Prayer Targets: Election Prayer; Pittsburgh; Phone Prayer; Pastor Resources; Asia Bibi; NDP Theme
October 31, 2018
Dear Praying Friends,
Elizur Goodrich (1734-1797) was a Yale graduate, Bible scholar, able preacher, and a stalwart among the New England patriot preachers. Goodrich pastored the Congregational Church in Durham, Connecticut from his ordination in 1756 until his death. He preached his highly acclaimed election sermon, "Jerusalem is builded as a City that is compact together" (Psalm 122:3) before Gov. Samuel Huntington and the Connecticut Legislature in Hartford on May 10, 1787, just days before the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia began. Here are excerpts:
Jerusalem was a city, defended with strong walls, the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel, and the capital seat of the Hebrew empire... We have also a Jerusalem, adorned with brighter glories of divine grace, and with greater beauties of holiness... [and a] more excellent means of religion and virtue, peace and happiness [through Christ] than ever called the attention of the assembled tribes of Israel. We enjoy all the privileges of a free government, the blessings of the gospel of peace, and the honors of the church of God. This is our Jerusalem.
The safety and preservation of it depend, under God, on the friendly agreement of its citizens in all those things, necessary for its honour and defense, happiness and glory. Without this agreement, it cannot be "builded as a city, that is compact together." There will be no peace within its walls, nor prosperity within its palaces: It can have neither strength or beauty, nor administer protection to its inhabitants; but it will be as a city broken down, and without walls... The importance of a good, public administration... and the necessity of the joint exertions of subjects, with their rulers, in promoting the public peace and happiness. [Here are] some of the great principles and maxims, which are the foundation and cement of civil union and society.
The principles of society are the laws, which Almighty God has established in the moral world, and made necessary to be observed by mankind; in order to promote their true happiness, in their transactions and relationships... They are as fixed and unchangeable as the laws which operate in the natural world...
The end therefore, and nature of civil government imply that it must have for its foundation, the principles and laws of truth, justice and righteousness, mercy and the fear of God; or it can never advance the happiness of mankind... The meer politician, who has no fear of God before his eyes, may consider them; but to the enlightened and religious mind, they are moral laws, in a higher sense -- laws of our creator... The same virtue and integrity, truth, justice and honour, which we venerate in a private character, must be found in the public administration, and generally prevailing among a people, or a state cannot be united, peaceful and happy in itself, and respectable in the world...
A constitution of government, which gives a people the liberty of choosing their own rulers, and of being governed by laws, established by common consent, while they make a wise use of it, is a privilege more valuable, than the gold of Ophir, and of greater importance to public happiness, than the rich mountains of Peru. What shall you do to render this privilege a blessing to the present age, and hand down the joys of it to future generations? Make it your constant aim to choose able and faithful men, who fear God and hate covetousness, to be your rulers; honour and encourage them in all their endeavours to make you a virtuous, prosperous and happy people, and apply yourselves with diligence to your own business, that in your several stations, you may contribute to the public good.
The burden of government at all times, and especially at the present, is very great. We may so behave as to render it far greater and more difficult, by our misconduct and disorderly practices; and prevent the best fruits of the most wise and righteous administration. We may discourage the hearts and slacken the hands of the most worthy magistrates, by an unruly and discontented spirit, and by an opposition to all their designs for the public good. How many endeavor to enervate and avoid the force of the most wholesome laws of society; and use every art to make the people discontented, and to promote factions in the state. I think it my duty on this solemn occasion, to warn my fellow citizens, against all such vile and wicked practices, which tend to the ruin of magistracy, and the destruction of peace and order. I wish, my fellow-citizens, all had a due sense of the high importance of civil government, and the protection afforded us by the laws of our country. Whatever security and peace, we enjoy by day or night, at home or abroad, in the house, in the field, or by the way, are by means of civil union and society. Without this bond, and the restraint of civil institutions, no one would be safe in his person or property. The weak would be continually exposed to the oppression and injustice of a more powerful neighbor. Civil government therefore, well constituted, and impartially administered, is one of the most important blessings, a gracious God has bestowed upon a guilty world; and the laws and constitution of our country are our best inheritance, which we should defend at the hazard of our lives and fortunes.
Encourage your rulers in building up our Jerusalem, on the strong foundations of truth and righteousness -- maintain in your hearts and conduct, those principles and maxims of love, benevolence and goodness, which will render you a united, happy and prosperous people. Let God be honored, and the grace of the Redeemer exalted; the sabbath sanctified; the worship and ordinances of the Lord's house, maintained: The pious and virtuous education of the rising generation, religiously regarded; and a firm and inviolable adherence to the laws and institutions of Christ, manifested by all orders and ranks of men. Then virtue and peace, righteousness, mercy and the fear of God, will flourish; and every member of the community, will be found fixed in his proper place, and discharging the duties of it.
