Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"A National Prayer Alliance"
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief
"Praying for All in Authority"
Friday, February 7, 2014
"I delight to do Your will, O my God. Your law is within my heart." (Psalm 40:8)
Please visit the website for the International Christian Concern to find ongoing needs for prayer among the persecuted around the world. Thank you.
The Daily Brief
1. Obama economy in deep freeze - World Net Daily
1,154,000 fewer Americans are working today than six years ago, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In January 2008, 146,378,000 Americans 16 and over were employed, and now in January 2014, 145,224,000 are employed, a difference of 1,154,000.
- Abba, we are so sorry to hear these figures, showing a steady decline in employment under the last six years of the Obama Administration. Apparently, some people are actually finding it more economical to live on government hand-out programs than to be employed. This is sad, and demoralizing, especially to those "heads of households" who want to work and provide for their families. We pray that this situation will come under review by Congress, and legislation come forth that will be more encouraging to those who desire employment, and reward those willing to work for it. Amen.
- "And God, Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating, will also provide and multiply your resources for sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness (which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity). Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and your generosity will bring forth thanksgiving to God." (2 Corinthians 9:10,11)
2. Report: Employment May Shrink Because of Health Care Law - VOA
A report by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office predicts the new health care reform law will shrink the work force by more than 2 million full-time positions. The report, released Tuesday, may fuel the debate over whether the health care reform law known as "Obamacare" is good for the economy. The CBO report said if people's health care plans are not tied to their employment status, fewer will choose to work and some who keep working may choose to work fewer hours.
- Again, Father, we ask for wisdom for Congress in dealing with this "affordable healthcare" situation, which so many people are finding is much more expensive than what they had before, and has the potential to cut more than 2 million full-time jobs. We need more people working, not fewer, and so we ask that the healthcare bill in its current form will be "re-worked" by Congress, to meet the needs of the American people, and not add to their financial burden. We ask for Your mind, and Your heart to be sought after by these members of Congress, for we know You have the answers. We thank You, in Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck." (Proverbs 3:21,22)
3. CBO Director: Obamacare 'Creates a Disincentive for People to Work' - Weekly Standard
Testifying before the House Budget Committee yesterday, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf said of Obamacare, "[T]he act creates a disincentive for people to work." He declared, "[B]y providing heavily subsidized health insurance to people with very low income and then withdrawing those subsidies as income rises, the act creates a disincentive for people to work -- relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that act."
- Wow, Lord, even the House Budget Director recognizes the error of this "Obamacare" law undermining the incentive to work. We know that if the burden on the employed taxpayers continues to increase, that some will find it more economically feasible to stop working and go onto the government welfare rolls. We, as a people have been made by You, in Your image, and You have made us "goal-driven", and we take pleasure in realizing our goals. We need to feel we are making the world a better place to live and taking care of our families, but we cannot support everyone. Lord, we ask for an outcry from the people, that will result in more sane legislation that will encourage people to work, and reward them for that work, we pray.
- "This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:8,9)
4. Republican Lawmakers Are Divided on US Debt Ceiling Increase - VOA
The speaker of the Republican-led House of Representatives said the United States will not default on its $17-trillion national debt, but he is declining comment on legislation needed to raise the U.S. borrowing limit. Uncertainty is mounting weeks before the U.S. Treasury is expected to exhaust its ability to meet federal obligations. At a news conference, House Speaker John Boehner sought to reassure Americans and global investors that the United States will remain financially solvent.
- Lord, we seem to be dealing with this situation that keeps on surfacing, i.e. "raising the debt ceiling". Even though it seems to be raised each time, it is not sufficient for the Big Spenders in the Administration. We ask for more accountability to the American electorate, and we ask that these legislators will come to the logical conclusion that we must live within a realistic budget, nationally, just as we have to do on a personal level. We pray that there be fiscal responsibility and a proper ordering of priorities to fit within our budget, and not have to raise the debt limit every couple months. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Does He who fashioned the ear, not hear? Does He who formed the eye, not see? Does He who disciplines nations, not punish? Does He who teaches mankind, lack knowledge?" (Psalm 94:9,10)
5. Boehner says no immigration deal until Obama enforces laws - Washington Times
Chances for a broad immigration bill to pass this year took a major hit Thursday when House Speaker John A. Boehner ruled out any action until President Obama proves to Republicans' satisfaction that he is serious about enforcing the laws and no longer will try to work around Congress.The Democratic president has made immigration a top domestic priority. House Republican leaders are facing a wave of opposition from their rank and file on a plan to move ahead with immigration reform, prompted in part by lack of trust in the Obama administration, threatening chances of legislation passing in 2014.
