Friday, December 29, 2006

Daily Brief - Friday - December 29, 2006

1. Bush Declares Jan. 2 National Day of Mourning for Ford - Fox News

President Bush has declared that Tuesday a national day of mourning for former President Gerald Ford, who will be honored at a service attended by Bush at National Cathedral on Tuesday.

• Pray the comfort of the Holy Spirit for the family and nation as we honor the memory of President Gerald Ford. • "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom ; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13: 7)

2. Bush Considers Economic Package for Iraq -

As he puts the finishing touches on his revised Iraq plan, President Bush is considering new economic initiatives to go along with a possible increase in troops to help stabilize the country, according to officials familiar with the administration's review.

• Pray for the plan to be inspired by the Lord to bring stabilization to Iraq. Pray for a quick work and strength for our military as they give of themselves. • "I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)

3. Sheehan Again Arrested at Bush Ranch -

Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan was arrested Thursday afternoon outside President Bush's ranch, according to a law enforcement official.

• Pray for Cindy Sheehan to receive the Lord's grace and mercy in dealing with the personal loss of her son from the war. Pray for inner healing to come and the rebellious spirit to be broken. • "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." ( 2 Cor.12:9a)

4. Sen. Johnson Remains in Critical Condition - AP

Sen. Tim Johnson turned 60 on Thursday, two weeks after emergency surgery to repair a brain hemorrhage that has left him in critical condition.

• Pray for the Lord's healing hand to touch Sen. Tim Johnson. Pray for him to experience the presence of the Lord. Pray, also, for the Lord's will over congress in Sen. Johnson's absence. • "Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise." (Jer. 17:14)

5. Ravaged New Orleans Site of Edwards' Announcement - AP

Expect to hear a lot in the next year about the "two Americas" that former U.S. Sen. John Edwards sees as the most pressing problem in the country.

• In the middle of all of the activity at the turn of the year, please remember to lift up regular prayer for all the candidates -- both Republican and Democrat -- who are now throwing their hats into the ring for the 2008 presidential election. May each one be moved by the Spirit of God to bring forth healing and blessing upon our land, and may His will be done through our electoral process. • "Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads." (Deuteronomy 1:13)

6. U.S. Blocks Arms, Technology to Israel - Middle East Newsline

Israeli and U.S. sources said the State Department has blocked the transfer of weapons and technology to the Jewish state over the last three months. The sources said the halt reflected deteriorating relations between the two countries since the end of the war in Lebanon in August 2006.

"Nobody will say openly that there is a problem," a government source said. "But there is a serious problem that reflects the marginalization of Israel in U.S. strategy."

The unofficial suspension of U.S. arms deliveries began in late September, the sources said. They said the suspension halted the airlift of air-to-ground and other munitions conducted during and immediately after the Israeli war with Hizbullah.

• Holy, holy God!! When we read reports like these, our heart skips a beat, for we fear for our nation. Lord, we know that it is written that "He who touches Israel touches the apple of Your eye." (Zech. 2:8) Father, in our withholding of these arms to our friend and ally, Israel, we have offended You, and touched the apple of Your eye in a way that can only reap sorrow for our nation. Forgive us, Holy God, and help us to come to repentance. Help our leaders, Lord God, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE CHARGE OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT, to turn their hearts to You, and to enter into a course correction in this policy, even before the New Year begins. Father God, we ask that all of our actions towards Israel in 2007 would honor the covenant that we have as a nation with the land and people of Israel.

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God." (Psalm 90:1-2)

1. Reward for Smuggling: Arms Transferred Directly to Abu Mazen - Arutz Sheva

As a result of Hamas’s unceasing arms smuggling into Gaza, and with the Israeli government’s full cooperation, Egypt gave 2,000 rifles to Palestinian Authority Fatah chief Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas]. Israel allowed the transfer as part of the gestures and easings of restrictions Prime Minister Ehud Olmert promised Abu Mazen earlier this week. Likud [declared]: “The guns will be used against us.”

2. IDF Officials: Pinpoint Operations Don’t Work with Restraint - Arutz Sheva

IDF [Israel Defense Forces] officials are not happy with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s new exclusive policy of “pinpoint operations” against Kassam- launching cells. Some 27 security checkpoints in Yesha [Judea and Samaria] are set to be removed.

