Prayer Targets: Stand; Marriage in NJ, HI, NM & IL; Principled Men; ENDA; Billy Graham
October 23, 2013
"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and [fully equipped and armed with the Word of God]: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints..." (Eph 6:14-18 AV)
Dear Praying Friends,
In America today, Bible-believing Christians are under assault on many fronts:
In Acts 2, just weeks after the people of Jerusalem cried "Crucify Him," we read that God poured out His Spirit upon those who had gathered in an upper room to pray and wait for Him. When God showed up, a huge crowd gathered over the commotion and Peter rose to preach his first gospel sermon following Christ's resurrection. Three thousand souls responded to his no-holds-barred sermon, and were born again. Later, Peter and John, on their way to pray, stopped at the Temple Gate and ministered to a lame man who was begging for alms. He was miraculously healed, another huge crowd gathered and Peter took the opportunity to preach another challenging call to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This time 5000 men (plus women and children) repented and believed the gospel. But Peter and John were arrested by the Temple guards and kept overnight to appear before the Council. The next day the Jewish authorities commanded them to cease speaking in the name of Jesus. Sound familiar? Peter and John responded "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19-20). Once released, they rejoined their brethren, reported what had happened. Together, they prayed Psalm 2. They did not ask God for a new strategy, nor for a place to hide until the threats had subsided. Their bold, unyielding, prayer is recorded in Acts 4:23-31. And "when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness (v. 31).
Today, amid hostility and false accusations from detractors in government, schools, business, the media, Hollywood, the military, and confused and/or apostate churches, there is a huge temptation for Bible-believing churches and ministries to shrink from controversy, some believing that may help. But neither the Apostles, the great leaders in 2000+ years of Church history, nor the great Americans who gave their lives to secure liberty for us and our children, did any such thing. Had they, we would be far worse off! If we pull back under today's assaults, will our children be better off 25 or 50 years from now, if Christ tarries? America was built upon godly principles: faith, family and freedom, equal justice under the law, the right to life, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, private property, etc. Like our forefathers, we must stand fearlessly in the face of lies, false ideologies, hostility, even the loss of our property or threats to our lives. We must speak the truth in love. For the truth, alone, will make and keep us free and save those hostile toward us and toward God. Please do not pull back or give up! Remember, we must prevail in prayer for our churches, not just so they will be safe and survive; but so that they will be revived and courageous like Peter, John, Paul and others, throughout history whose bold public preaching and even readiness to die for the truth, led to life, even amid rabid persecution (PB)
Gov. Christie Abandons Defense of Marriage, More States in Same-sex Jeopardy - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has dropped plans to further appeal a court imposing same-sex marriage upon the people. The New Jersey Supreme Court refused to grant a stay on same-sex marriages after the Superior Court declared the state's man-woman marriage law unconstitutional. The Court could have granted the stay while it considers the matter in January. But rather than press on until January and argue the case for marriage, Christie dropped the appeal, allowing the Superior Court essentially by judicial fiat, to rewrite the law. Same-sex marriages have already commenced, and New Jersey is now the 14th state to "legalize" homosexual marriage. Some speculate that Christie's decision was motivated by his political aspiration to be re-elected Governor in 2014 and run for President in 2016.
Three other states are also in immediate same-sex jeopardy, including Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico. In the mid-90's, Hawaii was the first state to threaten the legalization of homosexual marriage. Because of the rapid response of Hawaii's churches, the same-sex marriage effort was defeated, and the U.S. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act in anticipation of similar threats elsewhere. The forces for and against same-sex marriage are in spiritual and political hand-to-hand combat - polls showing voters evenly divided: 44% to 44%. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has called a special session of the Legislature, something he said he would not do unless the votes were there to pass. Meanwhile, some Hawaiians believe a legal assault against churches, seeking exorbitant back rents and future fees from those that rent public school facilities is motivated by the same-sex marriage fight. Also, the New Mexico Supreme Court will hear arguments over same-sex marriage today. There, eight counties have been illegally issuing same-sex marriage licenses (see Christie Flips, NJ Supreme Court, 3 More States, Hawaii, Schools).
- May God help the pastors and churches in New Jersey, Hawaii, Illinois and New Mexico, to stand and do what only they can to withstand and stop the evil of "legalized" same-sex marriage. May God give them eyes to see that there can be no religious freedom in a society where homosexual license is honored above God and religious liberty. Some try to twist what God's word says about sin. But His Word says "the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6:23) and the Scripture goes on to say that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Our prayer and goal is for all to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the forgiveness of sin, regardless of what that sin may be. Our concern is that when a society embraces as acceptable what God calls sin, it will lead many not to a temporal destruction, but an eternal separation from God.
Debt, Abortion, Religious Tyranny Rolled up in Obamacare - The media, White House and federal agency spokesmen are shamelessly trumpeting their victory over House conservatives' valiant efforts to delay Obamacare coupled with passing a Continuing Resolution and raising the debt ceiling. They are capitalizing on the unpopular "shutdown" by blaming conservatives - especially the Tea Party, to divert attention from the Obamacare rollout meltdown. Many would say they are threatening conservatives, with an eye toward the 2014 elections. Meanwhile, few in the media speak of the House of Representatives' responsibility to control the purse strings of the federal government. Few fellow Republicans praise and some even criticize their colleagues for standing firmly on principle. Few Americans even realize that the House wanted a simple delay in Obamacare. Indeed, such would have been a gift for President Obama, considering the technical disaster Obamacare's rollout has been one that experts say will take at least 6 months to fix. Tony Perkins has said, that this administration's inability to successfully create and manage a website, should be a warning to all Americans that they dare not entrust the complicated management of their own healthcare and lives to this administration. Moreover, an annual estimated increase of 110,000 illegal taxpayer-funded abortions and the coercion of religious American employers to provide insurance that violates their religious conscience, alone, are factors of Obamacare no Christian can accept, even if the law was perfect in every other way. Beginning October 1, faithful religious employers are required to submit to parts of Obamacare that violate their religious conscience, or pay huge fines for their refusal to submit (see Hobby Lobby). But Obamacare is flawed through and through. The administration's false promises and incompetence will be manifest with time. Many Americans already realize that they will pay much, much more, not less for their health insurance and they will not be able to keep the policies they like as President Obama promised. The numbers never added up and never will. In January, Congress will have another CR/debt ceiling faceoff (see Panic, Sebelius Response, Assessing the Exchanges, Post-Shutdown Polls, Life vs. Lawlessness).
- May God Arise and His enemies be scattered. May those who stood for what is right be vindicated. May God intervene and stir and enable Congress to come up with a plan to excise abortion and anti-religious tyranny out of Obamacare. May the American people be awakened to the disaster that is this law and demand its repeal! (Job 13:18; Ps 68:1; Is 5:20; 10:1; Mal 2:17; Eph 5:14; Rev 12:11).
Finally, the Senate is expected to bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the floor sometime in November, which means the House could take it up in December. Billy Graham's My Hope America nationwide evangelism campaign is also slated to begin in November. A true gospel invasion that changes our hearts is the only hope for America. Thank you for praying!