Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him." (Psalm 37:39-40)

1. US Banks Borrow $50bn Via New Fed Facility - Financial Times

U.S. banks have been quietly borrowing massive amounts of money from the Federal Reserve in recent weeks by using a new measure the Fed introduced last December to help ease the credit crunch. The use of the Fed's Term Auction Facility (TAF), which allows banks to borrow at relatively attractive rates against a wider range of their assets than previously permitted, saw borrowing of nearly $50bn of one-month funds from the Fed by mid-February.

The Fed announced the TAF tool as part of a coordinated package of measures unveiled by leading western central banks to calm money markets. The Fed has not yet indicated how long the TAF will remain in place, but its popularity is prompting speculation the reform will stay in place as long as the financial stresses last. TAF helps them forgo the stigma of appearing as "failing banks."

· May we all remember to look to You, Lord, as our true Rescuer; and not only to man-made devices designed to make us look better, but not guaranteed to keep failure away. Again, may Chairman Bernanke and the Fed look to You for divine help with our nation's economic woes. May America's financial institutions be saved for Your glory!

· As Solomon said: "Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes." (Ecclesiastes 7: 29 NKJV)

2. Oil Jumps Above $100 On Refinery Outage - Associated Press

Oil futures prices have shot back above $100 a barrel for the first time since January 3rd. A weekend refinery explosion in West Texas, disabling oil production there for two months, and the possibility that OPEC will cut production next month are driving prices higher; although analysts say there isn't a single factor to explain the move.

· Gracious Lord, again we bow before Your throne and come humbly asking You to have Your Holy Spirit intercede for America's energy problems. You have given us untold oil treasure here, but we are harmed by legislators, bureaucrats and "green" organizations who do not want oil drilling or the building of new refineries. May this foolishness stop so we may stop sending monies to terrorist countries who hate You and want to harm us. Thank You in advance for how You will alleviate this oil oppression in America and around the world. And may our oppressors be saved for Your glory.

· "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord." (Psalm 107: 19-20 & 43 NKJV)

3. U.S. Presses North Korea On Syria - Washington Times

The United States, alarmed by mounting evidence that North Korea gave nuclear assistance to Syria, rejected pressure from some of its partners in six-nation talks to compromise on an overdue declaration of Pyongyang's nuclear activities. U.S. officials said yesterday, the declaration would complete the second phase of an October deal aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and clear the way for promised political and economic benefits to the communist state.

The Syrian connection has become a major problem for the United States since an Israeli air strike in Syria in September, that targeted a nuclear facility under construction reportedly with help from North Korea. Current and former U.S. officials said that intelligence points to a plutonium-related facility.

· Wow! You truly are the Lord who takes care of us even while we sleep. Thank You for these revelations about North Korea and Syria so we can pray. May these countries be opened up for Your Gospel to reach their peoples, their government and military, and the creators of these nuclear facilities meant to harm Israel and her allies. Only You can help keep us safe from the unknown and the unseen! In Your Name, we praise and pray. Amen.

· "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep." (Psalm 127 1-2 NKJV)

4. Call for Musharraf to Go After Election - AP

A top opposition leader called Tuesday on President Pervez Musharraf to step aside after his ruling party conceded defeat in parliamentary elections. The vote was also a slap to Islamist parties, which lost control of a province where al-Qaida and Taliban fighters have sought refuge.

· Praise God that the Islamist parties have lost control of this key province, so that righteous authority can be set in place there. Pray for the Pakistani officials who are seeking the location of these fighters, that they successfully apprehend these criminals and terrorists. Finally, offer a prayer for Mr. Musharraf, that he will know his ordained and correct position in the days ahead.

· "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

5. Strong Quake Measuring 7.6 Hits Indonesia - AP

A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia on Wednesday, prompting tsunami warnings from international agencies. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damages.

· Offer a prayer for those who have been affected by this quake, and offer praise that a tsunami was not generated by this jolt. Pray for the authorities in Indonesia as they work to recover from this event.

· "His mercies endureth forever." (Psalm 136:1)

6. URGENT!! Out-of-control satellite to be shot down tonight - London Telegraph

A specially-armed US Navy warship is moving in to position in the Pacific to destroy an out-of-control satellite, using modified interceptor missiles designed to destroy ballistic missiles.

· Continue to offer prayer over this potentially dangerous situation, asking our Lord to loose His angels to bring this satellite back to earth safely.

· "But he must ask in faith without any doubting . . ." (James 1:6-8)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so LORD is round about His people from henceforth even for ever." (Psalm 125:2)

1. Israel, US discuss W. Bank NATO troops - Jerusalem Post

The United States is reviewing the feasibility of deploying a NATO force in the West Bank as a way to ease IDF security concerns and facilitate an Israeli withdrawal from the area within the coming years, defense officials have told The Jerusalem Post.

2. Olmert: We didn't discuss Jerusalem; Palestinians: Yes we did - Ynet News

Despite Israeli claims that the issue of Jerusalem was not discussed in Tuesday's meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian officials presented a completely different version. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that "the meeting dealt with all the issues pertaining to a final-status agreement, including Jerusalem."

