Prayer Targets: Election Prayer Miracles; Jerusalem Prayer Day; Trump to World: Religious Freedom!
September 25, 2019
Peter was... in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him... Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. (Acts 12:1-24)
Dear Praying Friends,
Former Baptist pastor, missionary, school teacher, and now journalist/blogger Kurt Mahlburg serves with Warwick Marsh and the Canberra Declaration to advance faith, family, freedom, and life in Australia. Many in the U.S. saw Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison ("ScoMo") via his televised meeting and state dinner with President Trump on Friday. But fewer really know about Morrison's miracle election last May. These excerpts are from Kurt Mahlburg's inspiring report.
It's a day that will go down in history. The chattering class called it the unwinnable election. All the major polls, pundits and papers were unanimous: The Labor Party was certain to take power. Even Sportsbet picked the wrong side, paid out pro-Labor gamblers out early, and lost $5.2m for their troubles. But by 10pm Saturday night, a nation in shock realized that ScoMo (Scott Morrison), against the odds, had won Australia's trust as Prime Minister for another three years.
As a Christian, I can't fully endorse the Liberals. Like any party, they don't represent all of my concerns in Canberra. But I am excited to have a spirit-filled PM, and I believe his re-election spells a crisis averted -- not just for Christians, but for Australia.
In the aftermath, the question on everyone's lips is how did he do it? How did Scott Morrison snatch victory from the jaws of defeat while no one was paying attention?
Australians Love Freedom and Family - Some will say Australia voted for ScoMo's economic credentials. The more cynical have suggested that a vote for the Libs was a vote against the environment, justice and generosity. But that's not my summary of Saturday. I'm convinced that Australians love freedom and family.
It's unusual to see major parties' campaign around issues like abortion or freedom of religion at election time. But this year, both were in the spotlight.
The Labor party had pledged to make abortion free and available to full term right around the country, and they'd even threatened to defund hospitals that refused to play ball.
And late last year, there was a big tussle between the major parties about religious freedom. Labor tried to change the Sex Discrimination Act so that any religious school or place of worship could be taken to court simply for teaching what they always have about marriage.
In response, ScoMo promised that if he was re-elected, he'd introduce a Religious Discrimination Act to protect Aussies of faith from this radical overreach.
But Labor doubled down, setting themselves against religious schools again, hoping to take away the right of schools to choose staff who will teach their values.
To top it all off, over the last month, Rugby Australia conducted a witch-hunt against Israel Folau, ultimately sacking him from the Wallabies and destroying his career, simply for quoting a Bible verse in private time on his social media account. All of this played out -- in the providence of God, perhaps -- in the days and weeks leading up to the election.
It was all too much. Australians couldn't stomach it, and they had their say on Saturday.
An Unprecedented Prayer Movement - Scott Morrison began his victory speech with "I've always believed in miracles!" His election was, even by mainstream accounts, an absolute miracle. The word 'miracle' has come to define this election.
But few probably realize the amount of prayer that was sent up for this miracle. Back in March, former tennis-great-turned-pastor Margaret Court awoke at 4am, convinced that God was calling the churches of Australia to rise up and pray for Scott Morrison's re-election.
The response was overwhelming. Warwick Marsh, who helped spearhead the movement, said, "I have never seen so much prayer and fasting go up in a three-week period in my whole life. Totally extraordinary! I have never seen senior church leaders push prayer so much either. The united push... by church leaders, large denominations, Christian educational groups, Christian activist groups and individuals was the greatest I have ever seen."
As Margaret Court pointed out, "Throughout the Bible, prayer and fasting have impacted the course of history and adjusted the spiritual course of nations."
It's hard to deny that something truly remarkable has taken place. Christians uniting across all denominations have played a significant role in the weekend result.
With all that could be said about Saturday and its implications for the next three years, it's reassuring that believers of every political persuasion can still find unity in the promises of God.
"Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save." Psalm 146:3; "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 (Kurt Mahlburg, "How ScoMo Took Australia By Surprise," The Daily Declaration, May 20, 2019)
Warwick Marsh of the Canberra Declaration and Australia's National Day of Prayer often call Australia's Christian community to pray for America. They feel very much tied to believers here and know that the future of our nations is tied up together. God bless Australia!
Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) -- On Sunday, October 6th, hundreds of millions of Bible-believing individuals, families, and churches will unite around the world to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee" (Ps 122:6). This is written to Jew and Gentile alike, and is expressed as a command with a promise, not a suggestion. As the capital city of Israel, it syncs with God's covenant with Abraham, saying: "I will bless them that bless thee" (Gen 12:1-3). Israel is a miracle nation and Jerusalem a miracle city for all the world to see. As I read scripture, when Jesus returns, he will alight on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, overlooking the Old City and its ancient walls (Zech 14:4).
