Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief
Friday, January 3, 2014
"Be on the alert, then, for you do not know the day nor the hour."
The Daily Brief
1. Ruling by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor sets off another battle over Obamacare - Washington Times
In a temporary injunction issued by Justice Sotomayor just hours before she helped usher in the new year in New York City's Times Square, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was blocked "from enforcing against [the Little Sisters of the Poor] the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." The administration has until Friday to respond. (Read more)
- Whatever has caused Justice Sotomayor to change her mind at this last minute, we praise God for this delay in the implementation of the HHS Mandate in this case. As the White House has now appealed this case, offer a mighty chorus of intercession before the High Court of Heaven for the final obliteration of this mandate for all who wish to be exempt from its implementation. We praise our God that the U.S. Supreme Court is NOT "the SUPREME Court" . . . for that Court rules over all mankind. Praise God!
- "For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Lawgiver, The Lord is our King; He will save us." (Isaiah 33:22)
2. Administration fights to preserve ObamaCare contraception mandate - Fox News
The Obama Administration in a filing on Friday urges the Supreme Court not to exempt Catholic groups from the health care law's contraception requirement, after Justice Sonia Sotomayor granted a temporary reprieve. (Read more)
- The war has now begun. Come into the secret place of the most High God, offering prayers of repentance for the sin in our land, and ask that He would yet grant mercy for our nation at the Supreme Court of the United States of America. We ask You, Lord, to cause this Court to uphold the decision rendered at the last minute of 2013 by Justice Sotomayor. In Your Name, amen.
- "He frustrates the devices of the crafty, So that their hands cannot carry out their plans." (Job 5:12)
3. Kerry, Abbas to discuss framework deal in Ramallah - Times of Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Friday evening to discuss a framework agreement that will address the outlines of a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. (Read more)
- O Lord God of Israel, we come before You on behalf of Your people, Israel!! We ask that You be present at every meeting Mr. Kerry attends, and hear every word spoken, or even thought, by all parties involved. We know You are a Covenant-Keeping God, and You will not forsake Your people. We ask that You would intervene and thwart the evil plans of the enemy, and send confusion upon those who wish to harm this tiny nation. We ask that You visit Mr. Kerry when he is in his bed, and reveal Yourself to him, as the God of Israel. We pray that You would instill in him a holy fear of You, and that he and this administration would cease their pressure tactics and submit themselves to You and bring glory to Your precious Name. Have mercy on our nation, we pray. Amen.
- "Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.'" (Psalm 2:1-3)
4. NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption - Washington Post
In room-size metal boxes secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.
- Lord, such a high-tech world we live in, which seems to be growing exponentially! And with that growth in technology, there is an increase in using these advances for good and evil. "Cyber crimes" are ballooning, and our right to privacy seems to have gone by the "wayside". Even our own government has developed "spy-ware" to track us. We do understand the need of our government to protect its right to privacy from falling into the hands of our enemies; however, we ask that these technological advances not be used to target or discriminate against our citizens who are not a threat to our government. Protect us, we pray! Amen.
"'Because he loves Me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; I will protect Him, for he acknowledges My name. He will call on Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.'" (Psalm 91:14-16)
5. 2014 begins with $54 billion in tax hikes - Washington Times
A final congressional stalemate in late December means the New Year's expiration of a host of tax breaks, amounting to a $54.2 billion increase for green-energy businesses, teachers, homeowners, college students and others.
- Father, we appeal to You regarding this tax hike, and all the increased costs related to it. We thank You that You are our Provider, and not the government. We ask, Lord, for increased wisdom in dealing with the added expenses this new year brings, and the increased costs of healthcare. We put our trust in You, and thank You that You are a Covenant-keeping God, and You watch over Your Word to perform it.
- "But remember the LORD your God, for it is He Who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His Covenant, which He swore to your ancestors, as it is today." (Deuteronomy 8:18)
6. Record Number of Americans Now Receiving Disability - CNS News
The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,988,269 in December, up from the previous record of 10,982,920 set in November, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.
- Abba, we are concerned with these figures, and wonder why the number of disabled Americans is growing so rapidly. It seems we are headed in the wrong direction, with expenses and tax hikes increasing, and the number of "able-bodied" Americans, who are able to work, decreasing. We thank You that there is provision made available for those who truly are disabled, and we do pray for grace for those who are dependent on this provision. We also ask for healing of these disabilities, physically emotionally and spiritually, and their restoration to health and family. Amen.
- "But You, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; You consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you." (Psalm 10:14)
7. 70 new anti-abortion laws OK'd in 22 states, second most ever - Washington Examiner
Some 22 states enacted 70 new provisions to target abortion last year, the second most ever, prompting an outcry from Planned Parenthood, which accused "out-of-touch Tea Party politicians" with using "every underhanded trick in the book to get these laws passed."
