Prayer Targets: Wise Women Build; Election Prayer; Values Bus; Peace Cross; More
October 10, 2018
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Pr 14:1)
Dear Praying Friends,
Rebekah Merkle has been a speaker, fabric designer, high school humanities teacher, curriculum editor, author (Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity and Classical Me, Classical Thee: Squander Not Thine Education), and more. Married to Ben Merkle, President of New St. Andrews College, she is a mother of five teenage children. A blogger (feminagirls.com) and contributor to desiringgod.org,she produces a weekly iTunes podcast with her sister, Rachel, called "What Have You." These excerpts are from Rebekah's "Wise Women Build" and apply to men and women:
We women, for good or ill, are a very powerful force. Proverbs 14:1 tells us that a wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. If you can convince a lot of women, all at once, to tear down our houses in unison, we are capable of tearing down an entire nation. This, sadly, is what the women in America have been doing for the last century and more.
In the early years of demolition, the cultural damage wasn't as obvious. Lots of women assumed (and some still assume) that the feminist cause was nothing more than a much-needed re-model -- the kind with "Pardon our Dust, Improvements in Progress" signs tacked up here and there.
But we're a long way into the project now, and it's beginning to be clear that "the women's movement" was actually a wrecking crew. The body count is now more than 58 million, the idea of public decency is gone, our moral compass has vanished, and our nation is adrift ... Those fighting hardest against the system don't even recognize that the enemy they're fighting is the direct result of their own previous efforts. The feminist outrage against Trump's lewd [speech and past immorality] is somewhat incongruous, given that this moment was made possible by the previous feminist victories over anti-obscenity laws and their insistence on rights to "consequence-less" sex.
The recent Women's March on Washington (duplicated in many cities across the nation) wasn't simply a stand against him... but a march for "Women's Rights," which now means, according to the March's website, unrestricted abortion as well as the rights of "gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming" to "control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes." The irony is that after a century of fighting for women's rights, we don't even know what a woman is anymore.
[The Women's March on Washington in 2017] gave us a breathtaking display of women in home-crafted obscenity hats, demanding the right to murder their children. The "dignity for women" message was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that the women demanding dignity (of all things) had their faces poking out of those unspeakable hats. The various spectacles were simultaneously deeply vile and unbelievably petty, a shocking combination of immaturity and depravity...
The damage to our nation, to our children, to our public discourse is no longer subtle. The carnage is real and extremely daunting. But thankfully, we women are capable of more than just destruction. Proverbs 14:1 doesn't just tell us that we can pull our houses down on our own heads; it also tells us that we are capable of building our houses. And similarly, a lot of women, building our houses in unison, are fully capable of building our broken nation back up.
Build This House -- But building a house looks different than tearing one down. Making a mess looks different than cleaning one up. The tools are different. An angry protest to match their angry protest is not the need of the hour. Demolition involves shouting and demanding and tantrum throwing. But building requires obedience and faithfulness in all the small details of our lives. It looks like sacrifice, like putting others' interests ahead of our own. It looks like confessing our sins.
It looks like being faithful this afternoon. It looks like submitting ourselves to God's word, ready to do what it tells us to do even when that doesn't seem like it's very exciting. It looks like loving our husbands and loving our kids and showing hospitality and getting rid of discontent and self-pity and malice. And it looks like doing all these things in faith, asking God to take our two mites and accomplish something staggering. And amazingly, he is a God who delights in answering those kinds of prayers.
The wonderful truth is that this kind of life of obedience is how we can actually achieve dignity as women. Christ teaches us in Matthew 16:25 that he who wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Christ's sake will find it -- and we see this poignantly illustrated by the whole topic of women's rights. Those fighting hardest for "women's rights" now don't even know what a woman is, can't tell the difference between dignity and shame, and insist that "human rights" mean legal protection for those who want to kill and mutilate. Up is down, and down is up.
We who are in Christ have true fulfillment and true dignity -- but it comes through our willingness to lay down those things we most want in our self-centered hearts. We lay down our dignity, our aspirations, and our dreams -- but when we put those things on the altar, Christ gives them back to us a hundredfold. We lay ourselves down and Christ raises us back up -- a glorious and redeemed version of "up is down and down is up."