A senior officer slammed the new anti-Kassam policy, which Olmert decided upon after two boys were seriously wounded in a Tuesday night [December 26] rocket attack. The government resolved to continue the cease-fire with the terrorists, despite the increasing violations by terrorist rocket crews, but to take action against specific Kassam cells when they are detected.

3. Islamic Jihad: We Are Firing More Accurate Rockets - Ynet News

The Islamic Jihad seemingly didn’t receive notice of the cease-fire. From their standpoint, the rocket firing will continue. Their rocket-firing cells are aiming at strategic facilities and threaten to reach longer ranges than they have in the past.

Spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s military arm, Al-Quds Brigade, Abu Ahmad, claimed in an interview with Ynet that this is just the beginning. His organization is simultaneously preparing for a wave of suicide attacks to be carried out within Israel.

4. Jobless Gaza Arabs Miss Jewish Employers, Turn to Drugs - Arutz Sheva

Gaza Arabs, left jobless by the Oslo War and by last year’s expulsion of Gush Katif farmers, have turned to drugs that are smuggled from Lebanon and Egypt, the United Nations reports.

Tens of thousands of Arabs worked throughout Israel in factories and in construction until the Oslo War broke out in 2000. The constant flow of terrorists from Gaza forced Israel to severely restrict traffic and to withdraw work permits, in an attempt to prevent terrorists from abusing them to carry out attacks.

(Please note: All of these articles were reported this week by Bridges for Peace.)

Intercessors for Israel Call for Prayer

Dear Praying Friends,

Shalom from Jerusalem!

In the natural sense of the word, there is not much shalom in Jerusalem or in Israel. We are still recovering from the bruising war with Hizbullah this past summer, and we are under continuing rocket attack from Gaza.

As bad as these situations are, there is a much worse one looming on the horizon: the Iranian nuclear bomb. Again, naturally speaking, this is an existential threat to Israel's existence. On one hand, we are totally confident that the Word of the Lord spoken to the exiles by Jeremiah is applicable to us today: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11) Yet on the other hand, there is no guarantee that Israel will not be attacked, even with nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad's threats to annihilate Israel are to be taken seriously as words truly spoken from the intent of his heart. Are we-the Body of Messiah worldwide-taking these threats seriously? In the 1930s and 40s, most of the Church ignored Hitler's promises to destroy the Jewish people and then reports indicating that he was actively pursuing that goal.

Most of the world is ignoring the Iranian threat. Is this also true of most of the Church? We cannot know for sure what would have happened if the Church had persevered in travailing prayer before the Lord in behalf of the Jewish people during the Holocaust; however, it is consistent both with Scripture and with God's character that had His people prayed, He would have cut off the slaughter much sooner than He did.

Will we be found guilty again of the same prayerlessness for God's people Israel, as they are once more threatened with extermination today?

Intercessors for Israel will be hosting its 23rd annual International Prayer Conference in Jerusalem January 22-29, 2007. On Thursday, January 25, we will conduct on-site prayer at various locations in Jerusalem, culminating in a time of spiritual warfare concerning Iran's threat to destroy Israel. We will be basing our prayers upon Hezekiah's response to Sennacherib's threat to destroy Israel (see 2 Kings 18:17-19:37, Isaiah 36:1-37:38).

We are appealing to you, our brothers and sisters worldwide, to join us in prayer on this day and to petition God to act, defending His Name and His people.

Eliyahu Ben-Haim, for the Board of IFI, Jerusalem

In Honor of . . . CHPA (Capitol Hill Prayer Alert)


Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we share the news that one of our sister ministries here in Washington, D.C., the Capitol Hill Prayer Alert (CHPA), headed by Harry Valentine, will close its doors in the New Year.

CHPA was one of the few ministries in place in Washington, D.C. back in 1994 when the Lord raised up our own work, now called the Capitol Hill Prayer Partners.

It was Harry Valentine and his faithful prayer partner, Pierre Bynum, who first blessed me on Feb. 24, 1994, and sent me forth to pray in the Visitor's Gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives over a bill that was about to impact homeschoolers nationwide: HR6.

Their prayers, and my small intercession, were joined with thousands of others, so that a miracle occurred that day, and the Armey Amendment, which was attached to HR6 and was designed to spare home schooling families of egregious federal intervention, PASSED in a great victory by a vote of 374 - 53.

