Prayer Targets: Unity Prayer; Health Care; Tax Reform; Pulpit Freedom; NFL; North Korea
September 27, 2017
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:22-23)
Dear Praying Friends,
Rev. E.M. Bounds (1835-1913) is among history's great apostles of prayer. This is an edited excerpt of his posthumously published book, The Reality of Prayer:
Obedience to the Father and abiding in the Father, these belong to the Son, and to us, as partners with Christ in His Divine work of intercession. How tenderly and with what pathos and how absorbingly He prays for His disciples! "I pray for them; I pray not for the world." What a pattern of prayerfulness for God's people! For God's people are God's cause, God's Church and God's Kingdom. Pray for God's people, for their unity, their sanctification, and their glorification. How the subject of their unity pressed upon Him! These walls of separation, these alienations, these riven circles of God's family, and these warring tribes of ecclesiastics -- how He is torn and bleeds and suffers afresh at the sight of these divisions! Unity -- that is the great burden of that remarkable Sacerdotal Prayer. "That they may be one, even as we are one." The spiritual oneness of God's people -- that is the heritage of God's glory to them, transmitted by Christ to His Church...
The subject of their unity pressed upon Him. Note how He called His Father's attention to it, and see how He pleaded for this unity of His followers: "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." ...
"That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
"And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.
"I in them and thou in me that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
Notice how intently His heart was set on this unity. What shameful history, and bloody annals has this lack of unity written for God's Church! These walls of separations, these alienations, these riven circles of God's family, these warring tribes of men, and these internecine fratricidal wars! He looks ahead and sees how Christ is torn, how He bleeds and suffers afresh in all these sad things of the future. The unity of God's people was to be the heritage of God's glory promised to them. Division and strife are the devil's bequest to the Church, a heritage of failure, weakness, shame and woe.
The unity of God's people was to be the one credential to the world of the divinity of Christ's mission on earth. Let us ask in all candor, are we praying for this unity as Christ prayed for it? Are we seeking the peace, the welfare, the glory, the might and the divinity of God's cause as it is found in the unity of God's people? (E. M. Bounds, The Reality of Prayer, Ch. 10, Our Lord's Model Prayer)
Christ's "High Priestly Prayer" (Jn 17: all) is a model prayer. Our Founding Fathers' biblical worldview made America a light to the world. Their political vision was achievable because of their belief in God's moral law (Ten Commandments) and the Christian gospel, even if they did not agree on tertiary distinctions. Since then, Christianity has been under assault by secularists. Today, paganism and moral anarchy are pitted against the Christian foundations that have undergirded our nation. Will God's people unite and do their duty to evangelize and disciple our fellow Americans, and stand up for the Christian principles being expunged from our culture? Will we unite in Christ, sanctified by truth, and revive our nation's Christian roots? If not, the Constitution and the wonders our Christian culture produced will not survive. May God help us to wrestle, never giving up; and after we have done all, to stand! (Eph 6:10-20). If Christians of all ethnicities will humble ourselves (per 2 Chronicles 7:14), and pray as Christ did for unity around His Word, we will prevail against the demonic forces that divide us today! Pray for wholehearted Christian unity among all God's people!
Health Care Defeat & Tax Reform Push -- When Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Ted Cruz (Tex.) each declared that they will not vote for the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, the GOP-led Senate's last hope for repealing and replacing Obamacare, died – at least for now. Just three days are left to beat the "reconciliation" deadline (which would have allowed the bill to pass with just 51 instead of 60 votes under parliamentary rules). With just 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats in the Senate, Democrats can defeat any bill under regular rules using the filibuster. Graham-Cassidy had no Democrat support. However, Lindsay Graham is working on getting his health care plan attached to the president's tax cut plan, which also needs the advantage of the reconciliation rule. Experts say that it is a possibility. If not, Obamacare will continue to implode and force many force to pay ever-rising premiums and deductibles, all-the-while growing the national debt. And with insurers bailing out, some exchanges have no insurance plans to purchase. (Coupled with Tax Reform?; How they'll do it; Low taxes? How will they pay for it?; Hear Tony Perkins & Sen. Lindsay Graham; When?; Abortion)
- Pray that Republicans and Democrats will repeal and replace Obamacare, which will cost taxpayers trillions of dollars and, because of high deductibles, is effectively leaving many insured Americans without insurance. May God help Congress produce a plan that is affordable for those insureds and taxpayers. May abortion subsidies and federal funding for Planned Parenthood be ended! May tax reform reduce the tax burden on all Americans and help the economy grow, without adding to the deficit or national debt (Dt 15:6; 28:12; 1 Sam 8:6-22; Neh 5:4; Ps 20:7;Pr 22:7; 24:10-12;John 10:10).
Free Speech Fairness Act of 2017 -- President Trump and key leaders in Congress have promised to repeal the unconstitutional provisions of the Johnson Amendment, which hamstring pastors and churches from speaking freely on spiritual and moral matters in the political discourse. Pastors want to be able to openly support godly candidates for public office without fearing reprisal against their church by the IRS. Yet, so far there has been no action on the bill. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), Representative Jody Hice (R-Ga.), and Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the Free Speech Fairness Act of 2017 (H.R. 781, S. 264) to roll back the Johnson Amendment and allow political speech in the ordinary course of a church or other 501(c)(3) organization's regular activities. This will restore liberty for pastors and other non-profit leaders (see FRCAction letter to supporters; Petition for Pastors).
- May Congress pass this long-overdue bill, and so liberate pastors from this tax code measure that violates their constitutionally protected freedoms of religion and free speech! (Jdg 5:12 ff; Pr 6:16-19; Galatians 5:1;Tim 4:1-4; Jas 1:22)
Awaken the Dawn; United Cry!; Rise Up! A Call to Women, Oct. 6-9, 2017 -- In just days, the first ever four-day Christian gathering with round-the-clock worship will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Organizers hope the outcome will be the birth of another Jesus Movement! Fifty tents from 50 U.S. States, patterned after David's tent (from the Bible) will host four days and nights of non-stop worship as an offering to the Lord. The youth-oriented participants will appeal to God for an end to abortion and appeal to God for the salvation of the current flailing generation of young people in America today. On Saturday (12 noon-3pm), United Cry will conduct a pastors' prayer rally, and all day Monday, Rev. Lou Engle will host Rise Up, a call for women to take their place and to speak out as Esthers and Deborahs in our nation. (Learn more about Awakening the Dawn; see: United Cry 2017 (video); and Lou Engle - RISE UP Women's Call (video); see over all schedule)
- Pray that believers young and old will rush to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime Christian gathering! May the Lord truly meet us on the National Mall and birth another Jesus Movement! (Lev 23:4, 24; 2 Chr 7:1-4,14; Joel 1:14; 2:12-21; Mt 13:2; Acts 5:14)
Finally, please pray over these matters: 1) Louisiana bill introduced to remove taxpayer funding from the National Football League (NFL); 2) One third of viewers less likely to watch NFL football games due to National Anthem protests; 3) Horrific church shooting in Antioch (near Nashville, Tenn.); 4) Numerous LGBT employment lawsuits headed to Supreme Court; 5) Gen. Jerry Boykin on North Korea; 6) Students & teachers taught & required to use preferred transgender pronouns. Thank you for praying!