Prayer Targets: Freedom Revolution; Supreme Court Vacancy, Appointment Guidance, Confirmation
July 03, 2018
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
Dear Praying Friends,
Ambassador Ken Blackwell (bio) is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council. Ken served as mayor of Cincinnati, Treasurer and Secretary of State for Ohio, Undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He was a Senior Member of the Trump Transition Team. These excerpts are from his July 2, 2018 opinion piece for Townhall:
Today, America dominates the globe. It's easy to forget that the United States almost didn't exist.
In 1776 a rag-tag group of British colonists met in Philadelphia. Resistance to British exactions had begun more than a decade before. Armed resistance broke out the previous year.
Angry over British restrictions on their liberties and that their mother country was warring against her own people -- and had rejected the latest conciliatory petition... the Continental Congress declared independence. On July Fourth delegates signed the Declaration of Independence, which became one of history's most recognizable milestones in advancing human liberty.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Thomas Jefferson captured the essence of those later to be known as Americans, while oppressed peoples around the world later turned to the Declaration when calling for their freedom.
However, the document also included a bill of particulars. It not only asserted a right of revolution, but explained why Americans were justified in separating from their colonial parent. To defeat the world's most powerful nation, the colonists needed allies. France's support proved critical.
Today, we admire the Declaration as historic literature. But then, it was a profoundly revolutionary document. The 56 men who affixed their signatures were committing an act of treason. If their campaign failed, they would likely be hung. When John Hancock, affixed his super-size signature, he supposedly declared: "I guess King George will be able to read that."
With victory they avoided the gallows, but most suffered during the war which their defiance made inevitable. One signer was seized by pro-British Tories and imprisoned. Many served in the military. Four signers were captured in combat. Some had sons killed or captured in battle.
Many lost homes, businesses, and wealth. Their families suffered. However, the signers believed in liberty and accepted the cost of fighting for it.
Without these brave Americans there would be no United States. We owe our liberty to them.
But the battle is not over. When leaving the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what government had been created. He replied, "A republic, if you can keep it." We have spent the last 231 years fighting to do just that. Through foreign attack, a terrible civil war, and global conflicts, amid internal divisions, economic crises, even violent strife.
Amid constant government expansion, swallowing ever more of our lives and ever more of our liberties, at home and abroad, abusive government proved to be the most imperialistic institution. As a result, warned the redoubtable Thomas Jefferson, "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
The struggle continues. And we are blessed on July 4, 2018 to have President Donald Trump as our champion. As his critics repeatedly point out, he isn't perfect. But neither are they. Nor even the Founders, whom most Americans revere.
But at this critical moment, when the entire American experiment is at risk, we need a president willing to fight, and fight hard. The aggressive, authoritarian Left has launched Total War for control of the country. Radical forces determined to seize political power plan to impose their totalitarian worldview on the rest of us. We see the pernicious impact of PC on universities, misuse of anti-discrimination laws to attack religious liberty, and transformation of major corporations into weapons of liberal social engineering.
This is not the time to be silent or stay home. Our families, communities, liberties, and faiths are at risk. Many conservative activists are battling on our behalf. [As in the Founding Era, God, too, has intervened in our day.] This July Fourth we can celebrate several critical conservative Supreme Court victories. Imagine if things had turned out differently in November 2016.
On July 4th we remember our history, the creation of our great nation. We celebrate the flag that flies over "the land of the free and the home of the brave," as our national anthem grandly declares. Yet, to ensure that it continues, we must continue to fight, today and forever. (Edited for length)
As we celebrate Independence Day, may we be stirred by remembering that God, in His Providence, used imperfect men and women. Most held a biblical worldview. They denied themselves and their comforts. Fascinated with truth and the principles of liberty, and dedicated to preserving liberty for their posterity (children and grandchildren), the were ready to give their lives for liberty. Their forbearers had come to the New World for freedom, many for religious freedom. They wanted to live out their lives under God, according to their faith without arrogant kings or bureaucrats interfering with, suppressing, or otherwise attempting to manage their God-given faith and conscience. Yet this is precisely what is happening in America today.
