Prayer Targets: A Seeking God Lifestyle; Syria; Values Voter Summit; Daleiden & Merritt
October 09, 2019
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21)
Dear Praying Friends,
Since 2002, the New York-based Christian Union has urged Christian students and young professionals to unite in seeking God. In 2014, they launched the semi-annual "40 Days of Prayer and Fasting." Christian Union Day and Night's leaders promote non-stop prayer and special "moves" to advance spiritual transformation in America. These excerpts are from their "Seven Principles of a Seeking-God Lifestyle":
It is the honor and privilege of every Christian to know God and walk with Him on a daily basis... Though some have known God through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ for years, they may not know what it means to seek God...Seeking after God isn't something to be undertaken primarily by non-Christians. It is an ongoing mindset and lifestyle of Christians who desire to know, love, and follow God. Becoming a Christian is the first step. The rest of one's life is to be spent drawing closer to Him... (2 Chr 15:2). These seven principles describe what it means to seek after God. Understanding and practicing them will make you a God-seeker - what you were designed [to be].
Principle 1: Humility and Fasting - The very essence of following Christ is to imitate Him in His humility. Though He was God Himself, He set aside his power and glory to become part of the creation...We know from Scripture that God opposes the proud (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5) ...
God has made plain that He loves to support and dwell with the humble in heart. Isaiah 57:15 says, "For this is what the high and lofty One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" Additionally, Isaiah 66:2 says, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word."
God commands us numerous times in the Scriptures to "humble ourselves...and God has given us a tool to help us: fasting...confession of sins and meditating on the life and example of Christ.
Principle 2: Fervent and Frequent Prayer - Epaphras shows us that without consistent, dedicated prayer one can count on significantly less happening in the lives of loved ones and in the world at large (Colossians 4:12, 13). The Scriptures admonish us to pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests...
Principle 3: Taking in the Word - Similar to the discipline of prayer...is the discipline of taking in the Word of God. The Scriptures need to be meditated upon (Deut 6:4-9, Josh 1:8) so that we can know and do the will of God. Every day, pious Jews in the first century would recite passages from memory Deuteronomy and Numbers (called the Shema). They would also read the Scriptures to each other, recite memorized passages, and mediate on the word of God. This became the practice of Christians as well...
Principle 4: Repentance - The Lord loves and draws near to all who repent of their sins, because repentance delights God's heart like little else. Luke tells us that there is extraordinary joy in heaven when sinners repent and turn to God (Luke 15:10). "Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!" (Ezekiel 18:31, 32)
"'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious... compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.'" (Joel 2:12-13).
Principle 5: Obedience - The flip side to repentance is obedience. Authentic repentance always leads to obedience. Repentance is looking to past sins and acknowledging what needs to be brought before God. Obedience is daily walking in holiness and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord. God delights and draws near to those who live righteous lives.
Principle 6: Perseverance - Seeking God is a way of life and not something to be done solely in times of desperate need. American society thinks nothing of pursuing education ten hours a day in classroom and homework time even for many years, and Americans think nothing of pursuing athletic excellence through many hours of practice every day, year after year... The same diligence we show towards these and other worthy causes should show in our single-minded pursuit of pleasing and following the one true God.
Many Christians have little victory and power in their lives and honestly have no idea why. They have not been praying and reading the Scriptures diligently, fasting, humbling themselves, repenting of their sins, and practicing consistent obedience to God [they've not been seeking God's face].
Notice the single-minded zeal of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:12-14: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." We must hunt after God, never being satisfied with anything less than His divine blessing and presence in our lives.
Principle 7: Gathering of/with Others - Seeking after God isn't just an individual but a corporate pursuit as well. Jonathan Edwards, one of the most respected theologians on the subject of revival, wrote that the best Biblical passage on the topic is Zechariah 8:20-23: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."
Notice the zeal: those seeking after God, seemed compelled to encourage others to seek God as well. Not only is gathering with others important in seeking God, it is critical. Christians should participate regularly in church, small groups, and other gatherings, large and small, to stir one another to love and good deeds. (Seven Principles of a Seeking-God Lifestyle -- January 15, 2017; edited for length)
Turkey Invades Syria, Killing Kurds, Others -- Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this morning that the Turkish Armed Forces with the Syrian National Army, had launched a military assault on the Kurdish forces (PKK/YPG) and the ISIS remnant in northern Syria -- lumping the Kurds and ISIS into the single category "terrorists." Reports are that Kurds have been killed and that Christians and others have been caught in the crossfire. Experts fear that the Kurds will have to flee and release their ISIS captives. The history, motives, and ethnic and religious animosities are complicated. The Turks hate the Kurdish people and are unlikely to treat them with decency or be bound by standards akin to the Geneva Convention or the decorum that would be expected of NATO allies.
