Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief
Monday, December 9, 2013
1. All roads to Jerusalem closed as storm batters Israel - Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Mayor Barkat says city facing "a rare storm, the likes of which we've never seen"; turns to IDF's Gantz, J'lem district police chief for help in freeing trapped drivers as snowfall continues to pound capital. For details, go here.
2. Snow in Egypt, Syria & Lebanon
First time in 100 years!
For details, go here.
On this second week of Advent, the second candle is lit . . . the Candle of Peace.
The Daily Brief
1. US House passes two-year cross-party budget deal - BBC
The US House of Representatives has approved a two-year federal budget bill in a strong showing of cross-party support, further avoiding the spectre of another government shutdown. The measure, written by the Republican and Democratic heads of the House and Senate budget committees respectively, was approved by a 332-94 vote. (Read more)
(Editorial note: This headline was featured yesterday, but this issue is so important, we believe that more prayer is needed here. Thank you.)
- Father, we are troubled by these politicians playing "kick the can down the road" again, in their efforts to get reelected. We are distressed, too, that this budget package will fund Obamacare for the next two years. We pray for a revival of patriotism to invade the heart of every member of both houses of Congress. We ask that they would actually represent the people who put them there, and be responsible and accountable to our citizens for this continuing huge debt that they have put upon us, our children, and grandchildren. We ask this in Your name, amen.
- "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them." (Ezekiel 34:9,10)
2. Congress Raises Questions About Secret Iran Talks - ABC News
Lawmakers are raising questions about the secret U.S. diplomacy with Iran that led to last month's nuclear breakthrough, demanding greater transparency and expressing disappointment at being left in the dark. (Read more)
- Abba, we ask that Congress would put "teeth" in opposing the President's misuse of "executive orders" and subverting our system of "checks and balances". We ask that these things done in secret will be exposed to the light of day, and that both Congress and the people will demand that our President stop these subversive ploys of instituting his own personal desires, and that he would realize that he is a servant to the people, not a dictator. Amen. . .
- "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them-- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (I Peter 2:2,3)
3. Kerry Asks Congress to Hold Off on Any New Sanctions on Iran - VOA
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has strongly defended the Obama administration's interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program, and asked Congress to hold off on passing any new sanctions on Iran to give ongoing negotiations a chance to succeed. The Senate is sending mixed signals as to whether it will take up a measure to impose new sanctions on Iran before it leaves for recess this year.
For the first time since the agreement on Iran was reached in Geneva last month, Secretary of State John Kerry came to Capitol Hill to address concerns that have been voiced by skeptical lawmakers. Kerry heard plenty of those from both Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee. The committee's chairman, Ed Royce, a Republican, said Iran has a history of deceiving the international community about its nuclear program. (Read more)
- Lord, we ask for Your wisdom to be given to our members of Congress, concerning what direction they need to pursue with Iran. We know they are the sworn enemies of Israel, and us, and we are therefore skeptical of their intentions and accountability. We ask that You enable them to have Your mind on this issue, we pray. Amen.
- "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5)
4. ALERT! Congress capitulates on Iran sanctions - The Hill
President Obama has won an across-the-board victory in his fight to stop new sanctions on Iran.
The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday announced a "pause" in its legislative push while the State Department pursues a comprehensive nuclear deal. And the House called off a vote this year on a non-binding resolution calling for new sanctions after the No. 2 Democrat fell in line with the White House. (Read more)
- Increasingly, we are witnessing a "rubber stamp" Congress now, that sits only to serve the wishes of the tyrant down the street. Pray for mercy . . . "Father, forgive . . ." In Jesus' Name, amen.
- "But the Lord rules forever. He sits on His throne to judge, and He will judge the world in fairness; He will decide what is fair for the nations."(Psalm 97:7,8)
5. Treasury Department Tightens Iran Sanctions - The Hill
The Treasury Department on Thursday tightened the economic screws on Iran by sanctioning a range of companies and individuals for their efforts to bolster Iran's nuclear and WMD programs.
The crackdown comes as the Obama administration pushes Congress to hold off on passing a new round of economic sanctions on Iran that it argues could destroy a recently reached nuclear accord meant to temporarily freeze Tehran's uranium enrichment program.
