Prayer Targets: Graham; Meriam Ibrahim; LGBT Pride Month; Military Religious Liberty; Call2Fall
May 29, 2014
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
Dear Praying Friends,
Over three million people have come to Christ through Billy Graham's long ministry. Over 2.2 billion have heard his radio and TV broadcasts. Of his nearly three dozen books, many were bestsellers, now classics. Entrepreneurs have created a library of free "apps" that allow modern believers to access his quotations, crusade videos, radio programs, and magazine articles on their phones and tablets. These excerpts from "Be a Nonconformist" are in May's Decision Magazine:
When Rome was at the height of her glory and power, there appeared a disturbing sect called Christians...these people dared to be different. In an era when immorality, lavishness and luxury were stylish, Christians refused to be defiled by the sensual practices of a disintegrating civilization. In a period when human life was cheap, they put a high value upon human beings, their souls and their destinies...
The Roman high tribunal initiated a drive to stamp out Christianity as a disturber of pagan unity... [they] had a false notion that a person's conscience could be controlled by law, so they made it illegal to be different. All had to bow to Caesar. All had to conform to pagan custom... Nonconformists were threatened with death, and many chose death rather than to conform to Rome and to compromise their consciences...
Times have changed, but human nature hasn't. The pagan world is still trying to put its stamp of conformity on every follower of Jesus Christ. Every possible pressure is being brought to bear upon Christians to make them conform... The Apostle Paul [Rom 12:2] urges Christians everywhere in all ages to be nonconformists as far as the world system is concerned. A true Christian, living an obedient life, is a constant rebuke to those who accept the moral standards of this world.
In our desire to make Christ known and to increase the influence of the church, we are prone to think that Christians and the church can be made popular with the unbelieving world. This is a grave mistake. Christ crucified is anathema to Satan, and the message of the Gospel is still a stumbling block and foolishness to the world. Our Lord warned His disciples, "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you" (Jn 15:18). The Apostle John writes, "Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you" (1 Jn 3:13).
Christians may be shown a grudging respect at times, but if we are faithful to Christ, we will surely incur the wrath of the world... The Scripture teaches that popularity with the world means death. Satan's most effective tools are conformity and compromise. He is aware that one man standing in the midst of a pagan people declaring, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." (Rom 1:16), can move more people [toward] God than thousands of insipid professors of religion.
"How could the early disciples turn the world upside down when millions of Christians can't even keep it right side up today?" ... They didn't conform their faith to the world. They had the truth, and refused to water it down. They had faith they would not compromise.
Because they dared to buck the tide of public opinion and be different, because they dared to believe when other people doubted, because they were willing to risk their lives for what they stood for, because they chose death rather than to live an empty life, the world took notice... In due time, they turned the philosophical and religious world upside down (Billy Graham, 2005, BGEA, Decision Magazine, May 2014; Read the rest of the article here).
Franklin Graham, who now leads the ministry his father began, addressed pastors last week at the Watchmen on the Wall Briefing (see video). He spoke of cowards in the church, challenging pastors to speak truth boldly. Every American Christian needs this message. Please pray!
Imprisoned Sudanese Christian Gives Birth - The woman we requested prayer for last week has given birth to a baby boy while imprisoned in Sudan. A Sudanese doctor, Meriam Ibrahim, is married to a Daniel Wani, a Sudanese immigrant who became an American Citizen. Convicted of adultery and apostasy in a Sudanese Court (the court claimed she married "illegally," and she refuses to recant her Christian faith), Meriam was sentenced to death by hanging. She was imprisoned while pregnant and recently gave birth, so she is enduring these harsh conditions along with her newborn and her 20-month old son. FRC has launched a petition to the White House to requesting immediate action and to expedite Meriam's request for refugee status (see First American Birth in Sudan Prison, New Life on Death Row, Sudanese Statement, Petition).
- May God intervene to save Meriam and her children! May God and the American people move our President and State Department to take action to see this lady and her American children freed! (Ps 6:4-5; 35:17-28; 50:15; Is 58:6; Dan 4:1b-3; Lk 17:2)
Call2Fall Sunday, June 29, 2014 - The race is on to get out the word about Call2Fall Sunday, which is just a month away. Word-of-mouth is the only way pastors and people learn about this important day for believers to humble ourselves before God, and to acknowledge our dependence upon Him before we celebrate another year of Independence. With no advertising budget, we must rely upon our friends to help get the word out! Please help by pointing friends to the website and Facebook page. Urge them to "like" us and click "I'm in!" Let's repent, pray and honor God on Sunday, June 29, before we fire up the grills and break out the picnic baskets to celebrate the 4th of July!
- May God supernaturally grow participation in Call2Fall this year! May He hear our repentant cries! (2 Chr 7:14; Ps 86:5; 110:3; Joel 1:14; 2:12-18, 32)
LGBT Pride Month - On Call2Fall Sunday, June 29th, the very day believers and churches across America will fall to their knees to pray for our nation, those who self-identify as homosexuals will be celebrating "LGBT Pride Day," a grand finale for June's observance of "LGBT Pride Month." President Obama will announce the observance and the White House, federal agencies, the Pentagon, many state agencies, many businesses and likeminded organizations across America will join the celebration. Only heaven knows exactly how this brazen departure from the moral law of God will impact our nation. But we are called to intercede with an Almighty God (White House Celebrates Activist Harvey Milk, New Postage Stamp 2013 WH Proclamation).
- May the Lord hear out intercessions stop the advance of this official celebration of sin! (Gen 20:18-23; Rom 1:16-32; 3:10 ff; Heb 13:4; Jude 7, 21-25)
Religious Liberty in the Military - Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act with an important religious liberty provision included. Together with Congressmen John Fleming (R-La.) and Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Co.) advocated for an amendment calling on the Department of Defense and the Air Force to clarify their policies on religious expression in order to comply with the law and protect the ability of our service members to freely practice and express their faith. Numerous violations of religious freedom have been reported in recent years at military installations and service academies such as the U.S. Air Force Academy. Efforts by Lt. General (Ret.) William G. (Jerry) Boykin, FRC's Executive Vice President, and a diverse coalition of officials and organizations who strongly support the military and religious liberty have helped Congress move to reverse the terrible trend. We have prayed over these matters for more than two years and have cause to rejoice! Yesterday, Rep. John Fleming delivered a special lecture on this topic at Family Research Council's headquarters (see Fleming Lecture; Gen. Jerry Boykin Commissions Pastors and speaks to the intercessors' role; NDAA Passes House; FRC Update: Clear and Present Danger).
- Pray that the U.S. Senate will pass the NDAA with these measures intact. May God and His people in America keep watch over our men and women in uniform to make sure these gains do not erode. May believing servicemen use their liberty for God's glory! (Dt 9:5; 28: all; 1 Chr 12:32-33; Pr 14:34; Ps 127:1; Jer 1:12; Act 5:29)
Finally, FRC's 11th annual Pastors Briefing surpassed all expectations. FRC is networking pastors to "Pray, Preach and Partner" to impact our culture for righteousness. Over 55% of the 650 registrants were first-time attendees. Briefing session videos are online for viewing without cost. They will help those who pray seriously for our nation! Thank you for praying!