Prayer Targets: God Revival; NDP; Supreme Court; Mozilla; Craig James; NYC Churches; Justina
April 10, 2014
Dear Praying Friends,
America in September 1857 was in spiritual, political, and economic decline. With deep division on the slavery question and a civil war on the horizon, a financial panic hit. Banks failed, railroads went bankrupt, factories closed, and joblessness grew. Amid the strain, Jeremiah Lanphier, a New York City layman, advertised a noon-time prayer meeting. Six people came. But the prayer meeting grew, spread, and then exploded across the city, then on to other cities across America and beyond. It was God's doing (Christianity.com). Meanwhile, God-sent revival broke out across the Atlantic:
In 1856 in Ulster, Ireland, James McQuilkin was invited to tea. There a visiting woman skirted the civilities of discussing the weather and spoke openly on a subject McQuilkin found uncomfortable: the condition of the soul. After another guest at the tea party described the nature of her Christian experience, the visitor said, "My dear, I don't believe you have ever known the Lord Jesus." McQuilkin later wrote, "I knew that she spoke what was true of me. I felt as if the ground were about to open beneath me and let me sink into hell. As soon as I could, I left the company. For two weeks I had no peace day or night. At the end of that time I found peace by trusting the Lord Jesus."
The following year McQuilkin felt burdened to pray for his neighbors. He asked three friends to join him. Once a week the four men gathered at the village schoolhouse to pray for each person in their community by name. The town was Ahogill, County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland. The date: September 1857. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, God was laying the same burden on many hearts, and similar prayer groups started throughout Northern Ireland. Pastors began preaching about revival. In December 1857 McQuilkin's group rejoiced to see the first conversion in Ahogill. But widespread revival did not come. Still, God's people prayed -for nineteen more months. Then one morning in the city of Ballymena, just six miles from Ahogill, a young man fell prostrate in the crowded marketplace and called out, "Unclean! Unclean! God be merciful to me a sinner!" The night of March 14, 1859, the McQuilkin group responded by inviting Christians to a prayer meeting at the Ahogill Presbyterian Church. The church was so crowded that they moved the meeting out into the street. There hundreds of people knelt in the mud and rain, confessing their sins and praising God. They were the first of one hundred thousand people God called to himself in 1859 in what became known as the Ulster Revival.
There was a great spiritual movement among young people. It was not uncommon for teenage boys to hold street meetings to reach their peers for Christ. At one such street meeting an Irish clergyman counted forty children and eighty adults listening to the preaching of twelve-year-old boys. The results of the revival were remarkable. In 1860 in County Antrim the police had an empty jail and no crimes to investigate. Judges often had no cases to hear. With their owners converted, pubs closed and alcohol consumption fell so drastically that whiskey distilleries were sold. Gambling at horse races fell off by 95 percent. A visitor to Ulster reported "thronged church services, abundant prayer meetings, increased family prayers, unmatched Scripture reading, increased giving, converts remaining steadfast." The Ulster movement touched off similar revivals in England, Scotland, and Wales. God drew hundreds of thousands of people to himself, and it all began with a woman unafraid to speak spiritual truth over tea (Michael and Sharon Rusten, The One Year Christian History, 2003).
Like the woman Jesus spoke of in Luke 18, who persisted until she obtained justice, we must not cease to seek godly reformation: righteousness and justice in every sphere of society. Yet we cannot succeed without God-sent revival. Our churches need revival, and our nation needs awakening, now! Please join us in observing the National Day of Prayer, May 1. Pray for our Watchman on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 21-23, and urge your church to observe Call2Fall, Sunday, June 29. May God revive His Church and may we be the salt and light he made us to be!
Supreme Court won't hear N.M. Photographer's Case - Christians, especially those in the wedding services industry: photographers, florists, bakers, wedding planners, etc., anxiously awaited the U.S. Supreme Court announcement whether they would take up the case of Elane Photography, LLC. Due to their Christian faith, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin declined to photograph a same-sex ceremony between two lesbians in 2007. A complaint to the New Mexico Human Rights Division brought a discrimination charge against Elane Photography and a fine of over $6,600. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) appealed the case all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled last year that the lesbian couple's rights had been violated and ordered the Huguenins to pay the fine. The ruling means the Huguenins cannot refuse to photograph same-sex ceremonies if they stay in business in the state of New Mexico. ADF Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President Jordan Lorence concedes there is nothing more legally the Huguenins can do. They have become "martyrs for the cause." He said similar cases are in the pipeline and hopes they will make their way to the High Court and be heard (see (Ignored Opportunity, Snapshot of Intolerance, Washington Times, Breitbart, Christian Post, hear Tony Perkins & Jordan Lorence).
- May God guide and provide for the Huguenin family. May His people across America receive courage to stand for truth, whatever the cost. May He move state and federal judges to uphold the First Amendment and protect Christians impugned for obeying God and His word! (Dt 16:18; 2 Chr 32:6-8; Ps 119:105-107; Mt 6:33; 1 Pet 3:15-17).
Meanwhile, former NFL running-back and Offensive Player of the Year, Craig James, who has spent several years working for ABC, CBS, and ESPN as a sports analyst and commentator was hired in 2013 by Fox Sports Southwest. But he was fired a week after starting. Why? Fox executives learned that while Craig was running for the Senate seat now occupied by Ted Cruz, he publicly declared his support for one man-one woman marriage and that he believed homosexuality to be immoral. Liberty Institute, a close FRC ally, filed a complaint on his behalf. Consequently, the Texas Workforce Commission issued a discrimination charge against Fox Sports Southwest for firing James and is furthering an investigation (See Eich: Heritage: Libs didn't Like It; Forbes: Crossed Line; Slate Satire?; Religious Freedom Fighter, FRC Welcomes Craig James; What does the Fired Fox Say?).
- Pray for those who have succumbed to pressure from activists, frenzied by their radical agenda. May business leaders understand the issues and not allow themselves to be used to promote an anti-Christian agenda. May Craig James prevail in his Texas action and may God use him mightily in his new role as Assistant to FRC President, Tony Perkins! (Josh 1:5-9; Hos 4:6-7; Eph 4:17-24; 6:13; Heb 6:10; 11: all; Jas 4:7; Rev 12:11)
NYC Churches Violated Again -After years of being repeatedly denied equal footing with other non-profit organizations to rent unoccupied NYC public school buildings for weekend services, a three judge panel from New York's Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the churches again. ADF Attorney Jordan Lorence says they will appeal the ruling to the full court. Pastor and NYC Councilman Fernando Cabrera hopes Mayor Bill De Blasio will keep his campaign promise to reverse the discriminatory policy decreed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Even if so, the case must proceed to correct this ruling (See Homeless Again; Church in the Lurch, Hear Perkins, Lorence and Cabrera).
- God defend your people and the Churches of New York City! May those in authority do right and honor the rights these churches are guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights! (Jdg 10:10 ff; 2 Sam 23:3; Is 54:17; Zech 2:8; Ps 11:3; 1 Cor 15:57 Jas 3:1)
Finally, please pray for the Pelletier Family, specifically Justina, because of the incredible injustice being done (Bill Introduced to Free Justina, Huckabee on Justina). Pray for Israel and the U.S. Sign up for Washington, a Man of Prayer on May 7. Thank you for praying!