Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
Praying the Word of God . . .
in the Will of God . . .
over the Issues of the Day
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:2)
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The Daily Brief
1. Record: 46,496,000 Now Poor - CNS News
During the four years that marked President Barack Obama's first term in office, the real median income of American households dropped by $2,627 and the number of people in poverty increased by approximately 6,667,000, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.
- Thank You, Lord, that we are not subject to the times. We are subject to Your economy, to Your Word. Thank You for ideas, concepts, and opportunities, to be successful and earn an income for our families.
- "I will distinguish between my people and yours. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.'" (Exodus 8:23)
2. Why a US recovery may send Treasurys, dollar crashing - CNBC
The Federal Reserve's expected move to scale back monetary stimulus signals that the U.S. economy is gaining traction, but some economists argue that the good growth story is precisely why things look bad for the dollar and bond markets.
- Father, give us foresight or ability to lay away provisions for the future whether it be famine or plenty.
- "Let go [of your concerns]! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth." (Ps 46:10) [God's Word Translation]
3. New study warns of U.S. long-term debt problems - USA Today
The government could run out of cash to pay its bills in full and on time sometime between the end of October and the middle of November if lawmakers fail to increase its $16.7 trillion borrowing cap, Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf said on Tuesday.
- Lord, we look to You for answers to our economic problems in our nation. Guide us and protect us. In Jesus Name. - " . . . but whoever listens to me will dwell securely and will be at ease, without dread of disaster." (Proverbs 1:33)
4. Abortion Clinics Closing at Record Rate - Christianity Today
For Abby Johnson, the closing of a single Planned Parenthood center demonstrated her dramatic reversal from abortion clinic director to leading pro-life advocate. But for pro-lifers throughout the United States, it marked another exhibit in a hopeful trend -- abortion centers are shutting down at an unprecedented rate. The total so far this year is 44, according to a pro-life organization that tracks clinic operations.
- Father, thank You that abortion clinics are shutting down at an unprecedented rate. We continue to ask for victory at every turn for protecting the unborn.
- "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13)
5. House GOP going ahead with bill to defund ObamaCare - The Hill
Obama Calls This Move a "Trainwreck"
House Republicans are moving forward with a government funding bill that would defund ObamaCare. The legislation is a nod to House conservatives, some of whom quickly backed the plan. House Republican leaders bowed to conservative demands and announced plans Wednesday to strip out money for President Obama's healthcare law in a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Sept. 30. The reversal by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) raises the stakes in a fiscal fight that could shutter much of the federal government. The continuing resolution (CR) the House plans to vote on as soon as Thursday is likely to be dead on arrival in the Senate, where Democratic leaders have vowed to reject any attempt to unravel Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. (Read more)
- Praise the Lord for the leadership now being demonstrated by Speaker John Boehner on this critical issue. Continue to press in, until Obamacare is sawdust in the trash bin of history. Amen.
- "Nothing is too difficult for Thee." (Jeremiah 32:17)
6. Congress tepid about revival of gun control bill following Navy Yard shooting - Fox News
Monday's mass shooting at Washington's Navy Yard has revived the gun-control debate in the halls of Congress, but don't expect a vote on legislation, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday.
"We're going to move this up as quickly as we can, but we've got to have the votes first," Reid told reporters after a closed-door lunch with the Democratic caucus. "We don't have the votes. I hope we get them, but we don't have them now." (Read more)
- Offer praise unto the Lord that the Senate Majority Leader has declared that they "do not have the votes now" to pass any gun control legislation in the aftermath of Monday's shooting at the Naval Shipyard. Pray that this situation remains the same. Praise God for the spirit of restraint that is resting upon Congress these days regarding all issues related to our rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
- "The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
7a. Senior diplomat: Details in UN inspectors report suggest Syrian regime behind sarin attack - AP
UNITED NATIONS - A U.N. inspectors report on last month's chemical weapons attack in Syria suggests the rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were fired from the regime's elite military units based in mountains overlooking Damascus. A senior U.N. diplomat in New York says details on scale of the attack, the rockets used and trajectory data cited in the report make it "abundantly clear" that the Syrian regime was behind the attack. The diplomat said: "There isn't a shred of evidence in the other direction." (Read more)
7b. Russia says no proof Assad was behind chemical attack - Reuters
Russia and France sharply disagreed on Tuesday over a report by U.N. investigators into a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people in Syria, underscoring the difficulties in reaching agreement on action at the U.N. Security Council. (Read more)
- This news keeps changing day by day: some days, the rebels were responsible for the chemical attacks on Syrian citizens; other sources state that Assad was responsible. Once again, continue to press in, in intercession, until the absolute facts of this case are made known, and the nations can then make wise decisions regarding which, if any, response needs to be made. Pray without ceasing over this news; pray!