I left the Visitor's Gallery that day, greatly gratified to see this victory, wrought through prayer. Little did I know then what I know now: God had a plan for me way beyond "one day on the Hill." Later that evening, He gave me the vision to do what we still do today: to invite intercessors to pray for all in authority in the Halls of Congress, every day they are in session.

After I recovered from the shock of receiving this call to prayer from the Hand of God, the first person I consulted to be sure we would not be duplicating any other work on Capitol Hill was . . . Harry Valentine. Harry very kindly informed me that, although CHPA had been raised up to ALERT intercessors through mail, fax and later email of the need to pray for pro-life and pro-family legislation, they had never been called to directly "put feet to their prayers" and hence to pray on-site in Congress. He then confirmed that my vision was of the Lord, and graciously encouraged me to pursue it.

Within days, our Lord raised up a small but very faithful and anointed troop of five intercessors, and we have been in place ever since . . . praying on site inside Congress and asking that His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. YOU are now an extension of this work and, by agreeing together on God's Word being fulfilled, we trust Him to hear and to respond . . . in His way, and in His time.


So, as we close out this year, may we ask you to remember the Capitol Hill Prayer Alert in your own year-end giving?? They have been so faithful, for so long; and we can only say "THANK YOU, CHPA! WELL DONE THOU FAITHFUL SERVANTS!"

Please make your checks out to: CHPA and mail them to: CHPA, P.O. Box 7334, Arlington, VA 22207

Thank you all, God bless you, and Happy New Year from Capitol Hill Prayer Partners . . . on watch with you and for you in Washington, D.C.

Sara C. Ballenger
Founder and President
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

Daily Brief - Thursday, December 28, 2006

1. Officials: Saddam Likely To Be Hanged Before New Year - AP

The Iraqi government is 'anxious' to get execution done, possibly within the next 24 hours, U.S. military officials say.

• Offer up a chorus of intercession over this alert, and come against the forces of darkness that would unleash a backlash of violence in the wake of this execution, using the authority of the Name and the Blood of Jesus. May the Iraqi people be spared more torment as justice is served. Pray for the soul of Saddam Hussein. • "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne." (Psalm 89:14)

2. Ford To Lie In State In Capitol Rotunda
- CNSNews, AP and ABC News

In a state funeral for the president who only wanted to be speaker of the House, Gerald Ford's casket will return to the Congress he served on his historic journey to an unelected presidency. The Nation's Capitol began preparing for the state funeral by closing for tours at noon today. On Saturday, Ford's body will be flown to Washington in the late afternoon, where another special stop is planned. The hearse will pause at the World War II memorial in joint tribute to the wartime Navy reserve veteran and America's armed forces. The state funeral will be conducted in the Capitol Rotunda Saturday evening. The public will be admitted to pay respects sometime after a 6:30 p.m. EST arrival ceremony, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST Sunday and Monday. Ford will lie in state until Tuesday morning, in a closed casket. Then, his casket will be moved to the National Cathedral for a funeral service. Interment will follow the next day in Michigan.

• Dear Lord, we pray for our nation's safety and for the recognition of our own mortality, with the hope of Salvation, during the funeral services for former president Ford. May many be saved because of his passing into Your presence. • "And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God." (Isaiah 61:4)

• Father God, we ask for Your hand of protection to be over our city throughout these proceedings. We ask You to send forth Your angels to dismantle any terrorist plot planned against us, and we thank You that nothing is too difficult for you! • "He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success." (Job 5:12)

3. Glimmer Of Hope For Massachusetts Residents Opposed To Homosexual Marriage -

The same court that ruled two years ago that homosexual marriage was legal in Massachusetts, Wednesday gave homosexual marriage opponents some good news. The State's Supreme Judicial Court determined that it had no right to order the state Legislature to vote on whether to place a ballot initiative banning homosexual marriage before voters. However, the justices also blamed state lawmakers for abandoning "their lawful obligations" on the issue. Homosexual marriage opponents in Massachusetts need the Legislature to approve the ballot referendum process, in order for the controversy to go before voters in the 2008 election. The ballot initiative amendment is scheduled for a vote by state lawmakers on January 2.

