Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013
"I AM the Light of the World." (John 8:12)
The Daily Brief
1. Reid exempts some staff from having to buy insurance on ObamaCare exchange - Fox News
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is allowing some staffers to keep their health insurance instead of making them buy it through an ObamaCare exchange, although he was one of the strongest Capitol Hill supporters of the 2010 law.
- Lord how is this Senator allowed to circumvent the law? We pray for Your hand to over-rule this action in Jesus' Mighty Name.
- "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
2. Administration Finalizes Obamacare Tax Over Holiday Weekend -Washington Free Beacon
The Obama administration quietly finalized the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a provision in Obamacare that will cost nearly $60 billion over the next five years and raise health care premiums by 3 percent.
- Lord, we come before You with our hearts heavy because of the continual secret work behind the scenes by our government. We ask for mercy over Americans and Your provisio for us in every area.
- "No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue which rises up against you, you shall condemn." (Isaiah 54:17)
3. Obama on Affordable Care Act: 'We're not repealing it as long as I'm president' - NBC News
President Barack Obama said his signature health care reform law is going nowhere as long as he's in office, and he'll spend the remainder of his presidency fighting to make it work if necessary.
- Father, the arrogance of this man knows no bounds. We can only continue to pray for his soul, and for Your protection from the Obamacare situation.
- "Father forgive him, for he knows not what he does." (Violating your Word with this law.) (Luke 23:34)
4. NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show - Washington Post
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals -- and map their relationships -- in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.
- Lord We pray Your protection over the American people from this abuse of power.
- "I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God: incline Your ear to me and hear my voice." (Psalm 17:6)
5. Terror threat against U.S. has grown as al-Qaeda's dynamic shifts -Washington Post
The terrorism threat against the United States is increasing and Americans are not as safe as they were a year or two ago, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said Sunday.
- Lord, we know that we can ONLY rely on Your for our safety. We pray for You to hide us under the shadow of Your wing in these dangerous times.
- "The Lord with abhor the bloody and deceitful man . . ." (Psalm 4:6)
6. Epic Ice Storm Possible; Millions Could Lose Power - Accuweather
The forecasts are coming into agreement on a major ice storm over the next week, one that could last for several days, causing "regional" power outages, according to our latest news story. Indeed, some of the ice amounts that the forecasts are printing out are extreme. (Read more)
- Lord we pray for Your mercy over the regions that are to be affected by this ice storm- we ask that it not be as bad as predicted, that the people will be safe from disaster.
- "But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in the time of trouble." (Psalm 37:39)
> > > Editorial Comment: Just as our administration has caused the nation of Israel to be "frozen out" of the latest negotiations with Iran and at the Geneva Conference, could it be that our nation is now about to be "frozen out" by the Hand of God, too?? Continue to stand in the gap for our leaders, for they surely know not what they do. Our God is a God of mercy . . . let us petition Him for grace in time of need. Amen.
- "LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy." (Habakkuk 2:3)
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:
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25b)
1. EU mulls steps if Mideast peace fails - UPI
Israel and the Palestinian Authority could suffer if peace negotiations fail to yield an agreement, a European Union official warned.
2. Jewish activists want to pray on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, raising alarm in Muslim world - Washington Post
A small but growing movement by Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple, in the heart of this disputed capital's Old City, is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslim world, which considers the spot holy and bans Jews from public worship there.
3. Yeshua Campaign Causes Buzz in Southern Israel - Israel Hayom
When an Israeli army general noticed the Yeshua placards along the highway on his way to base in Beersheva, he called his battalion to a special meeting and explained to his soldiers who these "Messianic Jews are and what they believe about Yeshua."
4. Kerry arrives in Israel for more talks amid tensions - Jerusalem Post
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Wednesday evening for another round of talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah, with Palestinian officials again voicing deep pessimism about any breakthrough in peace talks, and Israeli officials more keen on talking to Kerry about Iran than about the Palestinians.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." (Psalm 34:18)
'Jesus would not be safe in Egypt today,' UK Parliament Hears in Discussion on Global Persecution - Christian Today
A three hour debate in Parliament yesterday resulted in broad spectrum of agreement on the severity of the global persecution of Christians and the need for the issue to receive wider attention worldwide.
Countries of concern mentioned during the debate were Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Nigeria, China, North Korea, Burma, Eritrea and Iran.