The additional sanctions will "target entities and individuals involved in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related materiel and attempts to evade international sanctions against Iran," the Treasury Department announced in a statement. (Read more)
- Now you see them . . . now you don't. This article contradicts the one preceding, above. Are we going to tighten the sanctions on Iran, or not? No wonder so many of God's intercessors are beginning to feel dizzy! In a time as confusing as this, we rely on the Holy Spirit within to guide our prayers. Pray much in the Spirit as you continue to receive these conflicting reports of our the U.S. policy towards Iran. Shalom . . .
- "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God." (Romans 8:26,27)
6. New York Times: Tempers flare as new rules strain Senate - The New York Times
If there is a rock bottom in the frayed relationship between Senate Republicans and Democrats, it seemed uncomfortably close as the final days of 2013 on Capitol Hill degenerated into something like an endurance contest to see who could be the most spiteful.
As the sun rose on Friday, senators had worked through a second straight late-night session - called by Democrats as a way of retaliating for Republicans' delaying tactics on confirmations. They held their first vote of the day at 7 a.m., confirming Deborah James to be secretary of the Air Force. And absent a compromise, they may still be voting through Saturday, a prospect that has thrilled no one. (Read more)
- Lord, we bemoan the current state of affairs in both Houses of Congress this week, and we long to a return to the good old days, where an atmosphere of statesmanship ruled in the discourse on the Hill. We ask, dear Lord, that You would strengthen those who are Your servants in Congress, that they refuse to cave into the "bait of Satan," but instead walk in the Spirit in all they say and do. Help us, Lord, we ask, in Jesus' name, amen.
- "But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way." (I Corinthians 14:40)
- When the Senate goes into these all-night marathons, many other staffers must remain on duty, too: the doorkeepers, the stenographers, the Capitol Hill Police, among others. Please ask our Lord to grant His unusual strength to those who are suddenly finding themselves "working nights" these days on Capitol Hill. (Matthew 21:22)
7. White House: No Split of NSA, Cyber Command - Reuters
The Obama administration on Friday said it will keep one person in charge of both the National Security Agency spy agency and the military's Cyber Command, despite growing calls for splitting the roles in the wake of revelations about the vast U.S. electronic surveillance operations. The White House had considered splitting up the two agencies, possibly giving the NSA a civilian leader for the first time in its 61-year history to dampen controversy over its programs revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden. (Read more)
- Lord, we are concerned about our President's unilateral decision to place one individual as Head of the National Security Agency and the military's Cyber Command. This seems to be too much responsibility for only one person. We ask that wisdom will prevail here, and that our Congress will take a long hard look at this situation. We also ask that any "appointees" be carefully scrutinized by Congress. We thank You for Your wisdom, Amen.
- ""Here is a trustworthy saying:Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money." (I Timothy 3:1-3)
8. FBI arrests suspect in alleged attempt to blow up airport in Kansas - Fox News
FBI arrests suspect as part of undercover operation after authorities say he was plotting to blow up Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for Your grace and mercy, in exposing this evil plot! We ask You to impress upon all of us, the very real threat of the enemy of our souls, toward us, and may we nestle closer to You, not in fear, but in love. Abba, we thank You that Your grace is greater than all our sins, and we ask that this young man would come to realize that You alone, are the one true God, and that he would avail himself of Your grace and mercy. We thank You that You do expose those things plotted in secret, and that Your mercies are new every morning! We praise You, our precious Lord, Amen.
- "And he said, O Lord, the God of Israel, tere is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing mercy and loving-kindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart." (I Kings 8:23)
9. Roads to Jerusalem closed as huge storm batters Israel - Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Mayor Barkat says city facing "a rare storm, the likes of which we've never seen"; turns to IDF for help; Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv at risk of flooding; part of Highway 6 closed. Police worked to help dozens of drivers stranded on Jerusalem's streets and on the entry roads into the capital as intermittent snow continued to fall on Friday morning.
- "Abba, we thank You for the "treasures of the snow", and the reminder of You, the Creator, Who does not make two snowflakes alike! We do ask that the people in Jerusalem will enjoy this snow, especially the children, but that they would also rest in Your protection from harm or injury. We lift up all emergency personnel in this nation for strength, protection, and wisdom, too. In Your Name we pray, Amen!
