Prayer Targets: Watchmen Pastors; NDP; Biblical Counseling and Books Illegal in California?
April 25, 2018
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-40
Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. John 12:3
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Richard Blackaby (full bio) is president of Blackaby Ministries International near Atlanta, Ga., following his father, Dr. Henry Blackaby, who founded the ministry. Richard speaks extensively on spiritual leadership, spiritual awakening, experiencing God, and the Christian life. He studied history at the University of Saskatchewan (B.A.), and church history at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He was Senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Winnipeg, Ontario, and for 13 years served as president of the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, where he remains Chancellor. These excerpts are from the devotional, Experiencing God Day by Day, one of 30 books Blackaby has written or co-authored:
Bible study will not give you eternal life. You could memorize the entire Bible and be able to discuss minute issues of biblical scholarship and yet fail to experience the truths found in its pages ... The Pharisees in Jesus' day thought God would be pleased with their knowledge of His Word... They loved to recite and study God's Law for hours on end. Yet Jesus condemned them because, although they knew the Scriptures, they did not know God... You may be tempted to turn to substitutes. These substitutes aren't necessarily bad things. They might include serving in the church, doing good deeds, or reading Christian books. No amount of Christian activity will ever replace your relationship with Jesus. The apostle Paul considered every "good" thing he had ever done to be "rubbish" when compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ (Phil. 3:8). Never become satisfied with religious activity rather than a personal, vibrant, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
[Mary seemed to understand this.] Mary seemed drawn to the feet of Jesus. It is not surprising that of all those who followed Jesus, Mary was the one to anoint His feet. The disciples would have their opportunity to show the same love, but pride would prevent them (John 13:12-13). Martha, too, was prone toward acts of service, but she had developed a different kind of relationship with Jesus than Mary had. While Martha had labored on Jesus' behalf in the kitchen, Mary had joyfully sat at Jesus' feet and listened to Him teach (Luke 10:38-42). Because Mary had come to know and love Jesus in this way, she was ready to humble herself and offer this poignant expression of love to Him. Such depth and sincerity of love comes only through spending time in close fellowship with Jesus. The way we express our love for Jesus depends on the kind of relationship we have developed with Him. Our love for Him will not grow unless we spend time with Him, listen to His voice, and experience His love for us. If we find that our love for Jesus has waned or that we struggle to serve Him, it is a clear sign that we must take time to sit at His feet. We may have been involved in Christian activity on His behalf and yet neglected our relationship with Him. After we have spent time in intimate fellowship with our Lord, and after we have heard His voice and received His love, we will be prepared to serve Him, even laying down our life for Him if that is what He asks. (Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God Day by Day, from April 19 & 20)
Prayerful, devotional Bible study should be a part of every believer's life, and it can be a time of intimate fellowship with Jesus. Intimate fellowship and relationship with him must be the starting point for the kind of "all-in" prayer for our nation that we seek and advocate in the Prayer Targets. Needed are men, women, and young people who passionately pursue relationship with Jesus to pray with us per 1 Tim 2:1-8 for our leaders and their work, "so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Abiding in the vine through intimate fellowship with the Lord is foundational to fruitfulness in every kind of ministry, but especially prayer. It is in intimate fellowship with the Lord that we gain the spiritual power, vitality, strength, position, and posture to engage in the kind of spiritual warfare required on behalf of America today. And, as Blackaby says, only, "after we have spent time in intimate fellowship with our Lord, and after we have heard His voice and received His love, [can] we ... be prepared to serve Him, even laying down our life for Him if that is what He asks."
Watchmen on the Wall Pastors' Briefing -- The greatest need in America today is for God's pastors: 1) to seek the face of God, have serious prayer lives and teach their people how to pray; 2) to preach the whole truth of God's word as it applies to the moral challenges of our present culture and what God's people ought to be doing to advance God's agenda; and 3) to partner with other pastors to take a public stand in support of what's right and against what's wrong in the moral debate in the public square. God's pastors and people must not sit on the sidelines! As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rightly contended, the church is the conscience of our nation. And if the nation's conscience is not functioning as stinging salt and shining light, evil and darkness prevail. God's people need to be equipped and effectively doing the work of the ministry. God's people must stand up to defend and advance respect for human life, defend the faith once delivered to the saints, and uphold the biblical family. Scripture declares, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Pastors must lead the effort to restore the foundations.