Comfortable, satisfied, and focused on their many idols, too many Americans have little motivation to fight for the life of the unborn or for religious liberty. Worldly desires have become the object of their vain pursuit of happiness. Meanwhile, left-wing activists, bound and driven by the spirits of anti-liberty socialism, communism, anarchism, hedonism, sexual libertinism, and other "isms" and ideological bondages, have been duped by "community organizers." They have devoted themselves to tearing down the very foundations of true liberty, and they do so day after day with energy and determination.
Those of us who believe in God, in a Judeo-Christian moral code and constitutional law, which our Founders so beautifully laid out for us, have an opportunity to see some restoration. To achieve it, we do not need to fight a physical war nor behave with the hateful rhetoric or violent behavior of those on the far Left. We must support those who champion truth and oppose those who oppose it. And we must do so with great energy. We must rise to the occasion and battle valiantly and diligently with united prayer, with faithful and compassionate proclamation of the gospel, with strenuous and persistent Christian citizenship to advance truth in the public arena, and with God's grace, we will prevail in this war for the soul of America.
The signers of the Declaration must have celebrated their feat with uneasiness, knowing the jury was still out. There would be a long and costly war ahead. They could lose their own lives, their livelihoods, their homes, and their families. But they would maintain to the death their sacred honor (read Dr. Kenyn Cureton's "Greatness of America: Signers of the Declaration of Independence").
Supreme Court Vacancy, Presidential Appointment, Senate Confirmation -- FRC President Tony Perkins is calling upon the praying community to pray for President Trump, who is presently interviewing candidates and promises to announce his decision next Monday. We need to pray that the president will appoint a true pro-life Justice to fill retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. While the protocol may require that the candidates ought not declare how they would rule on particular cases (like a challenge to Roe v. Wade), individual members of Congress have expressed quite clearly that they intend to vote against any nominee who does not support Roe v. Wade.
There is likely to be an unprecedented fight in the Senate. With that chamber now almost evenly divided, since Sen. McCain is unable to vote, the vote will be very close. Any pro-life appointee will likely need bipartisan support since Senators Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Collins (R-Maine) have expressed hesitation in voting for anyone who might challenge Roe v. Wade. Yet Scripture warns repeatedly of the Lord's hatred for the shedding of innocent blood and the responsibility all people have to take special care to protect children, especially the "fatherless" and orphans. Believers must not be timid in praying for a new Justice who will always be pro-life in his or her judgments. After all, the Declaration insists that "life" is an unalienable right given by our Creator and that "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..." Plus, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that "No person... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." These are not technical nor secondary, but primary, fundamental rights. Every person is entitled to life. Clearly a true constitutionalist will be pro-life. Moreover, God says, "Thou shalt not kill."
The president will make his decision soon. Thus, we must pray with all of our energy and heart between now and when we hear the announcement! Some may be led to fast (view Tony Perkins' interview on this issue).
- Father, thank you for your love for us and all mankind. You command us to pray for all men (people), including kings and all who are in authority "so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Can we so live while a million or more babies in our land are being slaughtered each year in the sanctuary of their mothers' wombs, as we see our culture coarsening and violence and mass murder multiplying? You warned us: "whatsoever a man [or nation] soweth, that shall he [it] also reap;" that they that "have sown the wind...shall reap the whirlwind." God, we have sown the wind, yet you have given us a reprieve and granted us an opportunity to change the course of our nation, an opportunity to return to you. Move upon our president, Lord. Guide him to select the Supreme Court Justice of your choosing, one who will end the bloodshed. May we use our reprieve for repentance, beginning with giving our High Court a pro-life majority who will uphold the Constitution, bring honor to you, and bring grace to America. In Jesus Name, Amen. (Ex 20:13;Dt 12:31; 19:10-13; 2 Sam 23:2-4; Ps 10:17-18; 11: all; Hos 8:7; Luke 17:1-2; 1 Tim 2:1; Jas 1:27)
Thanks for praying! May yours be a thankful and joy-filled Independence Day!