- "Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasuries of the hail?" (Job 38:22)
10. Billy Graham near death, 'close to going home to be with the Lord' - World Net Daily
The Rev. Billy Graham is near death, and it won't be much longer before he succumbs to old age and goes "home to be with the Lord," his grandson, Will Graham, said this week. "I wish [God] would give him strength, but I don't think he needs strength anymore." (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for our dear brother, Billy Graham. He truly is a gift, to this world, especially this country, in leading many thousands of souls to You! We ask that You be with him, as You always have been, and that You would take him whenever he wishes. We thank You for his life, well-lived, and an example for us all! We pray for Your comfort for his family, when that time comes, and Your comfort upon all those who love him, we pray. Amen.
- "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." (Psalm 116:15)
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:
"You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, by which You sustained Your inheritance when it was weary." (Psalms 68:9)
1. Congress triples Obama's request on defense cooperation with Israel - Times of Israel
The final version of the congressional defense budget triples the Obama administration's request for funding for joint US-Israel defense cooperation.
2. Massive rescue effort mounted to evacuate stranded drivers - Times of Israel
Army, police and others move to pull hundreds of travelers out of cars stuck near Jerusalem; main arteries into capital closed overnight as record breaking snowfall shuts city down.
3. Kerry back again, continues pushing Abbas, Netanyahu - Jerusalem Post
Secretary of State John Kerry returned to Israel for the 11th time this year, this time going directly to Ramallah for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in what appears to be an effort to soften him to US security ideas presented last week to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
4. Iranians pull out of nuke talks - Washington Free Beacon
Iranian negotiators abruptly ended nuclear talks with Western powers in Vienna on Friday just a day after the Obama administration announced tighter sanctions on Tehran. Iran had threatened that new or tighter sanctions would nullify the recently reached Geneva interim deal, which is not yet in effect. The Iranians abruptly "halted" the talks and left Vienna so that they could consult with higher-level officials about how to proceed with talks following the tighter sanctions, which were announced Thursday morning by the U.S. Treasury Department. (Read more)
- Father, why are we not surprised? We thank You that Iran is showing their true colors, and intentions. We pray that You would stop the "mouths of liars", and that the Iranians would realize that to come to any agreement, they must also take action on their end. We ask that they not be able to pursue their nuclear ambitions against Israel, or us. We look to You for our protection. Amen.
- "Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 124:8)
5. Israel voted full member of CERN, first non-European country to be admitted - Jerusalem Post
The 20-state council of CERN, the Center of European Nuclear Research that operates the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss- French border, voted unanimously on Thursday night to accept Israel as a full member. CERN is the largest center in the world for the study of atomic particles and is run with an annual budget of 1.246.5 billion Swiss francs (more than NIS 4.9b.).
- Abba, we thank You that Israel has been allowed to join CERN, by a unanimous vote! We know that the Israelies have many learned individuals who are proficient in Nuclear Research, and will be a welcome addition to their group. We pray for Your blessing and protection to be upon Israel's representative to this center, we pray. Amen.
- "When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Proverbs 16:7)
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 82:4)
Satanists and Hindus Demand Monuments at Oklahoma Capitol - Charisma
A few days after a group of Satanists announced plans to donate a memorial on the grounds of the Oklahoma Capitol, a Hindu organization said it would apply for permission to erect a statue of Hanuman.
The two groups suggested that Oklahoma legislators opened the door to such displays when they pushed through a bill in 2009 giving permission for a Ten Commandments monument to be placed on the Capitol grounds. The monument, paid for with private funds, was placed there in 2012.
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, issued a press release Tuesday announcing the group's intention to apply. Zed said the design would follow.
Hanuman, the monkey king, is an important deity in Hinduism, the world's third largest faith. He is most popular among devotees of the avatar Lord Ram and others following a devotional path. There are more temples and roadside shrines to Hanuman than to any other deity in all of North India. For Hindus, Hanuman is one of the finest exemplars of a life of love and service of God.
The Ten Commandments monument is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Baptist minister Bruce Prescott and the American Civil Liberties Union. The monument is also the reason groups are now filing for permission to place additional monuments-an equal-access issue of which Oklahoma legislators were aware when they passed the legislation.
Rep. Earl Sears, a Republican from Bartlesville, Okla., who called the Satanist monument offensive, was less inclined to speak directly about a Hindu monument.
"We have a system in place to process these requests," Sears said. "I stand by my comments that we are a faith-based nation, and I know that once you open the door on this sort of thing that you can't know where or how it will end up. We'll just let the system work."
