Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief
Praying the Word of God . . .
in the Will of God . . .
over the Issues of the Day
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
"In every thing give thanks . . ." (I Thessalonians 5:18)
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The Daily Brief
1. Supreme Court to hear challenge over ObamaCare contraception mandate - Fox News
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear another challenge to President Obama's health care law -- this time on the so-called contraception mandate. The justices announced Tuesday that they will take up the long-running dispute over whether businesses can use religious objections to avoid a requirement in the law to cover birth control for employees.
The court will consider two cases. One involves Hobby Lobby Inc., an Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain with 13,000 full-time employees. Hobby Lobby, owned by founder David Green and his family, won in the lower courts.
The other case being considered is an appeal from Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., a Pennsylvania company that employs 950 people in making wood cabinets. Lower courts rejected that company's claims. (Read more)
- On this Thanksgiving, offer up a chorus of praise that the highest court in our nation will hear this case. We appeal to the Judge of the High Court of Heaven to move upon the hearts of these justices to uphold the favorable decision, already ruled in a lower court, for the owners of Hobby Lobby, and to overturn the ruling against the Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. in Pennsylvania. May this Supreme Court finally rule that private businesses, like churches and other nonprofits, do have the right to determine company policy according to their religious beliefs, in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge."
2. Newsroom protests against White House spread - Fox News
USA Today on Monday joined a growing list of news agencies boycotting the use of official White House photography over what it says is an unprecedented lack of access to the president. USA Today is now one of more than 35 news agencies refusing to use White House photography.
Last Thursday, a coalition of major news organizations including the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, and CNN protested their photojournalists being locked out of public events in a letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. (Read more)
- This Thanksgiving, as we thank our Lord for the religious freedom we still enjoy in our nation, let us offer up praise for the freedom of speech and of the press we have always enjoyed, too. Praise God that gatekeepers who are in positions of authority in the Fourth Estate (the press) are now working to ensure that that freedom is not taken away, either.
- " . . . proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. . . " (Lev. 25:10)
3. General: Obama purposely weakening U.S. military - WND
A former deputy commanding general of the U.S. Pacific Command says President Obama seeks to "seize control over national security" and, bypassing Congress, singlehandedly weaken the U.S. military. Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, retired, charges in a 21-page position statement made available to WND, titled "The Obama Military - Evolution and Legacy," that Obama already has begun working with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, which would require Senate ratification. (Read more)
- Somebody, somewhere simply must stop this president, through peaceful and legal means, from pursuing this course of action against our military. America has always "been there" for countless other nations in their times of crisis and need over the centuries, and we cannot back down now. Ask God for a miracle; we are going to need one. In His Name, amen.
- "Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:24)
4. General Says U.S. in the Most Dangerous Situation Since the 1930s - Threat Journal
In testimony late last week before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Matt Olsen, Director of the Nat'l Counterterrorism Center stated that Al-Qaida is still the ideological leader of a worldwide terrorist movement and that the threat to the U.S. homeland, as well as it's citizens and interests abroad, remains persistent. (Read more) Note: highly recommended!
- Our Father, we lift up to You these multiple threats against our land and our citizens round the world. We ask that You would raise up a protection for us where our leaders have let us down with bad decisions on weaponry and foreign policy. In the name of Jesus, we decree and declare that the plots of the homegrown terrorists shall be exposed before any harm is done and that these people are dealt with in a diligent and lawful manner. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer, amen.
- "They will rule Assyria with drawn swords and enter the gates of the land of Nimrod. He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land."
5. Fuel Removal Underway at Fukushima Unit #4 - Threat Journal
Naomi Hirose, the President of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) this week told reporters that the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the resulting meltdown of multiple nuclear reactors, was a "warning to the world" and that "the nuclear power industry must be "prepared for the worst." (Read more)
- Oh, Lord, we look to You for the answers of how to deal with this threat to the safety of our earth. Father, we know Your ways are above our ways, so we ask that You would give supernatural wisdom to those in charge of the cleanup of this disaster. Please do a miracle concerning this toxic waste that is in danger of being released. We ask this prayer in Jesus' name, amen.