- "Pray without ceasing . . ." (I Thess. 5:17)
"For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light." (Mark 4:22)
8. Syria hails US-Russia deal on chemical weapons - BBC
The US-Russia deal on Syria's chemical weapons is a "victory" that averts war, a Syrian minister says.
- One man's victory may be another man's defeat. Only our Omniscient God knows the way ahead. Ask Him to direct the hearts of the leaders of the world to arrive at the best possible course, so that all nations might live in peace until the time of the prophesied tribulation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
- "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Timothy 2:1-4)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them."
1. Israel wanted Assad gone since start of Syria civil war - Jerusalem Post
"Bad guys" backed by Iran are worse for Israel than "bad guys" who are not supported by the Islamic Republic, Israel's outgoing ambassador to the US Michael Oren told The Jerusalem Post in a parting interview.
2. Report: Netanyahu proposed settling Gazans in Sinai to Mubarak - Israel Hayom
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed settling Palestinians in the Sinai Peninsula before the Egyptian leader's ouster, Egyptian newspaper AlYoum AlSabaa reported on Sunday. The report was based on recorded interviews with the former president after the army overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government in July of this year.
3. Netanyahu to Focus on Iranian Nuclear Threat at U.N. - NY Times
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Tuesday that he would focus on halting Iran's nuclear program in a meeting with President Obama in Washington at the end of the month and in his annual speech before the United Nations General Assembly, using the Syria situation to increase pressure for a "credible military threat."
4. Israel's chemical and biological arsenal in the spotlight - Times of Israel
Syria's consent to a deal that would catalogue, locate and eventually see the destruction of its vast chemical weapons arsenal has brought Israel and its various arms programs closer to the international spotlight, raising questions about what it does and does not possess and what strategic purposes its weapons serve.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)
How Egypt's Coptic Christians Can Keep the Arab Spring Fresh - The Christian Science Monitor
Violent attacks on Egypt's large minority of Coptic Christians since July have pushed this ancient indigenous church to respond with love and forgiveness. Such behavior, noted by moderate Muslims, can be the basis for the equality necessary to revive Egypt's democracy.
Among all the minorities in the Muslim Middle East, Christians have perhaps had the roughest decade. In Iraq, they became easy targets after 2003 in the Sunni-Shiite conflict. In Syria, since the Arab Spring began in 2011, they have been caught in the middle of a civil war driven in part by friction between Islamic groups. But in Egypt, the Copts and other Christians, who number in the millions, have lately suffered particular violence at the hands of angry Muslim militants.
Rather than meet violence with violence, Coptic Christians have found solace and hope in prayer, restraint, and in forgiving those who attacked them.
"According to our faith, we should expect hardships on account of our being Christian. We should accept this calmly; we should forgive those who wrong us and pray for them," said Anba Macarius, the Coptic bishop of Minya, to the Watani Weekly Newspaper. His province has been the scene of the most recent and some of the worst violence.
When Minya's orphanage was destroyed, the Christians running it left behind a message on the wall: "You meant to hurt us, but we forgive you. God is love. Everything works out for good."
Such behavior has not gone unnoticed by the majority moderate Muslims in Egypt. Many have often protected their Christian neighbors and fed, sheltered, or clothed them during times of persecution. These friendly Muslims have often surrounded a church under attack.
Such mutual respect between different faiths can be the basis for ensuring freedom in Egypt as it tries once again to write a constitution and hold elections in hopes of fulfilling the dreams of the 2011 protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
Amendments: Eliminating Congressional Exceptions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Every bill on the Senate floor presents us with an opportunity to offer amendments on a host of issues. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) is proposing an amendment (S. 902) to eliminate the Obamacare carve-out for members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and their staffs. As we all know, under Obamacare many Americans will indeed lose their health insurance and be forced into the dependency and incompetence of the Obamacare exchanges. As is the case with other bills, members of Congress wish not to stew in the misery they create. To that end, the Office of Personnel Management created a new rule exempting federal workers from Obamacare, enabling them to keep their current taxpayer-subsidized Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan.