Trait Thompson, chairman of the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission, which approves all monuments, declined to comment, saying only that a good-faith application would be voted on by the commission.
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
Week of December 9 - 13, 2013
The conference committee on the 5-year Farm Bill will go down to the wire with negotiations over farm subsidies. The level of food stamp spending is more or less set around $75 billion per year; roughly double the level of spending from the 2008 Farm Bill. The major sticking point is over the new agriculture subsidies. There is a major K Street food fight between lobbyists for Midwest farmers (mainly corn and soybeans) and lobbyists for southern farmers (wheat and peanuts).
With the price of corn and soybeans at near-record highs, Midwest farmers want more money for the new shallow loss program, which would guarantee as much as 90% of a farmers income (at record highs). Southern farming interests favor the new price target programs, guaranteeing subsidies when prices dip below specific target levels.
Ultimately, any deal on the Farm Bill will be too expensive, add new corporate welfare programs, and continue the sugar subsidy program that raises the cost of food. It would be better for conservatives to block a long-term bill and opt for another extension of the current farm bill, buying us time to push for more serious reforms.
Stay informed every day at www.MadisonProject.com
Croatia Votes to Ban "Gay Marriage"
Croatia votes overwhelmingly to ban 'gay marriage.' Voters ignore pressure from government, media, activists (and even US State Dept).
On Sunday, Dec. 1, the people of Croatia overwhelmingly voted to ban "gay marriage" in that country. A constitutional amendment was passed by 66%-34%. This was despite enormous pressure from the Croation government, the press, homosexual activists, and even the US State Department to reject it.
Traditional marriage supporters celebrated in front of a packed auditorium as vote results were officially announced in Croatia.
The force of the church and the people
This was accomplished entirely by the church and the citizens of Croatia. Earlier this year the government drafted a bill that would allow same-sex couples to register as "life partners." People correctly saw this as the first step toward legalizing same-sex "marriage" -- as happened recently in Hawaii and earlier in California and many other places.
Approximately 90% of the Croatians are Catholic. The Catholic Church stepped up and organized for a referendum to amend the Constitution to ban "gay marriage" entirely. Other religious groups also got involved. Over 15 days they gathered nearly a quarter million signatures to put it on the ballot. It was an outstanding effort!
Threats and harassment
Government leaders, the press, with the homosexual movement went right to work to try to stop it. They began a campaign of intimidation, including vicious labeling of pro-marriage supporters as "haters, fascists, Nazis, bigots", etc. They portrayed Christian believers in marriage as uneducated and primitive. Public supporters of the amendment were harassed by the government in various ways. It was reminiscent of the old days under Communism, many said.
Homosexual activists -- guarded by riot police -- paraded in cities and at the Parliament with signs excoriating supporters of the measure.
The U.S. government even got involved. In On Oct. 24 a US State Department official came to Croatia and gave a chilling speech about how committed the US is to promoting the LGBT movement. He went on to describe how the State Department helps fund LGBT activism in other countries around the world where it's needed, and is "engaging international organizations" to support LGBT rights. (To Americans, that is extemely offensive and insulting. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration gets away with that because the GOP and the conservative movement are afraid to complain about it.)
People ignore pressure and vote
But in the end, the people weren't stopped. Despite the huge pressure not to vote, or to vote against it, the people came to the polls and sent a strong message to their politicians, the press, the homosexual movement -- and the world.
Observations on the Croatia victory
Why has the "gay marriage" freight train been stopped in so many Eastern European countries -- Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungry? We think there are some interesting observations from watching the Croatia situation:
1. Memories of Communism. It's been only about 25 years since the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe. People still have that experience in them. They're used to their political leaders, the nation's press, and their government being disconnected from the people and supporting destructive programs. They're used to being threatened if they get out of line, and seeing people demeaned and demonized by those in power.
And they watched as the Communist regime all came crashing down, much of that as a result of people finally standing up to it. So standing up to political pressure and intimidation is something they viscerally understand.