- "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;" (Ephesians 1:17)
6. ALERT! Angola reportedly bans Islam, destroys mosques - Jihad Watch
LUANDA - According to several Angolan newspapers, Angola has become the first country in the world to ban Islam and Muslims, taking first measures by destroying mosques in the country. "The process of legalization of Islam has not been approved by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, their mosques would be closed until further notice," Rosa Cruz e Silva, the Angolan Minister of Culture, was quoted by Agence Ecofin on Friday, November 22. She asserted that the decision was the latest is a series of efforts to ban 'illegal' religious sects.
According to the minister, the action was necessary to fight relentlessly against the emergence of congregations whose worshiping is contradicting with the customs of the Angolan culture. Same as Islam, other faiths which were not legalized will face closure of their houses of worship. (Read more)
- Praise You, Father for this reversal of what we have seen in our own country and so many other countries. Lord, we pray for a great harvest of souls from this bold action to protect Christians at a time when they are in so much danger in so many traditionally Christian areas and countries. We call for bold leaders to rise up to protect the rights of Your people here and abroad.
- "And as ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 10:7)
7. Karzai tells Susan Rice of more demands for accord extending U.S. troop presence - Washington Post
Efforts by the United States and Afghanistan to finalize a long-term security arrangement appeared on the brink of collapse Monday as Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a new set of demands, and the Obama administration said it would be forced to begin planning for a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces at the end of 2014. (Read more)
- Please pray in the Spirit over this report, as the lives of our troops now on the ground in Afghanistan may be in danger in the coming year. Pray for wisdom for all parties involved, and thank our Lord that He does hear, and answer, our prayers.
- "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
8. 'Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria' Ignored - Front Page Magazine
The worst Christian massacre-complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches-recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi "rebels"; and the U.S. government and its "mainstream media" mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters). (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, we fall before You in sorrow and grief that this kind of massacre is occurring by 'rebels' supported by our national leaders, and the regular news media does not even report what is happening! We ask You Father to call forth Your warrior angels, stationing them all around these believers and that Your comfort, healing balm and strength be poured into each of their beings, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "Help me, O Lord my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, that they may know that this is Your hand-That You, Lord, have done it!" (Psalm 109: 26-27)
9. Comet ISON heads for a close encounter with the sun - CBS News
Astronomers and amateur stargazers alike are looking to the skies this week in hopes of spotting a rare cosmic display from Comet ISON.
The moment of truth comes Thursday - Thanksgiving Day.
The sun-grazing Comet ISON, now thought to be less than a mile wide, will either burn up and shatter, victim of the sun's incredible power, or endure and quite possibly put on one fabulous celestial show.
Should it survive, ISON (pronounced EYE'-sahn) would be visible with the naked eye through December, at least from the Northern Hemisphere. (Read more)
- Isn't it interesting that, on the very day that Hanukkah aligns with Thanksgiving,
a huge comet in the heavens is also making headlines? And not mentioned in this article but referenced elsewhere is the fact that, just last week, ISON's brightness "exploded" exponentially and, as a result, its huge tail grew even more so AND split into two streams . . . two tails. Friends have even suggested that these two streams are a prophetic sign that "Jew and Gentile" are now coming together as ONE NEW MAN! Praise the Lord for His celestial display on the day of our two national holidays. Amen!
- "The heavens declare the GLORY of the LORD." (Psalm 19:1)
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:
"For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?" (2 Samuel 22:32)
1. France: Israel will not launch Iran attack 'at this stage' - Ynet News
France's foreign minister said Monday that the European Union would likely lift some sanctions on Iran in December, as part of a hard-won deal that curbs Tehran's nuclear program, as the EU ambassador-designate to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, sought to reassure the Israelis over a nuclear deal struck with Iran.
2. IAF, US Air Force hold largest joint-military exercise in Israel's history - Ynet News
Some 50 fighter jets belonging to Israel, Greece, the US and Italy took off Sunday morning from the Ovda air base, signaling the beginning of the largest military air exercise in Israel's history.
3. Officals: Israelis in secret trip to inspect Saudi bases - WND
Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty . . . (I Corinthians 1:27)
Convert from Islam Flees Iranian Authorities' Torture, Threats - Morning Star News
The young woman in Tehran, Iran who introduced her boyfriend to Jesus hasn't seen him since he fled the city, but his dreams give her hope that he is well.
