Prayer Targets: Jefferson; Bible Reading Plan; Stand Courageous; Abortion Cases; Iran
January 08, 2020
Forgetting those things which are behind... I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-15)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Kenyn Cureton (bio) is FRC Vice President for Christian Resources with a mission to equip Christians to become "spiritually active, governance engaged conservatives" (i.e., SAGECONS). As VP for Church Ministries, Kenyn helped Tony grow FRC's Watchmen on the Wall network from 1,800 to over 40,000 pastors and churches. Before FRC, Kenyn was senior pastor for 20 years and then Vice President for Convention Relations for the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee. Additionally, Kenyn is a New Testament scholar, but another passion is the study, preaching, and teaching of American history from the perspective of God's Providence. This is from his excellent 366-day devotional,Lost Episodes: Daily Inspiration from America's Amazing Story:
On Sunday, January 3, 1802, President Thomas Jefferson went to church services at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., just two days after he penned the infamous "Wall of Separation between Church and State" letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut. However, neither Jefferson nor the Congress believed in the kind of radical separation imposed by modern Courts. For example, Congress approved the use of the Capitol as a church building under the leadership of Speaker of the House, Theodore Sedgwick on December 4, 1800, soon after moving the government into the new capital city.
At the time of the January 3, 1802 worship service, the House was meeting in the temporary south wing chamber, derisively nicknamed the "Oven," partly because of its Dutch oven shape but mostly because of its notoriously stuffy interior. The Speaker's podium was used as the pulpit. Manasseh Cutler, a Congregational minister and Federalist Congressman from Massachusetts, records in his diary that John Leland preached the sermon on the text "Behold a greater than Solomon is here [Mt 12:42]. Jefferson was present."*
A politically active minister, John Leland had supported Jefferson faithfully in Virginia during his battle to enact the "Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom" and had been instrumental in lobbying James Madison to push for a Bill of Rights which included the First Amendment freedom of religion. Now ministering in Cheshire, Massachusetts, Leland and his delegation had arrived at the President's mansion on New Year's Day, the same day Jefferson sent the Danbury Baptist letter, presenting Jefferson with a "Mammoth Cheese" that weighed in at 1,235 pounds.
Interestingly, Jefferson apparently had not attended worship services at the Capitol building as president until his friend Leland preached on this particular Sunday, but he became a regular attender afterward. In fact, Washington socialite Margaret Bayard Smith writes:
"Jefferson during his whole administration was a most regular attendant. The seat he chose the first day Sabbath [January 3, 1802], and the adjoining one, which his private secretary occupied, were ever afterwards by the courtesy of the congregation, left for him."*
President Thomas Jefferson's first Sunday in church at the United States Capitol and his regular attendance thereafter is another lost episode in American history (Source Citations: William C. Allen, History of the United States Capitol: A Chronicle of Design, Construction, and Politics (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2001), 46; James H. Hutson, Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1998), 87; See also the online exhibit at: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel06- 2.html. Bracketed items added).
Read and Reflect: Read Matthew 12:39-42 and reflect on what Jesus meant when He said that "a greater than Solomon is here" and compare that with what Rev. Leland was trying to say about Jefferson.
- Father, thank you for President Jefferson, who, though his own beliefs were biblically unsound, believed he should be an example for the American people by attending worship where the true Jesus was preached. May all our civil leaders have the same attitude. In Jesus' name, amen.
Weekly church services, multiple special services, prayer meetings and Bible studies are taking place in the U.S. Capitol today. It is estimated that more Bible studies are taking place in the White House, the Cabinet, and the Executive Branch among high level officials than any administration in modern history. The sanctity of human life and religious liberty have been priorities of this White House administration and the fruit is evident at home and abroad. The Founding Fathers may not have all been perfect Christians, but their respect for the Bible, Christian faith, and Divine Providence was profound and America could not be more deeply indebted. It is our sure foundation and the reason for God's continued blessing.
Perkins Urges Pastors and Fathers Everywhere to Lead their Churches and Families in Daily Bible Reading Plan -- FRC President Tony Perkins knows how important Bible reading is, having long led his family (wife and five children) in daily Bible reading and discussion with wonderful results in each individual and the family. Now, during the International Year of the Bible, Tony is calling people everywhere to daily partake of the food Jesus said was essential for life (Mt. 4:4). The FRC staff is using Tony's prayer guide which will take us through the entire Bible in just two years, spending approximately 15 minutes per day. Far too many Christians are functionally illiterate when it comes to the Bible. Such family Bible study was the norm during the colonial and founding era and our children learned scripture in public school well into the 19th and even 20th centuries. We cannot continue to succeed as a nation without the word of God having its proper place in our lives. The synergy of multiplied thousands of families reading the scriptures daily with us, then praying as they are led by the Holy Spirit, will have a powerful impact in each family and in our nation. Will you urge your pastor to join us, and/or take up the plan in your family? You will be amazed how your family's love for God and his word will grow, and the impact in your lives will soon be visible. GET TONY'S FREE BIBLE READING & DISCUSSION PLAN TODAY! Put your social media to work and help spread the word and bless our nation this International Year of the Bible and beyond!