• May God's institution of marriage be restored to its sanctity and rightful place of honor as God's cornerstone for civilization and societal foundations. May those in this fight not become weary and lose heart; may they remember that God is their only hope and it is written that He wins in the end! The Apostle Paul exhorted early believers that to win over others, we must behave like Christians. In this battle, may we do the same! • "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12: 14,17,18,19 & 21 NKJV)

4. Colorado Braces for Second Major Blizzard - AP

An estimated 900 snow plows were preparing for 18 inches of snow as Airlines canceled flights Thursday as another major storm blew toward Denver and Colorado Springs where 2 feet of snow still lingered from last week's paralyzing blizzard. The storm virtually shut down life along the Front Range, the 170-mile corridor along the foot of the Rockies that's home to 3.8 million people in Denver, Colorado Springs and other cities. Highways, schools and businesses closed, and even the mail couldn't get through.

• Please pray for help with our nation's continuing natural disasters. Thanks be to God for His help in this storm and in the aftermath of the violent storms in California and Florida! • "Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil." (Psalm 90:15 NKJV)

5. Taiwan Quake Disrupts Communications - AP

Telephone lines and Internet service went dead across much of Asia on Wednesday after two powerful earthquakes estimated at a 7.1 magnitude, damaged undersea cables used by several countries to route calls and online traffic. Almost all of Taiwan's communications capacity with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong was disrupted. Also hard hit was telephone service to the U.S., where 60 percent of capacity was lost, the company said. Repairing the cables could take weeks because crews have to pull them up and transfer them to a ship for repair, said a spokesman for Taiwan's largest phone company.

• Please pray for the people of Asia to turn to the Lord and be saved. Praise God that there were no tsunamis spawned in the aftermath! May they see His Providence for them. • " 'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise,' says the Lord; 'I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.' " (Psalm 12: 5 NKJV)

6. Muslims Begin Hajj Pilgrimage - and BBC

An estimated three million Muslims have begun leaving the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca to begin the annual Hajj pilgrimage amid enhanced security. The Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is due to end on Monday. It is an obligation for all Muslims to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime, if they are physically and financially able. Saudi authorities say they have implemented new safety measures to prevent stampedes that have killed hundreds of people previously. In January, almost 400 people were killed and some 300 injured in a stampede during one of the rituals. They also are imposing a strict quota system to try to keep the number of foreign visitors to a manageable level.

• Dear Lord, our prayer is for the Moslems who are lost to be found, for their demonic bondage to be destroyed, and for this violence-laden event not to incite worldwide calamity! Father God, thank You for Your protection and Salvation! • "Thus says the Lord: 'Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. Now you shall say to this people: 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.' " (Jeremiah 22:3 and 21:8 NKJV) {Note: Please see also the prayer alert, posted by Chuck Pierce, below.}

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God." (Psalm 90:1-2)

1. Islamic Jihad: We are firing more accurate rockets - Ynet News

The Islamic Jihad seemingly didn't receive notice of the ceasefire. From their stand point, the rocket firing will continue.

2. US, EU challenge Israel on new W. Bank settlement - Ynet News

Israel's plan to construct a new settlement named Maskiot in the Jordan Valley drew rare criticism Wednesday from the United States and the European Union.

3. Defense officials demand end to policy of restraint - Jerusalem Post

Senior defense officials called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday to give the IDF a green light to strike back at the Palestinian terrorists behind the firing of seven Kassam rockets at the western Negev. One of Tuesday's Kassams, fired at Sderot after nightfall, left a 13-year-old critically wounded from shrapnel. Doctors were battling to save his life at press time. Another rocket, fired earlier in the day, landed next to a strategic installation in the Ashkelon Industrial Zone.

4. Christians Plan “Night to Honor Israel” - Ha'aretz

A leading evangelical US pastor has announced plans to hold a “night to honor Israel” in every major American city as part of an evangelical political campaign.

Pastor John Hagee, a Christian leader from Texas, was given an award by the Knesset [Parliament] Christian Allies Caucus during a ceremony, jointly held with the World Jewish Congress Monday night [December 18], to “honor our Christian allies.” Addressing the conference by a satellite-linked screen, Hagee delivered an emphatic speech, declaring: “It’s time for us Christians in America, from coast to coast, to speak up for Israel.” He added that his organization aimed to hold “every congressman and senator accountable for their position on Israel.”

(The date of the Night to Honor Israel has yet to be announced -- the editor.)

5. Aliyah 2006: 25% Increase in British Immigrants - Ynet News

While 2006 may not have been a particularly impressive year for aliyah [immigration to Israel] due to the last war in Lebanon . . . the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh are still very pleased with this year’s statistics, citing a massive increase in immigration from North America and Britain.