The Iranian woman has heard that since Armin Davoodi fled authorities who threatened him with death for proclaiming Christ earlier this year, he has been having the same recurring dream he had before he put his faith in Christ and stopped his drug addiction and suicide attempts. She was the one who, two years ago, first explained to him that the shepherd in his dream pointing toward the light was Christ.
Like Davoodi, the young woman (name withheld for security reasons) is also an ex-drug addict and convert from Islam. She met Davoodi in a Tehran rehabilitation center where she worked as a volunteer who taught painting therapy.
"They fell in love, and she told him about her conversion and her belief and the wonders of Lord Jesus," said a friend. "He told her about the dream, and she knew immediately the meaning of this holy dream and told him to be patient because 'someone is watching over you and loves you.'"
Davoodi eventually accompanied her to an underground church.
"After five months he converted too, and he never used any drugs again," the friend said. "Also, he never smoked anything again. He became a true believer and devoted his life to the Lord Jesus and chose to evangelize. He wanted to save lives and souls."
In Iran, which is nearly 99 percent Muslim according to Operation World, courts can impose the death sentence on Muslim men who leave Islam and life imprisonment on women apostates. The young man who once wondered about the mysterious forces that seemed to save him from two suicide attempts now lives in hiding, but he tells Christians he is not afraid of the death that authorities said awaits him if he continues to tell Muslims about Christ.
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Daily Jot
Heritage Week: The Mayflower Compact
"What our forefathers with so much difficulty secured, do not basely relinquish." These are the words translated from Latin that are etched on the gravestone of William Bradford, governor of the Massachusetts Colony, co-writer of the Mayflower Compact, inventor of the free market system, and my grandfather 14 generations removed. Bradford is often remembered for being one of the Pilgrims who survived their first winter in the new America. He is one of the brave men and women who endured such great hardship to help make this nation what it is-a beacon of religious and economic freedom blessed in covenant with God. And unto his death his gravestone warns us not to basely relinquish these liberties.
The Mayflower Compact is a covenant with God, dedicating this land now called the United States of America to the advancement of the Christian faith. The Compact declares, "IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia;
"Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience." With these words, 41 men agreed to govern in submission and obedience to God.
As anyone can see, these were men and women dedicated to establishing a land for the advancement of the Christian faith and they set themselves apart bringing all they had and all they claimed in covenant with God. And it was not just for their time on earth, but as what was written on Bradford's grave, the covenant and their subsequent sacrifices were not to be relinquished. As America embraces socialism and human secularism, let us remember that only 41 men began a nation with their signatures. There are more of us today that are citizens of the Kingdom of God, and we can reclaim what our forefathers with so much difficulty secured. Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, "With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Let us give thanks.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
A Statement by Rep. Randy Forbes
Forbes: Supreme Court's Decision to Hear HHS Mandate Cases
Is Pivotal to Free Exercise of Religion in America
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it will consider the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Store, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Oral arguments will likely be heard in March, with a decision expected by the end of the Court's term in June.
Hobby Lobby is owned and operated by the Greens, a devoutly Christian family. The Hahns, a Mennonite family from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, own and operate Conestoga Wood Specialties. The owners of both businesses seek operate their company in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs.
In response to the Court's announcement, Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) issued the following statement:
"Today, the Supreme Court has accepted two cases of pivotal importance to the free exercise of religion in America. The First Amendment guarantees that we have freedom to live our lives according to our religious beliefs and moral convictions, free from government coercion. This freedom is not abandoned simply because an individual enters the stream of commerce. The HHS mandate is a directive from the Department of Health and Human Services. It is not part of the Affordable Care Act and it was not deemed by Congress to promote a compelling governmental interest. The Greens and the Hahns are supported in their claim by the First Amendment and by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. As a nation, our laws should encourage and support-not penalize-citizens who seek to consistently adhere to their moral convictions."
As of November 26, 2013, 85 cases have been filed challenging the HHS mandate. Of the 44 cases filed by for-profit businesses, 32 have received preliminary injunctions staying the effect of the mandate while the cases are pending. Only 6 businesses have been denied an injunction.
Congressman Forbes is the Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan group of 100 Members of Congress committed to defending America's heritage of religious freedom.