Senator Vitter is proposing an amendment to eliminate this carve-out. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has a similar bill in the House (HR 3076). Unlike some other proposals to "tweak" Obamacare, this one would actually place members of Congress in a tough situation. This carve-out is extremely unpopular with the public, and even supporters of Obamacare would have a hard time voting to retain their own exemption. Yet, amazingly, some top GOP staffers are helping Democrats block Vitter's amendment from the floor.
Prayer Point from CHPP:
We ask our Lord to move upon the hearts of the majority of the members of both the Senate and the House to vote not only to pass this measure, but to vote to defund all of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer, in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him." (John 9:31)
Obamacare Data Hub is Ready
Obamacare Data Hub is Ready
Obama administration officials, facing criticism that they are behind schedule in implementing the president's health-care law, said Tuesday that they have finished a major piece of the technology that will help millions of Americans sign up for insurance this fall.
Federal health officials said they have completed the "data hub," a complex system that will verify people's Social Security numbers, immigration status and other information when they log on to government Web sites to buy health plans and apply for government subsidies.
The milestone is a significant victory for the administration, which is battling growing skepticism that it will be ready Oct. 1, when people are supposed to be able to start signing up for health plans under the law, commonly called Obamacare. For months, officials have faced questions about whether the computer systems, which are exceedingly complex, would be up and running in time. . .
Critics have raised concerns about the hub, in part because so much of the work is being done at the last minute. Michael Astrue, a Republican and former head of the Social Security Administration who said he supports parts of the law, said it will be impossible for officials to work out the kinks and ensure that it is protected from fraud and hackers in the short time frame left.
"They got a very late start on this, and then they cut corners - and they knew they were cutting corners - to meet their deadlines," he said. "Whenever you are doing something quick and dirty, the price you pay is problems down the road." (Source: The Washington Post) Read more.
- Are you weary of more about the Affordable Care Act (dubbed "Obamacare")? Whatever your feeling, the new law, with a start-up date of Oct. 1, is not going away any time soon, nor will it be out of the news. As for praying, the implications of this legislation will touch every U.S. citizen (except the "privileged," who have managed to escape). The latest figures from the Family Research Council tell us only 12 percent of Americans recently polled believe the law is good. So, while we all have (or will have) health issues and need health care, the law remains highly controversial and divisive. Many believe it is not the province of the federal government; others see the provisions as too costly. Those who passed the law have fled from it, suggesting a ruling class now leads our once-free nation.
We commend the issue for much prayer, encouraging all intercessors to remain positive (avoiding the trap of fear), seek the heart of God, and pray accordingly.
- "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread . . . for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you." (Deut. 31:6)
(Prayer offered by Intercessors for America)
News from the CPC Foundation
News from the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation
To learn about the Congressional Prayer Caucus, go here.
To learn about the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, go here.
1. Constitution Day: Special Order Hour on Religious Freedom
Members of Congress Call Special Order on Religious Liberty
In honor of Constitution Day on September 17, Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, hosted a special order hour on religious freedom on September 9, 2013. Watch ten members of Congress address religious liberty from the House floor. (10 videos).
2. Traditional Marriage Plea Heads to High Court
"An Albuquerque couple who operate their commercial photography business on Christian religious principles will ask the Supreme Court to give them constitutional protection for their views favoring traditional marriage, their lawyers said on Wednesday. The case, if accepted by the Court, would give the Justices a chance to sort out how gay rights laws passed by states are enforced against those who hold the view that marriage is only for a man and a woman." (Read more)
3. Victory! Court Dismisses Challenge to National Motto, "In God We Trust"
(As we reported on yesterday's Brief):
"Forty-one Members of the House of Representatives signed an amicus curiae brief in May, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice and the American Catholic Lawyers Association supporting the motto."
A federal district court issued an order on September 9th dismissing a federal lawsuit and soundly rejecting arguments made by Dr. Michael Newdow and the Freedom From Religion Foundation that the national motto on our currency violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment."
"In God We Trust" - it's our national motto! On November 1, 2011, the House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res.13, a resolution reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto and encouraging its display in public buildings and government institutions. The resolution passed by a vote of 396 to 9. Members of the Prayer Caucus will continue to ensure that evidence of our nation's spiritual heritage is preserved in the public square. (Read more)
4. Teaching The Bible In Schools Is Legal
"After the ACLU threatened Kentucky school districts with lawsuits because of Bible distributions, a legal organization says it stands ready to help the schools. Alliance Defending Freedom has sent letters to the 174 threatened school districts to inform them that the law is on their side if they cooperate with the Gideons.
