Prayer Targets: Which Flag?; Born Alive; Name of Jesus; National Day of Prayer
April 03, 2019
"And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord Is My Banner." (Exod. 17:15)
Dear Praying Friends,
On June 14, 1777 in Philadelphia, the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress adopted a Resolution that read as follows: "Resolved, That the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." With those words, the American flag was born.
The significance behind the flag's design is fairly obvious. The 50 stars in today's flag stand for America's 50 states, while the 13 red and white stripes represent the original 13 colonies. A Marine Corps booklet "How to Display and Respect Our Flag" further elaborates about the chief symbols and include this statement, purportedly from Gen. George Washington: "We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty."
Yet the original Flag Resolution did not say anything about the meaning behind the colors: red, white, and blue. To learn about that, we must fast forward to when Congress officially adopted the Great Seal of the United States on June 20, 1782, which also used the colors of the flag. Charles Thomson, long-time Secretary of the Continental Congress, explained the significance when he presented the Seal. "The colors are those used in the flag of the United States of America. White signifies purity and innocence. Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue... signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice."
Over the years people elaborated on Thomson's interpretation. Some say that red represents the blood spilled by the patriots and those who fight to protect our country. President Reagan added his own thoughts when he proclaimed 1986 the Year of the Flag. Reagan declared: "The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish. Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice."
The bottom line is this. Our flag is more than fabric. It represents who we are as a people. It stands for the values of God and country, of service and sacrifice, of compassion and courage. It is an emblem of the sacrifices made by our brave men and women who wear the uniform of our Armed Forces. That flag stands for freedom. It is a symbol of what is great about America.
Flags and banners are powerful symbols. They communicate the values of the people who display them. Last Friday was National Vietnam Veteran's Day, commemorating the nine million Americans who served. Typically, the POW/MIA flag is posted to remember and honor those service members. However, a number of Democrats in Congress chose to remove the POW/MIA flags and replace them with Transgender Equality flags to commemorate "Transgender Visibility Week" instead. In fact, the "National Center for Transgender Equality" sent a flag to every member of Congress with the request that they display the banner. The message? Liberal progressives value a radical sexual fringe group more highly than our missing military men and women. (See Dem's POW Flags Still AWOL; American Legion Statement)
- Lord, we feel righteous indignation when we see a flag honoring members of the military taken down in favor of a flag celebrating confused and sinful behavior. We plead for your mercy on us as a nation when some of our leaders value such confusion over courage, sexual anarchy over sacrifice. God of Hosts, you are our banner! To your standard we rally and for you we will stand! (Gen 1:26-28; Exod 17:15; Lev 18:22; Deut 22:5; Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:9-10)
Born-Alive Protection Act Moving Forward -- Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) have officially filed a discharge petition to force Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to have a vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This comes after the Democratic leadership rejected 25 attempts to bring it to the House floor. However, pro-lifers are determined to stop the killing of born-alive babies -- no matter what it takes. Under House rules, it will take every single Republican and 21 Democrats (218 total) to free the bill from the majority's grip and force an up or down vote.
Frankly, it shouldn't be that difficult. After all, we are only talking about protecting a baby who is born alive after a botched abortion instead of letting that little boy or girl die. We are talking about stopping infanticide. This bill ought to pass on a voice vote and Congress move to the next item of business. Indeed, the vast majority of Americans would affirm that vote. But such is the stranglehold of liberal progressive ideology on many lawmakers that they are resisting legislation that would save the life of an infant who has survived an abortion. Consider Melissa Ohden, who was a victim of an attempted saline abortion in which she was burned, born, and later saved by the grace of a nurse who "couldn't just leave me there to die" and rushed her to a neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital for treatment. It is unthinkable that anyone -- Republican or Democrat -- would not be in favor of ending birth day abortion.
FRC has launched a campaign to do just that: End Birth Day Abortion. We will send baby hats, the kind placed on newborns, to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and send a message that every baby, born and unborn, ought to be welcomed and celebrated, not neglected and left to die. Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or visit FRC.org and click on the "More" tab, then "Contact Officials." Simply request that your representative sign on to the discharge petition for HR 962. You may track the signatures on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act discharge petition to see if your Representative has signed. Pray that our collective efforts will be successful! (On Born Alive GOP Delivers; Listen to Tony's Washington Watch interview with Bill Sponsors)
- Creator God, you are the author and artist of every human life. You knit together each baby in the womb and have a plan and a purpose for every single one. Lord, break the stronghold on the minds of the members of Congress who would resist protecting the precious life of an infant who survives an abortion. Take away their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh to feel compassion for these babies. God, melt their hearts and change their minds. May Congress unanimously protect these infants on their birth day. (Psalm 139:13-16; Jer 1:6; Prov 24:11-12)
Banning Prayer in PA? -- The Philadelphia Inquirer is now calling for an end to legislative prayer before the session because of Rep. Stephanie Borowicz's (R) recent prayer in the name of Jesus. Never mind that the practice dates back to the founding of the nation or that Ben Franklin, a patron saint of Pennsylvania, famously called for daily prayer at the Constitutional Convention, a practice that continues to this day in Congress. What was the big deal? The freshman lawmaker's prayer was declared as offensive because she mentioned Jesus 13 times as well as the fact that she mentioned President Trump's support for Israel and how we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Because of her prayer, she was also branded "Islamophobic" because she gave this prayer on the day when the first Muslim lawmaker elected to the Pennsylvania state house was sworn in. What most of the media failed to report is that an Islamic Imam also prayed in the legislature invoking the name of Allah. Of course, that was fine; it was just the name of Jesus that so many found offensive.
In her interview with Tony on Washington Watch, Rep. Borowicz said that she was just simply praying as she always does. When asked by Tony what she thought was behind this move to censor her, she agreed with his earlier assessment that "there is a push to remove God from this nation" and that it is time to "stand up and not be silent any longer." Tony was reminded of Acts 4 and how the Jewish authorities commanded the apostles not to preach or teach in the name of Jesus, commenting: "When you pray in the name of Jesus, that's what gets people riled up... That is the name above every name and as Christians we cannot deny him; we have to acknowledge him!" (Listen to Tony's Interview with Rep. Borowicz at 27 minutes; See Tony's CNN Interview here)
- Father, we thank you for the privilege of praying in the powerful and beautiful, the matchless and majestic name of Jesus -- the name above every other name. We join with Rep. Borowicz's prayer: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, that you will heal our land. Jesus you are our only hope!... At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord!" (2 Chron 7:14; John 14:13-14; Acts 4:18-20; Acts 5:29; Phil 2:9-11)
National Day of Prayer -- We are only one month away from the National Day of Prayer (NDP) on Thursday, May 2nd. We trust you are planning on leading and participating in the observance in your community. If there is no planned observance, approach your pastor about holding one at your church or at your court house or municipal building. Stay tuned for a Bulletin Insert promoting the observance that can also be distributed to your church members. If there was ever a time to join our hearts and voices in prayer for our nation, it is now.
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, who also serves as our FRC Board Chairman, is leading the effort. The theme this year is "Love One Another" from John 13:34. Also, pray for Dr. Floyd as he resigns from Cross Church in northwest Arkansas this Sunday, April 7th and becomes the newly elected President and CEO of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention (EC/SBC). Upon his election, he presented EC members with his newly released and updated, 20th anniversary edition of his book, How To Pray: Developing an Intimate Relationship with God. With Dr. Floyd's ministry-long focus on prayer and fasting as well as evangelism and missions, it is encouraging to see him take the reins of the largest non-Catholic denomination in America (Floyd Elected as President/CEO of the SBC).
- Loving Father, we pray that we would become like Jesus and "Love one another as I have loved you." May a watching world see Jesus in your people as we obey this command. Father, we pray for all the preparations for the NDP, for new groups and observances to form, and for literally millions of Americans to join our hearts in seeking your face on behalf of this nation. Father, we also pray for Dr. Ronnie Floyd, for his leadership of NDP, as well as for his new ministry assignment with the SBC. May his focus on prayer and fasting permeate the life and work of Southern Baptists and may revival and awakening proceed from that effort. (John 13:34; Psalm 85:1-7; Joel 2:12-32)
Finally, we praise God for how he graciously answered our prayers for Pierre Bynum, who faithfully produces the Prayer Targets and who is out on medical leave. Please continue to pray for his recovery and return. Thank you for joining us in praying for America!
Kneeling for Faith, Family and Freedom,
Dr. Kenyn M. Cureton
Vice President for Church Ministries
Family Research Council