When Presidents Lie
When Presidents Lie
Big presidential lies take many forms. What they all share is the potential to sever the bond of trust between a president and the people he was elected to serve -- and therefore to destroy a presidency. And while it may lack the intrigue of Watergate or the Monica Lewinsky imbroglio, "If you like your plan, you can keep it" may very well have a similar effect on Obama: effectively ending his presidency more than three years before it officially concludes.
You can read more about Obama's big lie in my latest opinion piece at Politico.com. (Gary Bauer)
Judge Rules Against Pastor's Housing Allowance
Judge Declares Pastor's Housing Allowance Unconstitutional
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, siding once again with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, declared last Friday that the housing tax allowance for pastors is unconstitutional. The decision would affect tens of thousands of pastors, who can currently pay home ownership costs (or rent), including mortgage payments, property taxes, etc. with their untaxed income.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments in response:
"We have seen many courts over the years attempt to banish God in various ways from the public square, but this case in particular reveals a level of supreme arrogance. Once again, Judge Crabb has neglected to consult the Constitution that she was sworn to uphold. Society has long provided this tax housing allowance to clergy because of the tremendous benefit that churches in turn give to society. Clergy help carry the burden of many social ills that would otherwise become the burden of taxpayers and the federal government.
"The Supreme Court has made perfectly clear that neither taxpayers or organizations have standing to bring federal lawsuits with this sort of challenge because the law they are challenging has not caused them any direct harm. This same judge who struck down the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional has now turned her sights on this tax housing allowance that has been the law for generations. She had ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional and the Seventh Circuit later ruled that this very same plaintiff, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, had not suffered an injury due to the law and so lacked standing to sue in the first place.
"Evidently, Judge Crabb needs to reread what the federal appeals court did the last time she issued this kind of a ruling. Family Research Council will continue to monitor this case closely on behalf of the nearly 25,000 clergy that comprise our pastors network."
There is a stay on the ruling until an appeal can be heard. Here's what you can do:
- Petition Attorney General Eric Holder in the Justice Department of the Obama Administration to appeal this onerous ruling. They have 60 days to decide whether they will appeal it.
- Join us Praying for the Nation, Preaching the whole counsel of God, and Partnering with other Pastors (P3). Click here to add your name to the petition and become a P3 Pastor.
In the meantime, our attorneys will be monitoring the case closely, and we will keep you updated with any developments.
Standing for Faith, Family and Freedom,
Dr. Kenyn M. Cureton
Vice President for Church Ministries
Family Research Council
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Israel's 24-hour English News Television Station
Please spread the word. Israel has a new 24 hour internet news channel broadcasting in English (also French and Arabic) from Tel Aviv. Here is a link for you to save to your favourites
This is a 24-hour news feed (from the Israeli perspective) and is intended to rival CNN, Al-Jazeera, BBC, etc.It covers world news but also has a specific Israel news section.
So many people don't know about it, but let's not keep it a secret! Please pass this good news on to all your friends, too!
Happy Hanukkah and Shalom!
Worship With Us Today!
"Eight Days of Chanukah"
Once there was a time we had a Temple
where every Jew would go three times a year
There we worshiped God in our tradition
til suddenly a tyrant did appear
Then at Modin, Mattathias told us
whoever is for God, come join our band
Led by Judah and his faithful brothers
We drove the tyrant from our holy land
Eight days of Chanukah
Eight days of Chanukah
We celebrate the Festival of Light
Those days of history
still live for you and me
Let's keep the flame
forever shining bright
When they came to dedicate the Temple,
how their hearts were heavy with despair
Impurities and idols all around them
And just one jar of pure oil was there
But with faith in God they cleansed the Temple
Kindled that small lamp with hope and love
Then the story had a happy ending
Eight days of blessed light came from above
To sing this song of Jubilee, go here.
Pray for the Harvest!
Pray for the Harvest!
"Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35)
Every day, in every nation on earth, tens of thousands of men and women are making decisions for Christ. Now, you can monitor this amazing fact online by literally "watching" as these souls are born again into the Kingdom.
Of course, the identities of those who are coming to the Lord are never revealed, but our God knows who they are! Join us as we monitor these "names" daily, praying over each one to be mentored and to grow in his or her faith . . . even in these perilous times. You may visit either or both of the sites below, to pray for fields that are ripe for harvest.
> > > OPTION ONE: AboutJesus.net
> > > OPTION TWO: The Great Commission Map!