But the problem for the U.S. is that the Kurdish forces have been loyal allies to the U.S. and major partners in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Now, those aware of the trust between the U.S. and the Kurds will see our withdrawal as a violation of that trust. Furthermore, the Kurdish forces have played a crucial role in northeast Syria by detaining ISIS prisoners, keeping peace among diverse ethnic groups, and creating an environment where Christians, Arabs, Muslims, and others have enjoyed religious liberty and proved able to live in peace and cooperation with one another. But what hurts the hearts of many Americans is the sense that we have not only betrayed our Kurdish friends but also abandoned Syrian Christians to face new persecution. President Trump, who has thus far held firm to his troop withdrawal commitment, is said to be revisiting his policy in light of the bigger picture and its potentially negative ramifications. He said on Wednesday that Turkey's invasive action was a "bad idea." (See and listen: Syria's Tree of Liberty in Danger; Boykin & Weber react to U.S. troop withdrawal; Chris Mitchell: Turkey's plan to invade Northeast Syria; Beacon of Religious Freedom Deserves Our Protection; Rep. Don Bacon (R-Nebr.) on Turkey's invasion plan)
- Pray for President Trump and his civilian, military, and spiritual advisors. This is a time when the wisdom of God and the hearing of his voice is required. Ask friends and family to prayer with you, and fast if you can! (2 Chr 18: all; Pr 11:14; Ps 119:24; Mt 18:18-20; 1 Tim 2:1-2, 8; Lk 14:31-32)
The Values Voter Summit is this Friday and Saturday -- You still have time to register for the Values Voter Summit and be part of FRC Action's premier annual political and public policy event. Many on both sides of the political aisle agree that the Summit may be the most impactful event of its kind in Washington, D.C. The lineup of speakers includes government, military, scholars, and religious leaders -- influencers who are defending the moral and constitutional foundations of our Republic. They believe in our Founding documents and that our pledge to be "One Nation, under God" and our motto, "In God we Trust" mean something that we must preserve. These leaders are dedicated to helping Bible-believing and constitutional conservatives better understand their principals and how to advance their values among so many Americans who have lost their way. With what may be the most consequential national election in 160 years just a year away, this summit will surely be the most important yet. President Trump is headlining the informative and inspirational leaders who will speak. Join us if you can! Call 800-225-4008. If you cannot be with us in person, the Summit will be live-streamed at ValuesVoterSummit.org (see speakers, schedule, see much more on the website).
- Pray that the presence of God will make this Summit truly like none other of its kind. May God speak through the various speakers; may His people listen and act to do what He wants them to do! (Ps 68:1-3; Is 55:5-7)
Whistleblower Sandra Merritt Testifies in Lawsuit by Planned Parenthood -- Merritt said that Center for Medical Progress (CMP) investigators believed that Planned Parenthood was harvesting aborted baby parts and committing violent felonies. Merritt, David Daleiden, and other CMP associates are defending themselves in a civil lawsuit filed by the abortion giant for damages to their business and reputation due to the successful undercover video exposé of their involvement in the illegal harvesting and sale of aborted baby organs and other body parts. Planned Parenthood is accusing the pro-lifers of committing 15 different crimes including wiretapping, conspiracy, trespassing, breach of contract, and violating the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute. The judge refused to allow the pro-lifers to show the jury raw video footage "saying it would be 'prejudicial.'" U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick issued a pre-trial ruling that abortion and fetal tissue procurement are not relevant to the trial. In a separate ongoing criminal trial, Merritt and Daleiden were ch arged with 14 felony counts of illegal taping of confidential information in violation of California's anti-eavesdropping law. (Grandma tells court why she went undercover to expose Planned Parenthood)
- God, CMP's leaders and their associates have been warriors for you, doing your will, at great risk to themselves. Lord, preserve them faultless. Protect them from those who take the lives of innocent unborn babies all day long and who market their organs. Vindicate those who have obeyed (Ephesians 5:6-13) and mete out justice to those who do evil. In Jesus' name!
Finally, On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on three cases that could change forever the very definition of "sex" and either advance or hinder the LGBTQ activist-led assault on marriage and the norms of human sexuality. These cases deal with whether changing facilities will be opened to all, whether female sports will survive, and particularly what your children are taught in school about these issues. Please read Peter Sprigg's report, Supreme Court Hears Cases About Redefining "Sex."
As always, we've barely touched the surface, but THANK YOU for praying!