Prayer Targets: The Daniel Prayer; Health Care Bill; Transgender Ideology; Target Stores; Persecuted Christians
May 10, 2017
Dear Praying Friend,
Anne Graham Lotz led the National Day of Prayer service in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall last Thursday evening. The Hall sparkled like diamonds while the presence of God flooded it with the messages and prayers offered. Just a year ago, Mrs. Lotz released her timely book, The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. This is an excerpt:
IT'S TIME TO PRAY THE DANIEL PRAYER! The air was electric. People were shouting, crying, pleading with God. Some were standing with raised hands, others were on their knees, and still others were prostrate on the floor. My brother Franklin had just entered the auditorium, and I remember glimpsing his face at the doorway, his eyes wide as he mouthed, "What's going on?" ...
When I issued the invitation to repent of their sin and to commit to training up their children in the Lord, almost the entire audience of pastors and church leaders surged forward. They began pouring out their hearts in an urgent, desperate, passionate pleading with God to forgive, to have mercy, to bless. They were not praying in other languages. I could understand what they were saying, but the atmosphere itself was thick with the presence of God. I remember a woman seizing me by the arm and pulling me into her circle for prayer. Pray? I was totally intimidated to pray in such a group. For good reason. When I opened my mouth, and tried, my voice sounded hollow. My prayer seemed wretchedly anemic in the midst of such fervent intensity. I had never before heard prayer like I heard on that day in Suva, Fiji. Actually, rarely have I ever heard prayer like that anywhere, which has led me to wonder why our prayers often lack that kind of power, passion, and persuasion. What are we missing? What was I missing? While there may be more than one answer to my question, could it be that one key ingredient that is missing is an all-out, no-holds-barred, go-for-broke, nothing-held-back, old-fashioned commitment to pray? The kind of commitment that's born out of desperation. Intense aspiration. Soulful longing. The kind of commitment athletes make to win the race or the game or the trophy or the medal. The kind of commitment that makes sacrifices, accepts responsibility, keeps obligations, and overcomes obstacles. The kind of urgent plea we find in the Daniel Prayer. This is not a casual, every-day, pray-as-you-feel-like-it, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety type of prayer. It is not even a flare sent up as a distress call for help. The Daniel Prayer is a commitment. A commitment that perseveres over any and every obstacle until Heaven is moved and nations are changed. The original Daniel Prayer was a desperate plea uttered by one man, Daniel, on behalf of his nation -- Judah -- that had come under God's judgment. For an entire generation -- for seventy years -- his people were held in captivity by their enemy, the Babylonians, and separated from God's place of blessing. The sad reality was that God had repeatedly forewarned the nation that if there was no national repentance of sin, judgment would fall...
[Daniel] rose to be the equivalent of prime minister under four emperors: Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus.
And yet Daniel never forgot the temple that had been the heart of Jerusalem and of the nation. Even at the end of his life, he remained mindful of the sacrifices that had been offered to God there as an act of obedient worship. He longed for Jerusalem every day of his life, evidenced by the fact that three times daily, when he prayed, he turned his face in the direction of his beloved city that once had been...
When political solutions repeatedly fail to remedy what must begin with wet eyes, broken hearts, and bent knees... It's time to look up. It's time to cry out. It's time to pray. (Anne Graham Lotz, The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations, pp. 13-19, Zondervan)
The National Day of Prayer 2017 is over, but the annual observance is not an end in itself. It is a national reminder for all of us to humble ourselves and pray, to seek God's face, and turn from our wicked ways continually, daily, 365 days each year. When God's people do that; when our churches become "houses of prayer," God will keep His promise to heal our nation -- speedily!
The American Health Care Act – Last Thursday, on the National Day of Prayer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) which repealed and replaced major parts of Obamacare with a new measure that promises to lower health care costs and eliminate the odious, socialistic fines and mandates that are part of Obamacare. The plan promises to rely upon free market principles yet preserve insurance availability to people with preexisting health conditions that might otherwise make them uninsurable. Several members of the House Freedom Caucus supported the bill, believing it to be, while not perfect, the only bill that had a chance of passing both Houses of Congress, becoming law, and bringing the disastrous Obamacare to an end. The bill ends 86 percent of taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood for one year (insiders are confident that the defunding, once enacted, will be renewed from year to year). Defunding Planned Parenthood would have been politically impossible in the Omnibus Budget bill – which would have required 60 votes in the U.S. Senate. Defunding Planned Parenthood is doable with the AHCA because it will be enacted via "reconciliation," which requires only 51 votes. Even still, passage is uncertain as Democrats are universally opposed to the bill and a small number of Republican Senators are publicly expressing uncertainty regarding their vote. House Republicans made it clear that the AHCA is a "first step" and that the law will be made more perfect over time. If the Senate fails to pass it, the rapidly imploding Obamacare system will remain in place (see Collins a Maine Character in Health Care; Perkins: ACHA Passed, Religious Freedom EO Issued on NDP; Breitbart on AHCA; FRC to Score).