Read and reread the excerpts from Goodrich's speech. Use his many fine points as prayer targets during the next six days. It is safe to say that a majority of Americans today do not have the high view or esteem for our nation and government that Goodrich held and preached. He saw praying for godly leaders as the essential duty of believers (1 Tim 2:1-8). He saw that God's people, with God's view, would be grateful for our free government and would work to elect, support, and influence those we elect to serve and to bring them correction if necessary. He saw believers as eager to fulfill their role as active citizens who would pray and work to insure that our government was held to this high vision, and that we would pass on the incredible liberty that we have enjoyed in "our Jerusalem," to our children. He saw that the election of men with reverence for God and of godly character, and a people who likewise remained godly, could maintain this liberty and happiness. As followers of Christ, and as kings and priests unto our God, may we spread the savor of Christ across our land by seriousness with which we take our vote next week. May we not dismiss the importance of government and our vote, as so many Christians do, but understand the importance of the institution which has so much power over our lives.
- May God's people rise to the vision Goodrich outlined in his 1787 Election Sermon and by God's mercy and grace may we elect men and women of the highest moral and spiritual caliber in America next Tuesday, who will work together to "rebuild us a city that is compact together" under God! (Ps 75:6)
Special "Call to Prayer Conference Call" Tomorrow Evening: 8:00-9:30 PM EST -- Please join Tony Perkins, Dr. Ben Carson, Robert Jeffress, Alveda King, and other special guests for a "Call to Prayer Conference Call" on November 1 from 8:00-9:30 PM EST. The call will be moderated by Chuck Harding and Mike Mears, a former staffer with FRC. Pastors from all over our nation are calling on people of faith to pray for our nation and our leaders. This will be a non-partisan prayer and is meant for you to share with pastors, prayer warriors, and people of genuine faith who are in your network of relationships. Please use this RSVP link to sign up. The dial-in information will be sent to you the morning of November 1. Now is the time to pray, pray, pray and to fast, if you can!
Pittsburgh Massacre is a National Tragedy -- The rash of violence across America has reached a fever pitch. And while the murder of anyone for any reason is a tragedy and a capital crime, the reemergence and shocking growth of anti-Semitic violence should be disturbing to every American. Every life is valuable in God's eyes, but no other people did God call His "chosen people" (Dt 7:6), and to no other people did He say, "I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" (Gen 12:3). Americans, and Christians in particular, must go out of their way to bless the Jewish people. As a people they are still hurting from the harms that false and misguided "Christians" have done to them over the centuries. (See Tony Perkins' important response to this tragedy in which he asks our leaders to call for a focused national day of prayer and reconciliation.)
- Lord, please hear the cries of your people! Intervene to aid the injured survivors and the families of those killed and injured, including the police officers injured in the line of duty. Lord, intervene supernaturally to heal, comfort, and strengthen all who have been touched by this horrific hate-inspired assault upon people whom you love. May righteousness and justice be accomplished. (Ps 60:1-5; 103: all; Ps 107: all; 147: all)
On this last Prayer Targets until after Election Day, let me point you to some special resources, sent by FRC's Dr. Kenyn Cureton, Vice President for Church Ministries to pastors across America. Please pass them on to your pastor and any other pastor you may know:
This weekend will be the last time you will have to remind your people that Election Day is Tuesday, November 6 and that Christians have a stewardship responsibility to vote. So please encourage your people to participate in the elections and have a Salt and Light influence and impact. Your church members should have a voice in who represents them in your state capitol as well as in Washington, D.C. Click here to download an Announcement Slide to use in worship services as a reminder. Here is some important information to pass along:
- For information on candidates for federal office or statewide office, check out the coalition voter guide at www.iVoterGuide.com. Simply put in your address, and your specific voter guides will pop up.
- Here is a non-partisan, 501c-3 compliant prayer guide for you to distribute or send to your people.
Every elected official is given a platform to make a difference and he or she will either be part of the problem or part of the solution when it comes to preserving and protecting your religious freedom, family values, and the dignity of human life.
This is your time to be a part of the solution for America. So, don't be silent -- be sure to vote! And encourage your church members to do the same! --Dr. Kenyn Cureton
Finally, please pray: 1) Asia Bibi Released -- The Christian Pakistani woman, for whom believers around the world have been praying since 2010, was falsely accused, imprisoned for blasphemy, and sentenced to death. She was acquitted by a Pakistani court early today and released. Christians must now pray that she supernaturally escapes the angry fanatic mobs who vow to execute her before she escapes the country; 2) Theme for the 2018 National Day of Prayer -- Yesterday, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and pastor of the Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, announced to 300 leaders from across America that the theme for the 2019 National Day of Prayer will be "Love One Another." The theme is taken from John 13:34. The complete verse reads, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also lov e one another"; 3)Please join us for THE EVENT on Sunday evening, November 4!
As always, thank you for praying!