That's why Tony Perkins founded FRC's ministry to help pastors and local churches stand strong amid the cultural challenges of our day. We conduct Briefings across the land throughout the year. Yet our premier National Pastors' Briefing takes place in Washington, D.C. just once each year. And it will take place just four weeks from today, starting on Wednesday, May 23 and ending on Friday, May 25, the week before Memorial Day (click here for details). Please forward this Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing link to your own pastor and to every pastor you know, and encourage them to attend. Send it to intercessors and ask them to pray.
The event will begin with a reception and tour of the new Museum of the Bible, followed by a Christian heritage tour of the U.S. Capitol Building with David Barton and our own Dr. Kenyn Cureton. Each day will begin with prayer and proceed with a series of life changing messages by hand chosen plenary and breakout speakers, among them (in alphabetical order): Kay Arthur, Michele Bachmann, John Bevere, Ryan Bomberger, the Benham Brothers, Pastor Garret Booth, Pastor Hernan Castano, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Boykin, Benjamin Bull, Pastor Carter Conlon, Dr. Kenyn Cureton, Worship Pastor Jeremy Dailey, Pastor Dr. Jim Garlow, Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Bishop Harry Jackson, Bishop Larry Jackson, Dr. Paul Kim, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Josh McDowell, Dr. Alex McFarland, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Bishop Angel Nunez, FRC President Tony Perkins, Ned Ryun, Pastor Deamon Scapin, Todd Starnes, Pastor Mark Stermer, Pastor Todd Wagner, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), and Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). Each was carefully chosen for their unique qualifications, experience, and contributions to the defense and advance of Faith, Family, and Freedom. Pray that each pastor will return home encouraged, strengthened, and empowered significantly to impact their churches, communities, and our nation for righteousness. Prayer will be interspersed throughout.
- Father, how we need you to intervene in the affairs of our nation. How our families, our churches, our schools, our businesses, and our local, state, and federal governments need you, Father of all fatherhood, Teacher of all teachers, Shepherd of all shepherds, Creator of all things, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. God, we pray for every pastor you have called and we pray for pastors collectively. Grant them tremendous insight into your word and powerful anointing to teach, preach, and stir your people to prayer, obedience, and action as never before. Pour out your Spirit, our only hope. Without you we can do nothing! Use Watchmen on the Wall 2018 in an amazing way to light a torch across America! Let the repercussions, reverberations, the light, the heat, and the sound resound across the nation. Gather the remnant of your flock, bring them again to their folds, and cause them to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and be fruitful and increase. Revive your people, make them strong salt and bright lights. Rekindle the light of the Gospel in our land and transform every institution. (Neh 4:2-6, 14; 2 Chr 7:14; Jer 23: all; Eze 34: all; Mt 28:18-20; Gal 2:16; Eph 4:11-13; 6:10-20; Tit 3:8)
Please add or keep these matters on your prayer list: 1) The National Day of Prayer is just eight days away. Please pray and do all you can to promote it! 2) The favorable Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote virtually ensures Mike Pompeo's confirmation as Secretary of State when the entire U.S. Senate votes next week; 3) Evangelicals support for President Donald Trump is at an all-time high; 4) The Navy has dismissed complaints and threats about the use of the Bible on a POW-MIA display table (see more); 5) The California Assembly Bill 2943 prohibits counselors from helping individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions or gender dysphoria. It also prohibits literature that offers such help. Thus, the bill prohibits any help for such individuals who voluntarily seek out help and condemns them to a life of confusion. Already passed by the California Assembly, it now goes to the Senate. It is a direct threat to free speech and other fundamental liberties. It also threatens Christian booksellers who sell books that deal with the gender confusion. Some fear the law could be used to prohibit the sale of Bibles; 6) The California Family Counsel website lists a spate of radical sexual mandates now under consideration by the California Assembly. What happens in California is a bellwether for other states, especially liberal-leaning ones; 7) Parents spoke out against radical sex-ed programs on Monday, keeping their children out of school across America and Canada (see #SexEdSitOut; Franklin Graham says enough to Planned Parenthood's pornographic sex-ed; Charlotte, N.C. rally); 8) Another conservative Trump judicial appointee, Kyle Duncan, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the 5th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals; 9) Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is suing to stop an Indiana law that requires inspections of their facilities; 10) The Left is already warning about our Bold Advance efforts in the swing states in the lead up to the 2018 elections, focusing on our Watchmen on the Wall ministry to pastors and churches.
As always, thank you for praying!