URGENT: Prayer for Arafat Day

URGENT: Prayer for Arafat Day

This year, Arafat Day is celebrated on December 29, 2006. This is the only day in Islam where Muslims gather together in unity, praying and fasting to Allah. They declare that Ishmael is the son of the promise and not Isaac, and they offer animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of their sins. This is a day of great deception, as each ritual act feeds the belief that Jesus is not the true sacrifice through Isaac. This also increases Muslim’s dislike of the Jews – the sons of Isaac.

Prayer and Fasting in Unity

GI (Generals of Intercession) is partnering with the Apostolic Middle East Network and others, to mobilize intercessors around the world. On December 29, we will concentrate our prayers for Muslims and the Middle East as a counter attack to the activities in Mecca. Spend time fasting and praying prophetically that God would:

-- Break the deceiving, blinding spirit.
-- Open eyes of Muslims to see the true sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53).
-- Bring revelation of the power of the blood of Jesus to save souls, and not the blood of animals.
-- The peace of Jerusalem, through peace between the two sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael.

The Lord has opened the eyes of Christian leaders in the Middle East to the importance of Arafat Day. There have been many supernatural stories of Muslims who, while performing the rituals of the Hajj, have had a true encounter with Jesus Christ. This year, we believe more and more stories of Muslims having dreams and visions, causing them to turn and follow Jesus will happen. Join with God’s chosen leaders for the Middle East and intercessors worldwide in this prayer effort!

(Source: Cindy Jacobs, Generals of Intercession)

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)
" I will say to those called 'Not my people, [h] ' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.' " (Hosea 2:23b)
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly. (Psalm 147:15)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bush Family Mourns the Passing of Gerald Ford, 38th President

President Bush on Wednesday said, "President Ford was a great man who devoted the best years of his life in serving the United States. He was a true gentleman who reflected the best in America's character. ... He assumed power in a period of great division and turmoil. For a nation that needed healing and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we needed him most."

In a written statement, President Bush said, "The American people will always admire Gerald Ford's devotion to duty, his personal character, and the honorable conduct of his administration. We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th President will always have a special place in our Nation's memory. On behalf of all Americans, Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to Betty Ford and all of President Ford's family. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them in the hours and days ahead."

(Source: The White House)

Daily Brief - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

1. Gerald Ford, Only Unelected President, Passes Away at 93 - AP

Gerald Ford, the only person to serve as both vice president and president of the United States without having been elected to either post, passed away late Tuesday. No cause of death was stated by his family in their announcement. Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments — including an angioplasty — in August at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He died at 6:45 p.m. PST at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. "My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Gerald Ford, our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather has passed away at 93 years of age," Ford's wife, Betty Ford, said in a brief statement issued from her husband's office. "His life was filled with love of God, his family and his country."

• Thank You Lord, for the service of President Ford. We pray for You to comfort his family at this time. • "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

2. Appeals Court Upholds Saddam Hussein's Death Sentence - Fox News

An Iraqi appeals court has upheld the death sentence imposed on Saddam Hussein at his first trial, Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday, and a tribunal official said the verdict will be carried out even if the presidency doesn't ratify it. Hussein could reportedly be executed at any time during the next 30 days, following the rejection of his appeal on a conviction of crimes against humanity.

• Thank You, Lord, that Your justice reigns over Iraq, and that the newly founded court system there appears to be working. • "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne." (Psalm 89:14)

3. Bush Signs Law to Bar Military Funeral Protests -

President Bush has signed into a law an amendment to U.S. law protecting military funerals from protests like those staged by a controversial Kansas church that characterizes soldiers' deaths as divine punishment for homosexuality.

• Father we ask Your forgiveness and heart change for those who have used other's sorrow for political expression. May we understand true righteousness, and bring Your heart of love and salvation to the lost rather than condemnation. • "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world trhough Him might be saved." (John 3:17)

4. Blair Experiences Rocky Landing in Miami - AP

Authorities have confirmed that British Airways Flight 209 was carrying Prime Minister Tony Blair and his family when it hit some lights on the runway and overshot its landing.