- Abba, we thank You for this good news that will save the lives of many babies! We ask that this would continue to sweep throughout this Land to honor the lives of those precious little people You have created and given life! We worship You, the Giver of Life, Amen.
- "Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I Am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live. To choose life is to love the Lord your God, obey Him, and stay close to Him. He is your Life." (Deuteronomy 30:19,20)
8. Bluefin tuna caught near U.S. show radioactive taint from Japan - AP
Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away -- the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. (Read more)
- Father, we are troubled by this news. Surely, it is a small world, in that, the effects in one place can have a global impact thousands of miles away. We ask You to give Your wisdom to those in our government, who need to counteract this radioactivity, and be sure it does not affect the people in our nation. We ask that You reveal that which needs to be revealed about our food, so we can avoid such contaminants. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Then God said, 'Let Us make humankind in Our image, in the likeness of Ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea'." (Genesis 1:26a)
9. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's condition has worsened over the past days - Intercessors for Israel
He has been in a coma since January 4th 2006, and is not expected to survive much longer. Although having sinned grievously in orchestrating the Gaza withdrawal, he is one of modern Israel's military heroes. (Read more)
Special Prayer Requests from Intercessors for Israel:
Abba, we thank You for Ariel Sharon.
Lord Yeshua, we ask You to reveal Yourself to Him before he goes to his eternal destiny.
Lord, if he does die this first weekend of the year, are You saying something? And if so, please reveal it to us.
Before he dies, even while he is in a coma, show him how wicked his sin was in withdrawing Your people from Your/their inheritance (Joshua 15:1, 47; Judges 1:18) and give him an opportunity to ask for forgiveness.
Have mercy on his family and friends. Reveal Yourself to them as Israel's Shepherd who can lead His people through even this 'valley of the shadow of death' (Psalm 23:4).
10. House of Representatives Resumes Session Next Week - Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, has released the agenda for congressional business next week. To see what business the House will address, go here.
- Lord God, we ask You to continue to "strengthen the hands of those who turn the battle at the gate" in the House and in the Senate this year. We do thank You for calling many fine men and women to serve the nation in Congress, and we ask that You would grant each one clever strategies to see passage of bills that line up with Your Word and Your Will. Let these warriors for truth not grow weary in well-doing, but be strengthened by Your joy in serving You. We ask this blessing in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous . . ." (Psalm 125:3)
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:
"Hear the Word of YHWH, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands afar off, saying, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep/guard him, as a shepherd keeps his flock.'" (Jeremiah 31:10)
1. Kerry, Abbas to discuss framework deal in Ramallah - The Times of Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry was scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Friday evening to discuss a framework agreement that will address the outlines of a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
2. Leaked PA document predicts 'third intifada' - Times of Israel
An internal Palestinian Authority document leaked to Israeli media has predicted a "third intifada" if US-brokered peace talks fail.
The document, whose contents were reported by the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Radio on Thursday morning, said that if the peace process collapsed, a violent uprising was likely to erupt in the West Bank. Jihadi and Salafi groups were also likely to become more active, possibly by setting up a network of terrorist cells with the intention of carrying out attacks against Israel, the report said.
3. Israel reportedly offering land and its 300,000 residents to Palestinians - Times of Israel
Israel has raised the idea of transferring parts of the territory in "the triangle" southeast of Haifa - along with the hundreds of thousands of Israeli-Arab citizens who live there - to a future Palestinian state in return for annexing West Bank territory including settlement blocs, Maariv reported on Wednesday.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living." (Psalm 27:12,13)
Christians and Muslims March Together for a Better Pakistan - Asia News
Faisalabad ( AsiaNews) - A strengthening of Pakistan's "incoherent" foreign policy tied to an age that has "past" , which must adapt to new and ever more "dynamic" world powers ; peaceful coexistence between Islamabad and neighboring countries , combined with the improvement of bilateral relations based on trade relations that should be pursued by means of a "urgent and proactive" diplomatic efforts. These are the requests made by thousands of citizens , who marched across Pakistan for the Solidarity March 2014 organized by the activist network Aman Ittehad ( United for Peace) .
Activists and ordinary citizens marched through the streets of Lahore, Karachi , Sialkot , Hyderabad, Peshawar , Abbottabad , Quetta, Mardan and more. In Faisalabad at least 300 people marched, including lawyers, Muslim and Christian religious leaders , politicians, educators, journalists and students. Their common goal is to relaunch a program of "peace and solidarity" and request the government strengthen foreign policy, in a nation that has in the recent decades become a "surrogate" of foreign powers.