Our nation is in a giant mess right now, and we need to roll up our sleeves and build this house. (Rebekah Merkle, "Wise Women Build; The March to Real Dignity," January 28, 2017, edited for space)
I must quickly add that the sins and spiritual irresponsibility of far too many modern American men have paved the way, if not created, the bizarre and destructive Women's March movement. And God's grace that abides in our churches and nation may be primarily due to the faithful prayers of godly women who have stood in the gap while far too many men have given themselves to prayerlessness and spiritual neglect. But that is changing! A growing army of men and women is paving the way for revival and awakening in our nation. This is a sign of revival, and it is helping stem the tide of evil and will ultimately impact every sphere of culture as more and more men and women embrace Christ, exchange worldly foolishness for biblical wisdom, and give their energies to building up (instead of tearing down) their homes, communities, and nation. Meanwhile, the midterm election is 26 days away. God's people must be involved. Will you Pray, Vote, and Stand for your biblical values? Please join us!
Will You Help Us Multiply Election Prayer? -- Tony's simple Pray, Vote, Stand prayer guide is excellent. But just as important as its content is the commitment of men and women to pray during the 26 days between now and the election. Will you help get out the word by urging your friends to join you in "taking the pledge to pray daily"? First, take the pledge yourself. Second, write a brief note encouraging your friends to join you. Third, cut and paste the content of the Pray, Vote, and Stand Prayer Guide Archive and forward your note to friends whom the Lord puts on your mind and heart. Tony planned the Prayer Guide around what Christians have come to know as the "7 Spheres" or "7 Mountains of Culture" -- Family, Church, Businesses, Education, Entertainment, Media, and Government -- the centers of influence that so powerfully impact our culture. Each mountain will both impact the election and be impacted by the election results, as will we all. Also, mark your calendar for The Event on November 4th. Tony Perkins, Andrew Womack, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Mike Farris, Kristen Hawkins, and others will be features speakers.
- Lord, you gave us a nation in which every eligible citizen, but especially those You call "salt and light," should labor and promote your values as we and our fellow countrymen choose who will represent us and what direction our nation will go. God, stir your people. Energize and guide us not only to do Your will, but to influence others to seek You and to use their votes to advance righteousness. May Your will be done November 6, and may righteousness exalt our nation again! (2 Chr 7:14; Ps 33:12; Pr 14:34; Is 58:12; Mt 5:13-15; 6:20; Acts 4:23-31; 1 Tim 2:1-8)
Finally, please add these matters to your prayer list: 1) Category 4 Hurricane Michael is on the edge of the Florida Panhandle. South Carolina has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Michael even as it deals with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence; 2) Two separate FRC Action Values Bus Tours are underway around the country. They are holding several rallies each day and are calling believers to vote their biblical values. Leading experts, elected officials, pastors, and Christian celebrities are making appearances (see locations and schedule); 3) Several FRC Watchmen Pastors events are being held between now and the election. Check them out and visit the site frequently as new events are being scheduled during this same time frame. If you know pastors in the region where they are scheduled, please send them a note and encourage them to go. These events provide an extraordinary boost for pastor attendees; 4) Atheists have sued to have the Bladensburg WWI Veterans Peace Cross, a landmark for nearly 100 years in Bladensburg, Md. outside Washington, D.C., be torn down. Two federal courts have ruled the cross unconstitutional. Advocates are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case and Congress is getting involved. This fight has been going on for years and this is the last chance for a course correction. The implications are huge and will affect crosses erected on government grounds across the country, perhaps even in Arlington National Cemetery; 5) President Trump warns that efforts to obtain "Medicare for All" would demolish the Medicare promises made to seniors and for which they have paid premiums for many years; 6) VVS attendees learned how Planned Parenthood is grooming our children to be sexually active; 7) Even British courts are protecting religious liberty by refusing to punish bakers who for religious reasons decline to create same-sex wedding cakes, while many U.S. states have taken an anti-religion posture; 8) Believers everywhere are thanking God and rejoicing that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a course correction with the installation of Brett Kavanaugh who actively served his first day on the bench yesterday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warns that the threats to impeach Kavanaugh have not stopped. Please continue to pray for him.
As always, thank you for praying.