• Thank You Lord for keeping Prime Minister Blair safe through this dangerous landing. We ask Your protection over him as he visits our nation, and may He call upon Your name for all decisions he must make while in office. • "May the Lord answer You in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you." (Psalm 20:1)

5. New Congress Brings With It Religious Firsts - Beliefnet

The new Congress will, for the first time, include a Muslim, two Buddhists, more Jews than Episcopalians, and the highest-ranking Mormon in congressional history. Roman Catholics remain the largest single faith group in Congress, accounting for 29 percent of all members of the House and Senate, followed by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews and Episcopalians.

• Lord, as the makeup of our Congress changes dramatically, we ask Your wisdom and truth to guide each one. We bind any plans of the enemy to use these elected officials, and we ask that Your Spirit would touch their hearts with Your gifts of knowledge, understanding, and salvation. • "The Lord gives wisdom;from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6)

6. Russia churches protest government's demand for faithfuls’ details - Reuters

Church leaders in Russia have protested to the government over a law that has revived memories of Soviet persecution by requiring them to supply the names of their worshippers and the contents of weekly sermons. Religious heads said they asked a top Kremlin official this week for exemption from a new measure obliging them to provide the information to a special state agency by April 2007. “This is impossible for us,” Thaddaeus Kondrusiewicz, the Catholic archbishop in Moscow, said in an interview late on Thursday. “We have 27 masses every Sunday in Moscow alone - how can I know how many people took part and what their names were?”

• Lord we ask Your intervention in the Russian churches, that they will have strength and hope. May Your Spirit move through the believers and bring the power of Your kingdom to bear. We declare Psalm 91 over each of them, and ask that all plans of the government to destroy or control them be brought to nothing. • "There are many plans in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord, THAT will stand." (Proverbs 19:21)

The Middle East

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God." (Psalm 90:1-2)

1. Defense officials demand end to policy of restraint - Jerusalem Post

Senior defense officials called on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday to give the IDF a green light to strike back at the Palestinian terrorists behind the firing of seven Kassam rockets at the western Negev. One of Tuesday's Kassams, fired at Sderot after nightfall, left a 13-year-old critically wounded from shrapnel. Doctors were battling to save his life at press time. Another rocket, fired earlier in the day, landed next to a strategic installation in the Ashkelon Industrial Zone.

2. IDF: Hizballah Almost at Full Strength - Jerusalem Post

It is "just a matter of time" before Hizballah attacks Israel, a high-ranking officer from the Northern Command said Wednesday, adding that Hizballah had nearly returned to full strength. The officer said Syria had used the past four months since the end of the war to transfer truckloads of advanced rockets and weaponry to Hizballah in Lebanon, sometimes on a daily basis.

3. Jihad: Calm has collapsed - Ynet News

The al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad's military wing, claimed responsibility Tuesday evening for the rocket fired at Sderot, which wounded two youths. One youth sustained critical wounds and the other was moderately to severly injured.

4. Hamas rejects US state offer - Ynet News

The PA Hamas government has turned down an American proposal to form a Palestinian state in two years with temporary borders, Hamas' English language website said Tuesday night.

5. Hamas to al-Qaeda: We Haven't Quit Resistance- Ynet News

Hamas spokesperson Ismail Radwan responded to remarks by al-Qaeda No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that condemned Mahmoud Abbas for threatening to hold early elections, saying his group has not given up its commitment to fight Israel.

6. King Abdullah: Israel not as strong as we thought - Ynet News

Jordan’s King Abdullah said during an interview with Tokyo-based newspaper The Daily Yomiuri that “The (Lebanon ) war last summer showed that Israel is not as strong as we had previously thought, and, justifiably or not, the perception in the Middle East is that Israel lost.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Daily Brief - Tuesday, December 26, 2006

1. British Troops Save 76 Iraqi Prisoners in Raid on Basra Police Station - AP

Backed by tanks, British soldiers raided a police station in the southern city of Basra on Monday, killing seven gunmen in an effort to stop renegade Iraqi officers from executing their prisoners, the British military said. After the British stormed the Basra police station, they removed the prisoners, who showed evidence of torture, then evacuated the building before blowing it up.