- Lord, with the power of the internet and today's social media, at least for now, each of us can spread the gospel and impact our friends and their friends exponentially. Lord Jesus, you commanded us to teach all nations to observe all things you have commanded us (Mt 28;18-20). Even now, help us to reach as many as we can! (Dt 32:45-47; Jn 1:1, 6:58; 14; 6:25-59; 2 Tim 2:15; 3:15-17; 4:2-4; Rev 22:18-21)
FRC's Men's Ministry Stand Courageous: Jan. 10-11 in Baton Rouge, La. -- Before Thanksgiving, FRC launched its new ministry to men called Stand Courageous, based on 1 Corinthians 16:13. At the center of the effort are FRC President Tony Perkins and FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin. Perkins is a U.S. Marine veteran, husband to Lawana and father of five, former law enforcement officer, former counter terrorism instructor, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, an ordained Baptist minister, and Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin was one of the original members of the U.S. Army's Delta Force. He later commanded these elite warriors in combat operations. He also commanded all the Army's Green Berets and the Special Warfare Center and School. Altogether, Gen. Boykin spent 36 years in the army, his last four as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. He, too, is an ordained minister with a passion for spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraging Christians to become warriors in God's kingdom. Gen. Boykin and his wife, Ashley, have five children and a growing number of grandchildren.
Tony and General Boykin are leading a team to various cities to conduct Friday evening/Saturday daytime conferences to equip Christian men to be men amid a culture in which manhood, especially Christian manhood, have been sorely deprecated. For decades, ideological forces, bad public policy, and inadequately prepared men have brought devastation to millions of families. The family as an institution, for far too many, is on life support. Moreover, many Christian men need fundamental training in their roles as godly leaders in their homes, churches, communities, and nation.
We are grateful for other efforts to inspire biblical manhood. Promise Keepers is planning a massive relaunching this summer. FRC's Gen. Jerry Boykin will be a speaker at their Dallas, Texas restart event. Hopefully, these ministries along with Aglow International's Men of Issachar and other organizations as well as churches will contribute to a God-sent men's movement. Family is central to society and FRC's biblical focus. The husband and father is key to the success of the family, yet for decades the liberal "progressive" culture has deprecated the value of men's role in society, and even demeaned manhood, referring to it as "toxic masculinity." Multiple are the forces dedicated to tearing down the family. FRC is in a unique position to challenge the status quo and encourage the revival of biblical manhood in America not only via the accumulation of research we are conducting and have amassed over the years but because of FRC's personnel and the network of allies including pastors and leaders from multiple spheres who have knowledgeable and experience every man in America could use.
2020 is a critical year for the family and America and Christian men are needed now, more than ever. On January 10-11, a Stand Courageous event will take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you or men you know (uncles, cousins, friends, older teenagers, or seniors) live within driving distance to Baton Rouge, give them a call, shoot them an email, or text and urge them to take advantage of this opportunity. Details are at StandCourageous.com. There are upcoming events in Kernersville, North Carolina as well as Pensacola and Naples, Florida. Please visit the website and pray for this movement.
- Father, America and the churches in America desperately need a revival among men -- old and young -- to take their mantels of godly leadership in our homes, our churches, and society. God, please send holy fire to jumpstart this movement and use it in part to spark revival and awakening across America. Use it too, Lord, to help heal the American family. In Jesus' name, amen. (Jdg 6:12; Pr 31: all; Mic 6:8; Rom 12:1-2; 1 Cor 16:13; 1 Tim 4:12; 6:11-12)
Finally, please add these items to your prayer list: 1) A contested pro-life Louisiana law is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court this March. It requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital in the likely event that problems arise during an abortion; 2) Several states are debating pro-life bills, and more will be: South Carolina -- a ban on abortions oversix weeks; Iowa -- a ballot measure to roll back abortion protections in the state constitution; Florida -- an effort to require parental consent for minor abortions; Michigan -- signatures are being gathered to ban dilation and evacuation; and Ohio -- a bill would make performing or receiving an abortion a crime punishable by long jail sentences (see States Gearing Up); 3) Despite the overall number of abortions having gone down last year, Planned Parenthoods performed 345,672 abortions, which was over a third of all U.S. abortions -- 13,000 more than the previous year; 4) Iranian Strike: View these reports and PRAY! A) What is happening in Iran's Christian churches; B) Soleimani; C) Video: Iranian-American human rights activist responds.
Happy New Year to you and those dear to you! Thank you for praying! This will be a big, big, year!