The issue of persecution against Christians was brought forward by the Democratic Unionist MP for Strangford, Jim Shannon, who opened the discussion with some harrowing statistics, stating that a hundred thousand Christians will have been killed in 2013 for their faith, while 200 million will have experienced persecution.
"One and a half billion Christians live in what can be termed as dangerous neighbourhoods. That shows the magnitude of the problem of persecuted Christians," he said.
The House was united over party lines, with Church Commissioner and Tory MP, Sir Tony Baldry saying, "There is now practically no country - from Morocco to Pakistan - in which Christians can freely practise their religion. That must be a matter of real concern to this House."
Noting the arrival of the Christmas season, Mr Baldry said that not only would the celebration be virtually non-existent in many of the traditionally Biblical lands, but also that "Joseph would not now be advised to take Mary to Egypt to avoid the dangers of Herod, because Jesus would just not have been safe there today".
Christians in Egypt have experienced a wave of deadly attacks following the revolution in 2011 and the recent overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, with members of the Muslim Brotherhood accusing them of colluding in his removal.
Labour MP for Ealing North, Stephen Pound said that it was "beyond doubt . . . [that] Christians are the most persecuted single group in the world today on grounds of religion".
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 Dec. 2 - 6th, 2013
The Farm Bill
The farm lobby is working overtime to push for a conference agreement on a new 5-year farm/food stamps bill before Congress adjourns. From the conservative vantage point, both versions of the bill fail to reform our interventionist agriculture policy and food welfare programs.
The Senate bill (S.954) costs $955 billion over 10 years and creates a new shallow loss program covering up to 90% of a farmer's income - on the taxpayer dime. Roughly 80% of the cost is related to food stamps. For good measure, this bill contains sugar subsidies, biofuels subsidies, and conservation programs. The House version (H.R. 2642) is roughly $921 billion. Although it cuts an extra $36 billion from food stamps, it actually allocates more money for farm subsidy programs. Both bills contain numerous new crop insurance and price target subsidy programs. Both bills represent a massive increase in spending from the last 5-year farm bill enacted in 2008, which had a price-tag of $641 billion.
Conservatives should be prepared to oppose any new farm bill and demand that we start over with the following reforms: permanent repeal of the draconian and antiquated milk productions limits that go into effect without a farm bill, structural reforms (not just budget cuts) to food stamps, and a gradual decrease in agriculture subsidies, not an increase.
The Daily Jot
Judiciary Committee hears testimony on "Imperial" president
Jonathan Turley, George Washington University law professor, is a progressive and a champion of the leftist agenda. He told the House Judiciary Committee on December 3 that there is a threat to America that is not "simply posing a danger to the constitutional system" but rather "the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid." Turley was not speaking about conservative talk shows or conservative figures in politics, whether they be in the House or the Senate that might be pushing freedom of religion or be against immigration reform. To him, a progressive liberal, the greatest threat to the country is the man who occupies the Oval Office. Turley believes in the rule of law, and that this president threatens it.
He said, "In recent years, I have testified and written about the shift of power within our tripartite government toward a more Imperial Presidential model...I was equally concerned about the overall expansion of unchecked presidential authority and the relative decline of legislative power in the modern American system. The recent nonenforcement policies add a particularly menacing element to this pattern. They effectively reduce the legislative process to a series of options for presidential selection ranging from negation to full enforcement. The Framers warned us of such a system and we accept it - either by acclaim or acquiescence - at our peril."
He continued, "The current claims of executive power will outlast this president and members must consider the implications of the precedent that they are now creating through inaction and silence." He said, "The division of governmental powers is designed to protect liberty by preventing the abusive concentration of power. All citizens -Democratic or Republican or Independent - should consider the inherent danger presented by a President who can unilaterally suspend laws as a matter of presidential license." Turley also expressed grave concern over the increasing power of government agencies and the Supreme Court's recent ruling that they could "actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction."
Turley recognizes something many Christian Americans fail to see: that we are all in great danger of losing our Constitutional freedoms. We are closer to living in a freedom-as-a-storefront dictatorship than at any time in our history. I have heard so-called "prophets" speak of the demise of America. I have also heard that Christians should not be involved in government or politics. But we as Christians have been blessed by God with a nation where we have a say. Psalm 33:12 says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." What inheritance have we wrought? What stewards are we?