• Thank God for His Mercy in protecting the lives of the 76 Iraqi prisoners and cause them to live in safety. May each of them be blessed by Jesus revealing Himself to them. • "I even I Am He and there is no god with me: I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39)

2. Iraq's President Says U.S. Forces Detained Two Iranians Invited to Iraq - AP

U.S. troops detained two Iranians who were in Iraq at the invitation of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a presidential spokesman said Monday. The detentions come as the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, tries to expand Iran's role in Iraq as a counter to U.S. influence in the Gulf region, and as the Bush administration has resisted pressure for a diplomatic push that would involve all of Iraq's neighbors — including Iran and Syria.

• Pray for God to rise up in the midst of the Ahmadinejad government and put down the evil forces that are pervasive in his regime. Pray in agreement that the evil intended will cease, and that strife will come to an end! • "And the most proud shall stumble and fall and none shall raise him up." (Jeremiah 50:32a)

3. Ahmadinejad Opponents Win Elections - Washington Post

Opponents of Iranian President Ahmadinejad won nationwide elections for local councils, final results confirmed Thursday. Moderate conservatives critical of Ahmadinejad won a majority of seats, followed by reformists. Some conservatives feel Ahmadinejad has spent too much time confronting the West and failed to deal with Iran's struggling economy.

• Praise and thank God for the conservatives and reformists winning the majority of seats in the recent election in Iran. • "Deliver the poor and needy, rid them out of the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 82:4)

4. New Threats by Al-Qaeda No. 2 Single Out Britain - Washington Post

The threat of a terrorist attack on European soil by Islamic radicals has increased substantially in recent months, according to European counterterrorism officials. In a new videotape released Wednesday, al-Qaeda's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri singled out Britain as a historical enemy of Muslims, blaming it for the creation of Israel and the downfall of the Ottoman Empire. He also said al-Qaeda would continue to plan attacks on the U.S. and its "Crusader" allies in Europe.

• To those terrorists planning attacks on European and U.S. soil: We speak and decree the Word in Jeremiah 20:40: >"For thus saith The Lord behold I will make thee terror to thyself and to all thy friends:and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it."

5. Violent Storms, Heavy Rains Tear Through Florida - AP

Powerful storms damaged at least three dozen homes as heavy rain and strong wind swept across the Southeast on Monday. Tornado warnings were issued in parts of Florida and South Carolina. The worst damage was in Florida, between Tampa and the Georgia border, where three people were injured and three homes were destroyed.

• Father we are grateful that You are the God of the whole earth and we ask You to cause the destructive forces of rains, winds, tornados, and snow to cease from all their havoc in our nation. Please show us Your mercy, Lord! • "Behold I Am the Lord, The God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

6. UN approves Iran sanctions - Ynet News

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran’s trade in sensitive nuclear materials and ballistic missiles, a move aimed at getting Tehran to halt uranium enrichment work.

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Lord, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God." (Psalm 90:1-2)

1. U.S. and Britain to mobilize in Gulf - Int'l Herald Tribune

The United States and Britain will begin moving additional warships and aircraft into the Gulf region in a display of military resolve toward Iran that would come as the United Nations debates possible sanctions against it, according to military officials.

2. Iran: 600,000 jailed since start of year - Ynet News

Well over half a million Iranians have been imprisoned by their regime since the start of the year, Director- General of the Cultural and Disciplinary Committee of the Iranian Prisons Organization Mansour Moqareh- Abed told Iranian newspaper Jomhouri Islami.

3. Syria building 'death trap' villages - Jerusalem Post

Warning that Israel may face a "Syrian intifada," a high-ranking officer in Northern Command has told The Jerusalem Post that villages recently built by Syria along the border are planned to be used as "death traps" for IDF troops in Hizbullah-inspired attacks.

4. UK newspaper: Jesus was a Palestinian - Ynet News

An anti-Israel article , which appeared last week in a British newspaper, the Independent, claimed Christmas was a celebration of the "birth pains of a Palestinian refugee in Bethlehem" (Mary), before launching into an attack on Israel 's checkpoints in the West Bank.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas - Friday, December 22, 2006

For unto us a Child is born . . . And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Dear Friends, 2,000 years ago, the shepherds were "standing watch" at night, when they sighted the Star in the East that heralded the Birth of our Lord.

This year, we have felt an urgency to continue to "stand watch" with you throughout this past week, in light of the intensity of this hour. We thank all of you for standing watch with us, during your busy holiday schedules, standing in agreement with the promises of the Word of God for our people and for Israel.

Please be looking for our own Christmas greeting to you later today, but in the meantime, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS from all of us here at Capitol Hill Prayer Partners!