According to estimates by the World Economic Forum , Pakistan is in 133th place out of 148 countries in the period 2013/14 , a figure that shows an "alarming collapse" of its economic structures. Reforms are urgently needed aimed at improving competitiveness, enhancing the level of education and stepping up infrastructure. Within the overall framework of "national security" in fact fit the goals of "economic growth and stability."
The protesters also marched in solidarity with the victims of terrorism, a growing phenomenon in the country, in particular against religious minorities . Among the many incidents, the attack on Peshawar's Christian community in September, which caused hundreds of casualties. The women's rights activist Amina Zaman calls for a reform of the judiciary, strengthening of the penal system . The former Christian MP George Clement adds that it is "the duty of the State to" ensure respect for the law. "The government must take serious action - he adds - against those who [...] foment extremism through words or actions. We must not allow anyone to make misleading actions in the name of religion or ideology."
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
A Late Night Victory
A Late Night Victory
Late at night - on New Year's Eve - the Supreme Court dealt a blow to ObamaCare.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily stopped enforcement of the ObamaCare abortion-pill Mandate, protecting a Christian employer against a grave violation of its religious freedom.
Despite this ruling, the Obama Administration is vowing to fight on. It's not backing down from its commitment to force even Christian Americans to provide abortion pills.
But we're not backing down either.
We've won seven injunctions against the abortion-pill Mandate, and soon we'll be filing a crucial amicus brief at the Supreme Court.
Now is exactly the right time to join us. Join our brief. Join our committee to protect life and liberty from ObamaCare.
To Sign the ACLJ Amicus Brief Against the Abortion-Pill Mandate, please go here.
ACLJ Chief Counsel
P.S. Thank you to everyone who gave toward our year-end Matching Challenge. Thanks to your generosity, we met our goal.
More News about the HHS Mandate
HHS Mandate Goes Into Effect Against Non-Profits
As of January 1, 2014, non-profit organizations are required to comply with the HHS mandate. Unless an organization has obtained a temporary injunction, any organization that does not fully comply with the mandate will face steep fines, regardless of religious objections. As a result, employers who offer health insurance plans but omit even one of the required drugs will face up to $36,500 per employee in fines to the IRS each year.
-- After being denied injunctive relief by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Sotomayor issued temporary emergency relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor on December 31. The government responded on January 3, insisting that the mandate is constitutional.
-- After being denied relief from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, University of Notre Dame advised its employees that it will temporarily comply with the mandate to avoid fines. However, it will continue its legal suit challenging the mandate.
-- Priests for Life were granted an emergency injunction by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
-- Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asked President Obama to temporarily exempt religious institutions until the cases have been resolved, but to no avail.
(Source: Congressional Prayer Caucus)
More News from the CPC
News from the Congressional Prayer Caucus (Part 2)
U.S. CONGRESSIONAL PRAYER CAUCUS ISSUES FOR PRAYER IN 2014
1. Fighting attempts to remove "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance
Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus lead in sending a letter to NBC, expressing concern over the network's omissions of "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance twice in a video montage aired during coverage of the U.S. Open. In response to the letter sent by 108 Members of Congress, the network reprimanded the employees responsible for the omissions and implemented safeguards to prevent similar instances in the future.
2. Opposing efforts to remove a memorial cross honoring military veterans
In January of 2011, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cross displayed at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, California was unconstitutional. Members of the Prayer Caucus signed on to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Ninth Circuit asking the full court to reconsider the case, and asserting that the cross's presence at the memorial is constitutional. After the Ninth Circuit declined to reconsider the case, Members joined the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of the United States, asking the Court to take up the case and reverse the Ninth Circuit's decision. In June of 2012, the Supreme Court announced that it would not review the case; however, Justice Alito issued a statement saying the appeal may have been premature and the Court may reconsider the case after the district court issues a final order on the fate of the memorial.
3. Urging religious freedom protections for service members
The repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military raised concerns that service members whose consciences or religious beliefs conflicted with homosexual behavior would face discrimination and disapproval. Members of the Prayer Caucus sent a letter to President Obama, urging that specific religious freedom and conscience protections be adopted during implementation of the repeal to formally assure all Americans that our citizens need not leave their faith at home when they volunteer to serve.
4. Affirming America's rich spiritual heritage
Co-chairmen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Congressman Forbes and Congressman McIntyre, reintroduced legislation to recognize our nation's religious history. H.Res.253, America's Spiritual Heritage Resolution, affirms the rich spiritual and diverse religious history of our nation's founding and subsequent history, and designates the first week in May as America's Spiritual Heritage Week.
