world and the wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Middle East while the Obama State Department has done little to save them. Furthermore, its refugee policies have allowed Islamists to slip into America, some of whom have already committed murders and massacres. The new Secretary of State has his work cut out for him.
Tony Perkins has said: “The next Secretary of State will have to aggressively confront these issues head-on in accord with the mandate for change the voters gave to President-elect Trump. Donald Trump needs an agent of change to head the Department of State and we do not believe it is Mr. [Mitt] Romney” ( Hear Tony and Ken Blackwell discuss Tom Price’s appointment to HHS and Mitt Romney’s consideration for Secretary of State ; Read Tony Perkins and former Congressman Frank Wolf’s op-ed on the priority of international religious liberty ; See O Come and Protect Ye Faithful ).
· Heavenly Father, stir your people to pray, and not to let up in seeking you for your guidance and leadership in the shaping of the new administration. Surround President-elect Trump with leaders who are capable and experienced, who fear you, who love the truth and know how to discern it from the lies prevalent in our culture, and who hate covetousness. Lord, may those you led sacrificially to pray before the election, grow in depth and perseverance and be used to see this prayer movement usher in not only a Holy Spirit-led revival in our churches and an awakening in our nation, but also a transformation of our culture. Raise us up as a nation that you can bless mightily again, as you have in the past ( Ex 18:21 ; Ex 35:21 ; 36:2 ; 2 Chr 36:22-23 ; Ps 11:3-5 ; Pr 11:14 ; 24:6 ; Is 64:4-12 ; Acts 12:5 ; Rom 1:9 ; 2 Th 2:9-12 ; 1 Th 5:17 ; 2 Tim 1:3 ; Heb 5:14 ).
Finally, please pray over these matters: 1) Gov. Pat McCrory (R) conceded the North Carolina governor’s race Monday to Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, after the challenger’s lead reached 10,000 votes. After he signed HB2, the law requiring men and women to use publicly owned restroom facilities based upon their biological sex and not their chosen identity, McCrory was viciously assaulted by the liberal press, big business, and even major sports leagues. Now, experts fear that sexual activist groups that have vilified McCrory will continue to use every trick to hobble his future. Pray that he will be protected and vindicated by the Lord! 2) Keep up with news on the Trump transition team and pray over each candidate under consideration for the Cabinet and other high positions . And remember God’s declared principles for choosing all candidates for public office, stated plainly in Exodus 18:21 . Thank you for praying!