3. Abbas aide says declaring independence a possibility - Ynet News

Palestinians should declare an independent state unilaterally if peace talks with Israel continue to falter, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

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

"Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 124:8)

1. CHINA: 21 Major House Church Leaders Sent to Labor Camp in Shandong at the Same Time - Worthy News

In a most massive persecution case since 1983, CAA learned 21 major house church leaders were sent to labor camp at the same time recently by Linyi City Re- education through labor Commission. They were all detained on December 7, 2007 when they gathered together for leadership training with other 249 leaders in Hedong District, Linyi city, Shandong.

2. PAKISTAN: Freed Christian Describes Kidnapping Ordeal - Worthy News

A Christian doctor described receiving various death threats while kidnapped recently by Islamic extremists in an area of Pakistan reeling from extremist violence.

3. INDIA: Orissa Authorities Detain Christians Following Violence - Worthy News

At least eleven Christians remained behind bars Sunday, February 17, in India's troubled state of Orissa after deadly clashes with Hindu mobs attacking churches, Christian homes and other properties, a lawyer said.

Michelle Obama And America

Michelle Obama, wife of Democrat frontrunner Barack Obama, shocked a lot of people over the weekend when she said this: "For the first time in my adult lifetime I am proud of my country." Wow! That takes my breath away. Mrs. Obama is 44 years old, so for over roughly 24 years of "adulthood," taking her at her word, she has never been proud of our nation. Is there a theme here? You may remember that last year Senator Obama said he refused to wear a flag lapel pin because it represented a "substitute for true patriotism." And what precisely is true patriotism? According to Senator Barack Hussein Obama, it is opposing the war in Iraq.

Apparently nothing America did from 1982 to 2008 caused her heart to swell with pride. Not our successful effort to defeat Soviet communism and liberate millions of people in Eastern Europe? Not our relief efforts around the world, through which we spent billions to help the downtrodden? Not anything?

When she learned with all the rest of us how her fellow citizens on United Flight 93 bravely fought back against jihadist hijackers and prevented another disaster on September 11th, did she not fill up with pride? As Americans of all races and classes rallied together in defense of our nation in the aftermath of September 11th, did her spirit not jump with love for her homeland? Apparently not.

The Obamas are living examples of the American Dream. Both Michelle Obama and her husband have Ivy League degrees. They make a joint income of over one million dollars a year. They live lives that most ordinary Americans can only dream of. Yet, Mrs. Obama, who wants to be first lady, has been unable to find the pride in America that millions of ordinary Americans feel every day.

Sadly, her attitude is not rare among leftwing American elites. We are "educating" millions of Americans to be globalists first and foremost, and we are doing precious little about educating our children to be proud and unashamed Americans.

The Obamas are flying high politically right now, but I don't believe many Americans will want to cast their votes this November for a couple so out of touch with traditional American values. (Gary Bauer; End-of-Day; 2/19/20)

- Offer a prayer for Michelle Obama, that all of her statements be clear in their intent, and that her heart would be turned to honor the nation that has given her the freedom to speak her mind, and to prosper in all that she does. Amen.

- (For America) "Render . . . honor to whom honor is due." (Romans 13:7 AMP)

Democrats Stonewall Judiciary Process, Again!

The Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee has agreed to hold its first confirmation hearing since October for one of President Bush's Federal District Court nominees. Nominee Richard Honaker' strong pro-life record, accumulated while serving in the Wyoming legislature, is anathema to pro-abortion Senators, but Honaker's reputation for integrity is unimpeachable. Under fire, Honaker stated that the role of a district judge is "absolutely contrary" to the role of a legislator.

A coalition of 60 groups, including FRC, has written a letter to the members of the Judiciary Committee, urging them to hasten the process. The last time stonewalling of judicial nominees became an election issue, the Committee's chairman and one time Senate Majority Leader Chairman, Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), lost his job. The make-up of the Senate has changed again, and God's intervention is needed to insure fairness in the judicial confirmation process

-- May God stir believers to pray for godly judges to be confirmed! May efforts to make abortion advocacy and irreligion a litmus test in the confirmation of federal judges be utterly defeated! May God-fearing, pro-life judges be nominated and confirmed despite adverse political waters!

- "He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." (2 Samuel 23:3)

(Source: FRC Prayer Targets)

Pastors Prayer Intensive

Pastor Alec Rowlands, member of FRC's Pastors Council and founder of Sound the Alarm, has brought together over a thousand pastors in Washington state to participate in an ongoing effort to advance prayer, repentance and united action on the great moral issues being debated in that state. Now he is hosting a "Pastors Prayer Intensive" that will begin on Monday, March 3 at 6 AM and conclude on Tuesday, March 4, at 9 PM.

Pastors know that prayer needs to be a vital part of their lives, but the hectic pace of the average ministry is a constant challenge to keeping prayer a priority. It will be in gatherings like these that pastors across America will be reawakened, revived and see their prayer lives and the prayer life of their churches intensified.

- Pray for a strong response from pastors. Pray that God will mightily visit the pastors in Washington as they seek Him together. May similar initiatives be born and established in every state in the Union. Pray for our pastors that they will lead our nation in prayer to fulfill God's requirement for national healing, awakening, reformation and restoration!

- Pray for the pastors in our nation, asking our Lord to grace each one with unusual wisdom in time management, so that each one will be able to put "first things first," one day at a time, in payer.

-"Pray for . . . all in authority." (I Timothy 2:1,2)

(Source: FRC Prayer Targets)

To learn more about the Pastor's' Prayer Intensive, go here.