Prayer Targets: Avoid the 'Twinkie Diet'; HR1 Threatens Freedom; Equality Act
March 13, 2019
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29)
Tony Perkins (bio) is President of both Family Research Council and the Council for National Policy. A member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, he is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. This is from his periodic Fox News religious column:
Avoid the ‘Twinkie diet’ in your prayer life...Imagine the reaction to a diet and exercise plan that claimed for just five minutes a day in the gym, you could consume six hours’ worth of Twinkies a week. When it comes to food, people understand the need for discipline and balance between what goes into your body and how to process it.
But equally bad for the human soul is a steady diet of mass media and cultural consumption that compounds fear and worry over a world that can seem out of control – without counteracting those earthly concerns with a heavenward response.
To handle the kind of high-caloric anxiety so common in the 24/7 news driven world we live in, we need the exercise of prayer.
Just this month, Gallup released a poll saying that the highest percentage of Americans since 1939 believe that “government, poor leadership or politicians” are the nation’s top problem. The 35 percent of Americans who shared that sentiment probably are among those who consume the kinds of news that can add to their anxiety. Adult news consumers spend nearly 6.5 hours a week watching cable TV news, yet so few of us spend much time in prayer to counteract all that we see and hear.
While almost 80 percent of Americans say they have prayed at least once in the last three months, that’s not enough to overcome all that we deal with in daily life.
To prevent growing weary in our faith and losing hope as we face difficult and discouraging circumstances, we all need persistent and prevailing prayer. In fact, when Jesus wanted to encourage people to pray without ceasing, he used a parable about a widow needing justice from a corrupt, arrogant government official.
Being discouraged – even about politics – is nothing new, which is why Jesus taught his disciples in Luke 18 “that they should always pray and not give up.”
As the story goes, “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’”
Eventually, faced with the widow’s persistence, the unjust judge relented. Jesus taught that we must be just as diligent in bringing our concerns to a loving God as the widow was in seeking justice. The difference is that we have an Advocate who wants to hear from us.
In Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus reminded us that we have a Father in heaven standing by, saying: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Prayer is part of a relationship in which we spend time with a God who cares, getting to know him, listening as well as talking. It takes time. It’s obvious that a couple who never spends more than a few minutes together each day, just handing off lists of things they want, won’t last long when the hard times come because they are not deeply connected.
In the same way, we need to move beyond “drive-by” prayers, where our only interaction with God is to shoot off a few things we want as we hurry on our way.
The cares of this world are real. People are sick, hungry, struggling with addiction, unemployment, loneliness and a thousand other things that wake us up in the night and burden our every thought, in part because we know that we are often helpless to handle all of this alone. Some things seem impossible to fix, but prayer changes things.
Prayer isn’t about just feeling better or checking a box. It’s about being humble enough to know that you can’t handle everything alone and being wise enough to “(c)ast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Billy Graham wrote, “Every man or woman whose life has counted for the church and the Kingdom of God has been a person of prayer. You cannot afford to be too busy to pray.”
The next time you are up late at night and can’t sleep, worn down by what life is throwing at you, don’t count sheep – go to the Good Shepherd. He is waiting to hear your concerns, share your burden and travel even the bumpy roads with you. (Tony Perkins, Avoid the ‘Twinkie Diet’ in Your Prayer Life, Fox News, February 28, 2019)
HR1 Threatens Freedom – This past Friday, the liberal progressive-led House of Representatives passed HR1, the “For the People Act,” the Democratic Party’s signature piece of legislation for 2019. It is the most sweeping, unwise, destructive and I believe anti-American election “reform bill” ever proposed in America. I had a hard time writing a Prayer Target about it earlier this week. From my perspective, it is election anarchy. And if it were ever to become law, it would be the end of the American Republic.
I answered a good friend who wrote me about the Prayer Targets by saying, “I couldn't get my head wrapped around this bizarre, far overreaching, 700-page octopus with hundreds of tentacles intended to overthrow the election process and with it, what is left of American liberty.” Read the Prayer Targets and the Heritage Foundation article I linked. It outlines HR1. Make sure to click “READ FULL REPORT” and you will understand why I thanked God for the three branches of Government and the two chambers of Congress.