The DPPJ is the largest Israel-focused prayer event in history. The annual observance is set aside to raise global awareness and intercession for God's purposes in Israel which are enumerated throughout the Old and New Testaments. Israel is presently divided and surrounded by enemies determined to eliminate the Jewish state. Indeed, many want to eliminate the Jews from the face of the earth. The terrorist Hamas regime in Gaza (land gifted to the Palestinian people by Israel) routinely launches rocket assaults on Israeli civilians without warning. The terrorist organization, Hezbollah, operates primarily out of Lebanon, but receives its financial and military support from Iran and Syria. The Israelis have demonstrated remarkable restraint and tolerance while endeavoring to keep their citizens safe. This intractable standoff has been unresolved despite significant help from the United States. President Trump has planned to offer a peace plan proposal to the Israelis and Palestinians soon after the elections. Yet with a now divided government and uncertainty as to how new unity efforts might work, the Trump peace plan announcement may be deferred. But prevailing prayer is God's prescription for peace in Israel! (See October 6, 2019 Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem; Netanyahu, Gantz discuss Unity Gov.; ICEJ: the Bible and Return of the Jews to Israel; All Scriptures about the return; Leftwing Anti-Semitism; Trump Peace Plan; Iran, Israel, and the U.S.; Gantz, Netanyahu agree with Trump on Iran)
- Father, you so love the world that you gave your only begotten son so that whoever believes in him would not perish, but have everlasting life. You brought and continue to bring the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth to possess their land. And you, Lord Jesus, will return to earth at that beloved place. Watch over Israel and the Jewish people, the "apple of your eye." Help us to share your love for them. Help us to pray fervently and often, and may you use our prayers to help fulfil your longing to be reconciled to the people you love. Thank you for letting us be a part. In Jesus' name, amen! (Zech 2: all; 8:22; 12:2-3; Jn 3:16; Rom 1:16; 2:8-11;11:13-36; 2 Cor 5:18-21; Heb 2:17)
Trump Message to the UN and the World: Protect Religious Freedom! -- The president had little to say in the discussion on climate change during the UN Summit this week. In June of 2017, he withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. Instead, he used his energy, influence, and platform to call the world to respect every human being's God-given right to worship and serve God according to his or her own conscience and understanding of God. The president's words were like a cup of pure fresh water to the 80 percent of the world thirsting for religious freedom in environments where they face discrimination, legal restraint, confiscation of property, assault, jail, or death -- simply because of their deeply held beliefs. Christians represent the majority of the faithful believers who face severe persecution worldwide, but the president made clear that the principles of religious freedom apply to people of every faith.
Tony Perkins, FRC President and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and Travis Weber, VP and Director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, have been working with the administration and Congress on both domestic and international religious liberty for more than two years. The president's championing of this true universal human right before the world body, among them what Tony Perkins calls tyrants and the terrorists, was more than just a speech favoring religious liberty. He laid down a tangible marker and proposed real money to help people of faith worship without fear! (See President Trump's Remarks on Religious Liberty; Read: Trump Steals the Show with Religious Freedom; See FRC's Travis Weber deal with questions on religious liberty; See Tony Perkins & Pastor Robert Jeffress preview the president's remarks)
- Father, thank you for giving President Trump boldness and leadership to call world leaders to honor the "first freedom" of religious liberty for all people. May your supernatural hand now move in support of what you have given as a right! (Lev 25:10; Josh 1:7; Is 61:1; Jer 34:8, 15, 17; Jn 8:36; Gal 5:1)
Finally, for your prayer list: 1) Last week the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that government may not coerce artists to design wedding invitations for same-sex weddings under threat of fines or jail. Artists are free to design wedding invitations in keeping with their faith under our Constitution. This is a great win for religious liberty; 2) The U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule that reverses an Obama administration rule that prohibits the government from hiring contractors whose religious faith prevents them from hiring persons whose behavior or practices are inconsistent with the contractor's faith obligations. The new rule, now in the comment period, would allow government agencies to hire Christians who cannot compromise their faith; 3) California lawmakers passed a bill to provide "free" chemical abortions to college students; 4) New York City may reverse its two year-old law that prohibits counseling LGBT persons who wish to change their sexual behavior/identity. An ex-gay Florida march shows why counselors and those seeking Christian freedom from sexual bondage need religious liberty; 5) The Values Voter Summit, the premier Christian and conservative conference of its kind, will take place October 11-13. If you are interested in serving on the Prayer Team, write Prayer@frc.org.
As always, thank you for praying!