2. Strong Church influence. Since Communism fell, the Roman Catholic Church, as well as Orthodox and other churches have become a strong part of society. Thus, the government's attempts to impose atheistic changes to society are more difficult
3. No "conservative" movement like the West. **Unlike the United States and Britain, Eastern Europe's pro-family energy is not dominated by a lumbering "conservative movement" that gets distressed when demonized and seeks respect, harmony, moderation, and eventual compromise when faced with confrontation from the Left. Over the last 60 years the modern conservative movement has evolved in the West, and there is no Eastern European equivalent to that. As a result, the pro-family movement has the ideological freedom and energy to take on bold challenges without needless emotional and intellectual baggage holding it back.
It's something we in America must learn from as we move forward. (Source: Mass Resistance.org)
Read more here, including their comments on "Weak, biased coverage in mainstream media".
** Opinions those of the author.
Bad News out of Yemen
Apparent U.S. Drone Strike Hits Wedding Convoy in Yemen
Air strikes hit a wedding convoy on Thursday in the remote Yemeni town of Radda, an al Qaeda stronghold in the southern al-Bayda province, killing around 13 people and injuring an estimated 22 others.
Local residents said the air strikes came from a drone, which appeared to be the second U.S. drone strike within a week. According to one report, local tribal leaders said most of the people killed were suspected al Qaeda linked militants. However there were additional reports of several civilian causalities, and others saying a U.S. drone targeted the wedding convoy after intelligence reports mistakenly identified it as an al Qaeda convoy.
According to one anonymous Yemeni national security official, "This was a tragic mistake . . . None of the killed was a wanted suspect by the Yemeni government." With the increasing al Qaeda presence in Yemen and growing insecurity, the United States has stepped up its drone campaign targeting militants. However, some critics are saying the strikes and resulting civilian casualties are generating greater sympathy for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and increasing anti-Americanism.
(Source: USNews) Read more
- Oh Lord, have mercy! Without prayer, the repercussions from this drone strike cannot be good. Abba Father, we ask that you would intervene in this tragedy, calm all tattered nerves, and bring the peace that passeth comprehension to the villagers who live in Radda, and to the Yemeni government. Have mercy, O Lord, we pray, amen.
- "To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him." (Daniel 9:9)
A Blessing for our Pastors
A Blessing for our Pastors . . .
sponsored by the Family Research Council?
From time to time, we like to share resources available to you by other ministries in our nation, that will help all of us to pray and to take action, as needed, to preserve our freedoms in America.
One of those resources, sponsored by the Family Research Council, is the
Watchmen Pastors' Network.
By way of introduction, below please find a letter submitted to our office by a pastor in South Dakota, regarding pastor's losing their housing allowance under the ruling of a federal judge.
Knowing that FRC was on top of this issue, we then forwarded this request on to their research team for help in answering this question.
We believe you will be blessed to see the immediate reply, received back from Rev. Pierre Bynum on the FRC staff, to this question.
Thank you, FRC!
From our brother in North Dakota:
Shalom and blessings to you - I am looking for the article you sent out relative to pastors losing the housing exemption. May I ask you to forward this to me? Thank you for all you do. We really love and appreciate your ministry.
And now, the reply from Rev. Pierre Bynum of the Family Research Council
Dear Pastor Boustead,
We (Family Research Counci - FRC) wrote about this when it was first announced. And we have rallied the pastors in our relational network to take action. We have also called upon our prayer team to keep this before the Lord:
Follow the links below to see.
1. Federal Court Ruling Striking Clergy Tax Housing Allowance an Act
2. Defending the Clergy Housing Allowance Exemption
3. Prayer Targets: Thanksgiving, Nuclear Senate, HHS Mandate, Texas Law, Pastors Housing, Iran Deal
Also, while we have our own Constitutional attorneys, we have several legal ministry partners like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). I would recommend that you read what they have to say, and to contact them if you need to.
ADF Website entries regarding the Pastor's Housing Allowance
Also. I urge you to become a part of FRC's Watchmen Pastors' network. Dr. Kenyn Cureton, who leads our church ministries program, wrote extensively to activate our network one this issue. Visit http://www.watchmenpastors.org
Hope this helps. If you need to talk to someone, call me at 202-624-3031.
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-2100, Fax: 202-393-2134
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
"We the People . . ."
We are praising God today for those in the next generation who have not lost track of the truth, and who are still calling "good, good" and "evil, evil."
We trust that you, too, will be blessed as you view this video produced by the students of Oklahoma State University, called "We the People."
Praise the Lord!
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
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!