This construction of government has preserved us, even amid our apathy and spiritual dullness, more than once, and given us time to wake up and mend our ways. But if we allow the people who passed this outrageous bill to gain even more power in 2020, it may be all over (and I do not believe I am exaggerating). We are facing the greatest divide among the citizens of our country since the Civil War, even if, so far, it is an ideological and worldview division. If Christians fail to use their spiritual tools and weapons to win this present war, by prevailing over this new worldview with a Jesus revolution (Mt 28:18-20) that makes America “One Nation Under God,” again, American freedom will become a thing of the past. Do not be deceived. We are still benefitting from the faith of our Founding Fathers, but we must see a revival of that faith if we are going to pass on to our children this awesome nation, established by God’s grace. Only Christians who are able to use such spiritual tools and weapons can break through the moral insanity that has stolen minds. Only free men and women can stave off the darkness and bring deliverance to the multitudes in spiritual darkness around us and defeat the leaders of this apostasy, who are in spiritual bondage themselves, and labor day and night to bring others into their bondage (Jn 8:33-47).
Our Founders received God-given wisdom to establish three branches of Government and two houses within the legislative branch. That structural arrangement and the checks and balances it has produced, has saved us again and again throughout American history. It protects us today, but only to give us a little time to repent and do our duty. We are facing nothing less than an outright revolution, led by moral and spiritual anarchists who have been cooking up revolution on a slow burner for decades.
They have successfully hijacked a majority of our cultural institutions and our centers of influence, with the majority of America’s news outlets now controlled by amoral and immoral liberals (media professionals are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats – see MRC & IBD). Big Tech is controlled by liberals, too. Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and PayPal routinely manipulate users, overtly and covertly favoring liberal groups while censoring and restraining conservatives, and most Americans don’t even know it. These internet giants all use the SPLC (see SPLC Exposed) to identify those deemed to be “hate groups” and work with the SPLC to destroy them. Among these groups are some of the most rock solid Christian organizations and leaders in America. If these organizations in any way oppose the LGBTQ agenda, they are deemed “hate groups.”
The hatred of the “Progressive Left” toward Christians, Jews, the Bible, the constraints of the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. partnership with Israel has been brewing and heating up over the past several decades, but now this cauldron of hate is breaching the dams and revealing what is in the hearts of far too many Americans. Now, Christians are called the “haters” and “bigots.” Christians in leadership are called “intolerant” and “indecent” and the rest of us are dismissed as “deplorable” and “irredeemable.”
Many of us turned from the left-leaning secular media years ago, grateful for the “new media” that provide Christians a venue for free speech. Now, those who control the internet have found insidious new ways to silence Christian and conservative thought and speech through “shadow banning” and outright censorship reminiscent of communist regimes. This could not have been imagined in America a few years ago. But it is the fruit of two things – the capacity for evil to grow worse and worse among unbelievers, and the failure of the church to be salt, light, and leaven in every sector of society, which God has called us to reach and win with the Gospel (Mt 5:13-16; 13:33; 2 Tim 3:13-14).
In the void, those who hate the Gospel have grown in strength and numbers, and America has experienced a rapid, shocking moral and spiritual decline. The psalmist answers this predicament:
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure (see Ps 2: all).
When the powers that be attempted to censor the New Testament saints shortly after Pentecost, the believers huddled and prayed that scripture aloud and the building in which they were gathered shook with the anointing and power of God who was with them (Acts 4:18-37). We have that same power today, as we gather to pray over the direct challenges to the advancement of God’s purposes and kingdom in our nation and world.
- Almighty God, may your people come together in one accord in making our appeal to you. You are the Sovereign Lord who sits in the heavens and rules over all. You hear the threats breathed against your people. You know the trouble planned for us by those who reject your Son. You see the persecution they have planned when they have the power to do so. Therefore, we ask with the Apostles and the early church: “Grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” (Acts 4:29)
Finally, please pray over these matters: 1)The Equality Act has been introduced in Congress, which takes the once feared ENDA even further; 2) Save the dates and pray for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 2, Watchmen on the Wall on May 22-24, and Call2Fall on June 30; 3) Remember the victims of the recent tornado outbreak and those seeking to help; 4) Encourage participation in our End Birth Day Abortion campaign and send a message to Nancy Pelosi and Congress that we will not tolerate infanticide!
As always, thank you for praying!