5. Working to decrease frivolous lawsuits challenging public expressions of religion
Members of the Prayer Caucus are supporting H.R.2023, introduced by Congressman Dan Burton, which would ensure that the legal system is not used to extort money from state and local governments through frivolous lawsuits against public expressions of religion. H.R. 2023 would not prevent parties from filing lawsuits alleging Establishment Clause violations, but it would require each side to pay its own attorneys' fees. The bill would limit the remedies available to the suing party, so the only relief available would be that the state or local government would be required to stop its public expression of religion, if the court deems it unconstitutional. The result would be a decrease in frivolous lawsuits and the assurance that state and local governments are not intimidated into halting constitutional public expressions of religion.
6. Recognizing the significant impact of the Ten Commandments on America's development
Members of the Prayer Caucus are supporting H.Res.211, introduced by Congressman Louie Gohmert, which recognizes the significant contribution that the Ten Commandments have made in shaping America's principles, institutions, and national character. The bill supports designating the first weekend in May as "Ten Commandments Weekend."
(Contributor: The Congressional Prayer Caucus)
Ambassadors from "Palestine?"
It's A Dangerous Job Representing A Dangerous "State"
There isn't a nation called "Palestine" yet, but Barack Obama is committed to it coming into existence in 2014 -- carved out of Israel, of course. Meanwhile the non-existent country already has "ambassadors" stationed in foreign capitals. A couple of years ago, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.S. shocked reporters when he informed them that the new Palestinian state would be "Jew free." Even one Jew would just be unacceptable.
Now another ambassador from the non-existent nation of Palestine has made news. This one is Jamal al-Jamal, the Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic. He bombed too, sort of. More accurately, he was killed in an explosion at his home in Prague, which police say was caused by the "inexpert handling of an explosive."
Before big media could blame his death on "Zionist pigs," Czech media reported that while searching the ambassador's residence, police discovered he had stockpiled an arsenal large enough to arm a unit of ten men. It appears the explosion that killed him originated in his own safe, where he was storing more than diplomatic papers.
I'd suggest, given the type of ambassadors that the Palestinians select, that a new Palestinian state will not bring peace and reconciliation, but rather war and ethnic cleansing. (Gary Bauer)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Message of "unexplainable joy" from Pastor Farshid Fathi;
Imprisoned for his Christian Faith in Iran
(Iran)-December 26th was Pastor Farshid Fathi's third anniversary of imprisonment at Evin prison in Iran, where he is serving a six-year sentence for his Christian faith.
Elam Ministries is tracking Farshid's well-being and sharing letters he's written to the Body of Christ.
Below is Pastor Farshid's latest letter. Please join us in praying for him, as well as others like Pastor Saeed, who are imprisoned in Iran simply because they refuse to give up their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Letter from Pastor Farshid:
Dear brothers and sisters,
We are celebrating Christmas in prison with honor and unexplainable joy in Christ.
2013 is going to end and we are very thankful to the Lord for everything we were given this year. I had called 2013 'the year of revelation'. Now I am very excited because I am calling 2014 'the year of God's presence'.
God calls us to walk before Him and be blameless, as He said to Abraham. So far, walking before Him is very sweet and so exciting. It is filled with great endurance, afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, sleepless nights, hunger, purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech and the power of God.
So my dear brothers and sisters, if you read this, be ready for a very exciting journey in 2014.
Thank you so much for remembering me in your prayers after 1,100 days.
With blessings in Christ,
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders:
UFO sightings reported across California
Reported by: 9News, Denver, Colorado
SACRAMENTO - From Placer County to the Hollywood Hills, people reported seeing mysterious lights in the sky on New Year's Eve.
Terry and Hans Mauth of Auburn said they watched a large egg-shaped object with a bright light shining upward drift over their neighborhood, then suddenly accelerate."There was no sound, that's the funny thing," Terry said. "Just this big illuminated form."
Steven Brown of Sacramento reported a similar sighting above Belle Cooledge Park. "Whatever it was moved up and to the left," he explained. "It hovered there for probably about 60 seconds, then it took off at a high rate of speed."
Kaye Pinlac of Stockton reported seeing multiple glowing objects that appeared in a formation."They were almost in a diamond or triangle shape," he said. "Then they just started separating."
Pinlac provided a link to a YouTube video posted Wednesday that he says showed a very similar pattern over the Hollywood Hills just after midnight, about the same time he watched the lights over Stockton.
Some News9 viewers said the lights might have been floating luminaria light bags, a suggestion dismissed by Terry Mauth. "It was too huge to be a birthday balloon or something like that," she said. "And it moved too quickly."
The lights in the sky were apparently not seen by any pilots or air traffic controllers. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said there was no unusual flight activity reported Tuesday night. (Learn more here.)
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke 11:25-28)
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Kari Jobe - "The More I Seek You"
The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming