Prayer Targets: What is a Vet?; How to Stand in the Gap; FL Recount; CA Fires; Caravan; Peace Cross
November 14, 2018
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Dear Praying Friends,
"WHAT IS A VET?" This beloved poem (below) appeared on the internet early in this century and has since been reposted, reprinted, and read aloud by grateful patriots on radio, the internet, and Facebook pages multiplied thousands of times. Attributed to many authors, Father Denis Edward O'Brien, a U.S.M.C. Veteran, is mentioned most often, though O'Brien denied authorship. In 2006, Dawn M. Hampton of Richmond, Va. wrote the International War Veterans' Poetry Archive (IWVPA), claiming that her husband, Anthony Barton Hinkle, was the original author, published first as an editorial in the Richmond Times Dispatch on November 11, 1995. The editors of the IWVPA investigated and concluded that Hinkle was indeed the author.
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg -- or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the Nebraska farmer who worries every year that this time, the bank really will foreclose.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 39th Parallel.
She -- or he -- is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn't come back at all.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who never has seen combat -- but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-'counts into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each other's' backs.
He is the parade-riding legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket -- palsied now and aggravatingly slow -- who helped liberate a Nazi death camp, and who wishes all day long his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being -- a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. (Anthony Barton Hinkle, International War Veterans' Poetry Archive; see video by Steve Ricketts and Greg Garrison)
Sunday was Veterans Day 2018. Scripture teaches "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour" (Rom 13:7). May we properly honor all who have served, risked, and given of their lives to protect our lives and preserve our liberty as Americans, including our precious religious liberty. May we pray often and always for the veterans past and present -- and their families -- with the gratitude this timeless poem expresses so well.
Standing in the Gap for America Now and in 2019 -- We hoped and prayed that the election would bring America positive change and some respite from what has come to be called the "Resistance Movement." But the election was the resistance movement.
Peace is a legitimate quest. Indeed, God calls us to pray for all men, and especially our leaders in government (1 Tim 2:1-2):
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
We must strengthen our prayer posture, learn how to live in a spiritual war-time environment, and exercise our spiritual and mental muscles to deal with persistent spiritual warfare on one hand and while being prepared for extraordinary challenges and quick responses to emergencies on the other. War has been declared against God's eternal truth and His people. We who pray must lead, encourage, and strengthen our fellows, and help prepare them for spiritual hand-to-hand combat now and for the foreseeable future (Eph. 6:10-20).
Tony Perkins has encouraged the FRC staff to get some rest during the holidays because we are going to need it heading into the new year with a new liberal majority in the House of Representatives, and with it all sorts of anti-life, anti-family, and anti-liberty policies.
Many fellow believers across America are not prepared for this. We who pray must be like Nehemiah, who strengthened the hands and arms of his brethren in ancient Jerusalem while they were attempting to build a wall to protect their beloved capital city. Nehemiah recounted:
I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them [their adversaries' terrorist attacks were designed to strike fear in their hearts)], remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses" (Neh 4:14).
We were hoping the election would bring some level of pause and peace. Instead, key races are still not settled. It will take leadership, love for the truth, personal integrity, commitment, determination, and courage for those in authority to make sure that the elections are decided fairly and accurately. And it is clear from reports that our elections system in some states has long been managed with gross incompetence for years, possibly even with malicious intent. The conservative majority in the U.S. Senate appears safe, but not as strong as expected.
The overall political, moral, and spiritual war for our nation's soul is only accelerating. We who understand our call to pray cannot stick our heads in the sand. Rather, we must arise to the fight and, with God's enabling, prevail. We must win the war through prayer before we will see the war won in the social, political, and other spheres of culture.
During the holiday season, the wheels of government slow down. We have just weeks to impact the current battles surrounding the election and to strengthen the pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious liberty efforts in the "Lame Duck" Congress. As Thanksgiving Day approaches, let us thank God that the balance of the Supreme Court has changed, now leaning more heavily toward our Constitution. We must pray for each Justice. They will be a critical check on some of the insanity we have been watching evolve in our political system.
But the spectacle of the Senate Kavanaugh hearing was a salvo from the liberals of things to come -- they have promised to operate in a similar fashion for the indefinite future. The recent Antifa mob that surrounded Fox News' Tucker Carlson's home, causing his wife to hide in the pantry, is a taste of things to come for anyone who dares to trumpet the truth. The world is upside down. Those who proclaim truth are declared haters, racists, even Nazis. Maxine Waters, who famously called for resistance and impeachment, will likely become the Chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. The new majority has promised to tie up the executive administration with unprecedented investigations and perhaps even to attempt to impeach the president and possibly Brett Kavanaugh. Their plan is to so tie up the administration that it can get nothing done.
- Lord, we thank you for the people of God who are praying across America and around the world for our land. Lord, only you know how much prayer, how many prayer warriors, and what kind of praying for "kings, and for all that are in authority" it will take for us secure our ability to "lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Tim 2:1-2). Only you know what kind and how much prayer it will take for us to secure such an environment for our children and grandchildren and future generations of Americans. Thank you, Lord, Governor of the Universe, that we can count on you. Help us to do our part in prayer and action. God, make our churches "Houses of Prayer!" May repentance and revival explode in our churches and cause an awakening throughout America! In Jesus' name! Amen. (Neh 4:14; Eze 22:30; Mic 6:8; Mt 7:7-11 Amp; Mk 11:17; Lk 18:1-8; Eph 6:10-20)
Finally, please add to your prayer list: 1) The Florida vote recount in Broward and Palm Beach counties -- and election integrity elsewhere. (Please take ten minutes to hear Tony Perkins and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell dissect this -- minute 1:58 thru 12:59); 2) The devastating fires in California; 3) The showdown between President Trump, ICE, U.S. troops and the "Caravan" arriving at our southern border. There will be misguided activists and lawyers interfering to make a name for themselves. Much wisdom is needed; 4) The far-reaching Peace Cross case before the Supreme Court is a must-win for religious freedom in America.
As always, thank you for praying!