Our collective silence and inaction is approval. But the pulpit certainly reminds us each week that God loves us and wants us to be all that we can be.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Key Lawmakers Urge Increased Pressure on Iran
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Key congressional leaders from both parties are continuing to scrutinize the recent interim agreement signed with Iran. A senior bipartisan group of senators is arguing the importance of confronting Iran with prospective additional sanctions if it violates the agreement or continues its nuclear weapons quest. Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz have echoed these sentiments, insisting that any deal with Iran be "something other than a tactical pause on Iran's march toward a military nuclear capability."
- Top lawmakers voiced concern that the as yet unimplemented interim deal will ease sanctions while allowing Tehran to continue enriching uranium.
- Leading House and Senate members are calling for additional sanctions to increase prospects for the success of negotiations.
For details, go here.
News from the CPC Foundation
Weekly Updates from the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation
1. Defending Religious Liberty In The Military
Prayer Caucus Members Defend Military Religious Freedom: Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) recently let Members in a special order hour, honoring the importance of religious freedom in the military. She was joined by Reps. Doug Collins (GA-09), John Fleming (LA-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Alan Nunnelee (MS-01), Roger Williams (TX-25), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Kerry Bentivolio (MI-11), and Randy Hultgren (IL-14). Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04) submitted comments for the record." (Congressional Prayer Caucus) Read more.
2. Defending Religious Freedom From Obamacare
"The Supreme Court agreed last week to hear a challenge to Obamacare's requirement that citizens pay for other people's early-abortion drugs, filed by a Mennonite Christian family's wood-cabinet company and the Hobby Lobby craft-store chain. The Obama administration insists that religious freedom simply doesn't belong to families if they try to earn a living in business....This warped view of religious freedom was summed up recently by the federal appeals court in Chicago. It rejected the Obama administration's "compartmentalized" view of religious freedom, as if it exists "in the home and the house of worship but not beyond." A federal district judge in Pittsburgh was likewise bewildered by the government's attempt to "restrict the right to the free exercise of religion as set forth in the First Amendment to a right to worship only." (Washington Times) Read more.
3. New Proposal Would Limit The Political Activity Of Tax-Exempt Groups
"A new administration proposal to limit the political activity of tax-exempt groups could fall short of forcing "dark money" out of campaigns, experts say...The new Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service proposals, which are expected to spark extensive debate, would bar so-called 501(c)(4) organizations from counting certain political activity as part of their social welfare work." (The Hill) Read more.
4. Southern Baptist Convention Defends Ministerial Housing Allowance
"The Southern Baptist Convention's religious freedom and financial benefits entities both expressed their opposition to a federal court ruling invalidating the ministerial housing allowance.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and GuideStone Financial Resources protested a Nov. 22 decision by federal Judge Barbara Crabb that struck down the portion of a 1954 federal law that allows clergy to exclude for federal income tax purposes a portion or all of their gross income as a housing allowance. Crabb ruled that the provision violates the First Amendment's prohibition on government establishment of religion." (Baptist Press) Read now.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Texas "Choose Life" License Plates Bring in $46,000 for Adoption Grants
"More than $46,000 is being distributed in the initial round of grants from funds raised by sales of the Choose Life specialty license plates which were authorized by the Texas Legislature under a 2011 law." -Texas Attorney General's office
(Austin, TX)-Texas attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has put his money where his pro-life mouth is and announced grants to 13 nonprofits in Texas for the purpose of supporting adoption, the result of profits from the state's relatively new pro-life license plates.
The Attorney General's office says, "More than $46,000 is being distributed in the initial round of grants from funds raised by sales of the Choose Life specialty license plates which were authorized by the Texas Legislature under a 2011 law."
Of the $30 Texas drivers pay for the plate, $22 is deposited in the Choose Life account; $7.50 is deposited in the State Highway Fund for Department of Motor Vehicles administrative expenses; and $0.50 is retained by the counties. At the end of fiscal year 2013, Texas drivers had purchased almost 2,300 Choose Life license plates, and the balance of the Choose Life account was $52,481.61. (Life News) Read more.
[Reported by: Breaking Christian News]
Worship With Us Today!
by Rory Comtois
To enjoy this beautiful worship song, please go here.
Special Prayer Alert
Special Prayer Alert:
Pakistan and Afghanistan
The International Prayer Council has released this bulletin to all prayer warriors to begin to lift up the two nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan in aggressive intercession.
Please go here to view this extensive report, and please forward this news on to others on your lists.
We thank the International Prayer Council for their diligence in keeping us apprised of these needs.