- May God shepherd the Senate to improve and not damage the AHCA. May measures to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion and Planned Parenthood remain intact in the Senate version. Pray that reconciliation will produce an excellent bill that both Houses can pass. And may Americans look to God as their healer and not government. (Ex 15:26; 23:2; Dt 19:10; 2 Chr 16:12; Phil 1:10; 1 Tim 1:5; Jas 3:17)
Transgender Ideology War -- You know that President Trump rescinded the Obama DOJ/DOE's May 2016 guidance that threatened public schools across America with losing their federal funding if they refused to allow children who identify as transgender to access their opposite-sex bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, sports programs, and other gender specific programs. Even still, schools and school boards across America are continuing to deal with this. Activists for gender confusion are pushing them to adopt such policies, and far too many communities are allowing such policies to be implemented without getting parents involved. Christians must rise up and take a public stand to fight and prevent such policies from being implemented. These policies are irresponsible and dangerous on many levels. Those who get involved will soon learn that that the advocates of these policies are unrelenting. These policies go far beyond bathrooms – such radical changes require explanation. Activists seek to implement transgender education into school health curricula, determined to mainstream and promote transgenderism among our children. Otherwise seemingly educated and intelligent adults are actively supporting such policies. The roots of this fight are profoundly spiritual: "In the beginning God made them male and female" (Gen 1:27; Mt 19:4). (See Case in Point; View this important video: Transgender Ideology in Public Schools: Parents Fight Back)
- Lord, Obergefell v. Hodges was an assault upon Your institution of marriage, the cornerstone of society. The effort to mainstream transgenderism is an assault on You as Creator and the heart of Your created order. Please help us to prevent the conferring of special rights and privileges for those who embrace aberrant sexual identities, and those who seek to re-engineer American society and law to require god-fearing Americans to submit to such moral subversion. Please stop parent's rights from being violated, the massive confusion of our youth and the effort to capture their souls. Intervene to waken us, our pastors, churches, families, neighbors, and friends to engage in this fight and win it! (Gen 1:27; 5:2;6:19; Dt 22:5; Josh 1:7; Neh 4:14; Dan 9:8; Mt 19:4; Rom 1:32; 1 Jn 3:8)
Target Stores -- In May 2016, Target announced its policy welcoming persons who identify as transgender to use the bathrooms and dressing rooms of their choice. FRC quickly joined the American Family Association in calling for a boycott of Target until they change their irrational policy. Over 1.5 million people have joined it. Despite instances of disreputable visitors and criminal behavior that Target's policy has attracted to its stores, and despite Target's stock plummeting over 30 percent while its competitors stocks continue to rise, Target not only persists, but is doubling down in its promotion of the LGBT agenda (see Pride Comes before Target's Fall; Target Doubles Down to Promote Gay Pride Despite Losses: WSJ: "How Target Botched Its Response to the North Carolina Bathroom Law"; Target's Aisle of Denial; Crime and Punishment.
- Pray that Target and other businesses that have refused to face reality and that persist in promoting an immoral and unsafe agenda, will repent! In the meantime, may others learn from their folly! (Pr 1:5; 1:7;9:9; 28:23; 14:16; Is 5:20; Mt 15:14; 18:6)
Watchmen on the Wall -- FRC's 14th annual Pastors B riefing will be held May 24-26 in Washington, D.C. We still have room left for a few more pastors. Please pray for this life-changing Briefing for pastors only. Visit FRC's Watchman on the Wall website and pass the information on to your pastor – consider offering to pay your pastor's way to go. He will come back to your church energized, filled with vision, and equipped to bring that energy and vision to your congregation! Visit WatchmenPastors.org and National Event.
Call2Fall -- Now that the National Day of Prayer is behind us, we are looking forward to Call2Fall on Sunday, July 2, 2017. We hope you will urge your pastor to join with us!
Finally, pray for President Trump, that he will receive guidance and favor as he appoints swaths of federal judges to fill 127 open seats. He appointed 10 this week. Pray too that they will be easily confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Also, please pray for the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians (May 10-11). Thank you, as always, for praying!