ADF sent its first letter to schools in July after the ACLU threatened litigation against public schools; and this second letter, sent in recent days, noted that the ACLU admitted Bible distribution is permitted if certain rules are followed. The newest letter explains that the distribution needs to be done in a "neutral manner," such as putting Bibles on tables in school hallways or lobbies where students have access to them." (See more here)
Joel Rosenberg: Good news from Israel
Amidst Iran & Syria crises, Netanyahu holds 4th Bible study session with Jewish scholars in Jerusalem.
One of the most interesting but least known aspects in the life of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he has developed quite an interest in studying the Bible in recent years. The premier was not raised in a religious home growing up. But as he has gotten older, he has developed a noticeable curiosity in the ancient Scriptures. . . Last year, he even started a Bible study with various Jewish leaders and scholars that meets every few months in his official residence, as I have noted in the past.
These are excellent steps by the Prime Minister, and he should be commended for them. Indeed, let us pray that the study of the Word of God has a powerful, personal impact on the Prime Minister and his family and each of his colleagues and guests. Let's pray that many Israelis would follow the Prime Minister's lead and begin reading the Holy Scriptures again, and that Bible studies in people's homes would spring up all over the Land of Israel. Let's pray that pray that more and more Israelis -- Jews and Arabs -- would develop a new and deeper curiosity about Bible prophecy, both the dramatic prophecies in the Scriptures that have already been fulfilled, and those that will come to pass soon.
On Tuesday, the Prime Minister carved out two hours from a very busy schedule to convene his Bible study group again the fourth such meeting. They studied why the Lord punished Moses by not allowing him to enter the Promised Land.
Here's the article from the Jerusalem Post:
"Netanyahu puts Iran's nukes on hold, spends a late afternoon discussing Moses"
The Good News Corner (1)
The Good News Corner (1)
Miracle Survivor Sang to God While Submerged in Car 2 Hours
Roy Ortiz was trapped in his water-filled car, only able to breath in a tiny air pocket in the back seat.
Broomfield, CO)-Last Thursday, as major flooding began in Colorado, the car Roy Ortiz was driving was swept off a road, along with two other vehicles. He was trapped in his submerged car for two hours before being rescued.
How did he survive the deadly situation? By the grace of God.
As reported in the Broomfield Enterprise, the following day Ortiz described his harrowing ordeal, saying he had to position his head in a small air bubble near the back of his car in order to breath.
"Everywhere I moved," he recalled, "there was water. Two hours was an eternity."
Naturally, Ortiz was frightened, but he "prayed and sang to God" and trusted that the 911 call he was able to make before the car was completely submerged, as well as a quick call to his wife, would ensure help was on the way.
When rescuers were finally able to reach Ortiz, two hours later, they were doubtful he would be alive, but upon hearing his cries for help, they reportedly broke his car window, passed him a life jacket, and got him to safety.
John Cook, one of the men on the team who rescued Ortiz, was quoted as saying he believed it was a miracle that they found Ortiz alive after such a long time.
At a press conference at Good Samaritan Medical Center on Friday, Ortiz credited North Metro Fire Rescue District's skills and his faith in God for helping him survive the harrowing ordeal.
"I need(ed) to relax, because I want to survive for my kids, my wife," he said.
(Source: Broomfield Enterprise) To read more of the amazing details of this story, please go here.
[Also reported by: Breaking Christian News]
The Good News Corner (2)
The Good News Corner (2)
Court Says Man May Distribute Bibles at Minnesota Gay-Pride Festival
A federal court said that a Minnesota man who was banned four years ago from handing out Bibles at an annual gay pride festival should be able to distribute them.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Brian Johnson may distribute the free Bibles at the Pride Fest in Loring Park next summer, while his case is being heard.
"We are pleased that the appellate court recognizes the fundamental freedoms at stake for Johnson," said Nate Kellum, chief counsel for the Center of Religious Expression, which is representing Johnson. "In a public place during an event open to the public, Johnson has every right to share his views and contribute to the marketplace of ideas - just like everyone else." (CitizenLink) Read more.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Lord, I Need You
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You