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them." (Luke 2:13-18 NIV)

Dear Prayer Partners,

As we approach the end of this year, we want to thank you, again, for your faithfulness in prayer for our nation. Some of you have been with us since our beginnings in 1994; many others have joined in since. But ALL of you have been true to the watch, and have been a great blessing and encouragement to those of us who are standing on the front lines here in Washington, D.C.

Once again this year, our Christmas gift to you is the message enclosed, "One Solitary Life." Here in our nation's capital, where so many work so hard every day of the year to compete for power, prestige, and position, this little poem reminds us of the One who truly has all power in His Hands . . . the One who was born in a tiny manger, in a city called Bethlehem, over 2000 years ago.

Our prayer for you this Christmas is that you, too, would come to know the Power greater than ourselves -- our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ -- whose shed Blood cleanses us, delivers us, and sets us free from all sin. May He bless and keep each of you, now and always. Amen!


Sara C.Ballenger, Founder and President

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

Daily Brief

1. Bush says backs minimum wage raise with tax relief - ABC News

President George W. Bush said on Wednesday that he supports a Democratic proposal to increase the U.S. minimum wage but said it should be coupled with tax and regulatory relief for small businesses.

• Lord Jesus, we trust in Your name alone and ask You to move in proposals that will bring a balance to our economy and provision for our laborers. • "A just weight and balance are the LORD'S; all the weights of the bag are his work." (Prov. 16:11)

2. N.J. Governor Signs Gay Civil Unions Law - ABC News

New Jersey's governor signed legislation Thursday giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage allowed under state law but not the title.

• Pray for forgiveness and an awakening of the fear of God to depart from evil. Pray for mercy and grace to be saved and healed from wicked men and laws. • "O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise." (Jer. 17:13-14)

3. California: Marriage law goes to high court - SF Chronicle

The fate of same-sex marriage in California is in the hands of the state Supreme Court. More than two years after it nullified nearly 4,000 weddings of gay and lesbian couples performed at San Francisco City Hall, the court voted unanimously Wednesday to decide whether state law, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, violates a constitutional right to marry the partner of one's choice.

• Pray for the pure constitutional rights that are based on the Bible to be illuminated to California's state Supreme Court. Pray for the return to the truth and to uphold the standard of righteousness. • "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee for thou art the LORD our God." (Jer. 3:22)

4. President Bush Signs Legislation To Block U.S. Aid To Hamas-Led Palestinian Government - AP

President Bush signed into law a bill meant to block U.S. aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government and ban contacts with Hamas until the militant faction has renounced violence and recognized Israel's existence. It also creates a $20 million fund to promote democracy, human rights, freedom of the press and peace between Israel and the Palestinians.The White House said the legislation Bush signed reflects the administration's concern over the current government's failure to renounce violence and terror, recognize Israel and respect previous agreements and obligations.

• Offer up a chorus of praise for this strong stand our president, our Congress, and our nation has taken on behalf of Isael. Call forth the BLESSINGS that are due our people as we continue to stand by the nation of the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. • "And I will bless them that bless thee . . ." (Gen. 12:3a)

5. U.S. Preparing An Aid Package To Help Strengthen Lebanese Security Forces - The Washington Post

The United States is preparing a package of almost $500 million in aid for Lebanon's military and police to help strengthen security forces, part of almost $1 billion in total U.S. assistance to help the beleaguered Lebanese government, according to U.S. officials. "Ultimately . . . one of the most important things that you can do is to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces not – I think probably not to replace the United Nations forces for some time, but to be more capable themselves of defending the country and providing a stable platform," Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told The Post. "Everybody understands that the future of Lebanon is very important."

• Pray for the worldwide media as this information hits the news. Ask the those who see this action will understand its true intent, as outlined by the Secretary of State: to help strengthen the hand of the Lebanese government that it might defend itself from all terrorists -- within and without their country. • "Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matt. 18:19)

6. U.S., EU urge vote on Iran ban - Washington Times

The United States and European Union yesterday pushed for a U.N. Security Council vote as early as today on Iran sanctions, a diluted version that drops a U.S.-backed travel ban on Iranian nuclear officials in a bid to win Russian support.

• Pray that this vote will go through, so that tough sanctions can be placed upon this rogue government. • "Ask, and you shall receive . . . " (John 16:24)