- Father, we come before You regarding the subject of immigration. We know our President has made this a top domestic priority, but we do need to see he is serious about upholding the laws already in place, and that he stop skirting around Congress signing "Executive Orders" to, in effect, legislate from the White House. We do ask Lord, that You will meet with our President, and ask that he be humbled in Your presence, and realize that he is not a god. Self-confidence is admirable; arrogance is not. We ask that he have an encounter with You, and that he will bow in Your presence, submit to Your Word, and accept You as his God, and Saviour, we pray. Amen.
- "But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says,'God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.'" (Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6)
6. Report: 4 in 10 Government Security Breaches Go Undetected - Washington Free Beacon
A new report by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) details widespread cyber security breaches in the federal government, despite billions in spending to secure the nation's most sensitive information.
- Lord, how strange that our Government is spending billions of dollars for cyber security, even spying on its citizens emails, phone calls, etc., and yet still has widespread breaches in their own security! We ask that knowledgeable individuals, within the cyber security world, will be able to be trusted to give our nation the information it needs to fix those breaches and prevent them from occurring. Give them innovative ideas that will plug these leaks, we pray. Amen.
- "Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to His anointed. He answers him from His heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of His right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm." (Psalm 20:6-8)
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:
'Thus says the Lord of hosts, "I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion . . . Therefore thus says the Lord, "I will return to Jerusalem with compassion; My house will be built in it," declares the Lord of hosts, "and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem." (Zech. 1:15,16)
1. Allah Gave Israel to The Jews, There's No Palestine - Arutz Sheva
Allah has promised Israel to the Jews -- so says Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, a Muslim scholar living in Jordan, who declared on his Facebook page recently that "Palestine" doesn't exist.
2. Thousands of ultra-Orthodox riot after draft arrest - Times of Israel
The arrest of an ultra-Orthodox man who refused to enlist in the IDF sparked widespread protests throughout the country Thursday, as thousands of Haredi demonstrators demanded the young man's immediate release from army prison and called on the government to reinstate payments to religious seminaries which were frozen earlier this week by Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
3. Israel said willing to give up 90% of West Bank - Times of Israel
The closed-door negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the future contours of a Palestinian state, and how much land and settlements Israel will retain, have reportedly come down to a matter of a few percentage points, with both sides agreeing in principle that the majority of Jewish West Bank settlements would be transferred to Israeli sovereignty in a final status deal.
4. Palestinian state will ruin economy, Bennett warns - Times of Israel
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett dismissed on Thursday the prospect of an economic boycott of Israel, warning that the formation of a Palestinian state would have dire consequences for Israel's economy, and vowing that no foreign force would ever be allowed to protect the country.
5. 70% of Israelis don't trust US on security, says poll - Jerusalem Post
Seventy percent of Israeli Jews do not believe the US can be relied upon to maintain key Israeli interests and security requirements in the American- brokered agreement being drafted with the Palestinians, a Geocartography Institute poll taken this week found.
6. Bill to grant Christian Arabs independent status raises ire - Times of Israel
A fierce debate on the status of Christian-Arabs as a distinct minority erupted in a Labor, Welfare and Health Committee meeting in the Knesset on Wednesday, during which Israeli-Arab MKs accused Likud MK Yariv Levin of undermining Arab identity and creating a split in the Arab community.
The Daily Jot
Olympic Glory and the hidden things
Russia, who has embraced Islam for a long time, is worried about a terror attack at the Sochi Olympic games. I wonder if anyone has considered the terror to righteousness it is promoting from the inside. The US is warning about toothpaste tube bombs on Sochi flights. Yet I read where over 100,000 condoms were being given out to athletes at the games. The New York Times is reporting that animal rights activists are running around the area trying to save the stray dogs--why? Because the Russian government is killing hundreds of strays before the games begin. I also read where everyone's computers have been hacked by the Russian government. Reporters I know are asking for prayers for their safety.
This is a microcosm of the world system. It is a place where they are trying to protect people with sex, government spying, and killing while at the same time the evil they have embraced and placed on a pedestal is also trying to kill them. I am not sure that the Olympics have the same aura of old. People these days are intrigued by the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, er president, because he is taking a stand on homosexuality and is a hard-liner on other issues. But we must remember that this guy is a former KGB, a Russian gestapo agent. He is not a moral man. He runs a country of Mafioso's who murder reporters and use thuggery and tyranny to keep people in line.
CBS reports that Putin's girlfriend will light the Olympic torch. He divorced his wife last year. But what is divorce, really, in a society that for nearly a century banned God? Can marriage really exist without God? Russia is really not much changed since the Soviet era in some aspects. CBS is also reporting "the deputy prime minister of Olympic preparations revealed that video surveillance equipment is documenting shower activity in hotel rooms." Typical of Soviet propaganda, his spokesman said that cameras were installed only during construction of the hotels and later removed. Uh-huh. Reporters are complaining about their rooms, bad toilets, lack of heat and problems with water quality.
A member of the catering staff for the Olympics posted on instagram: "Due to an extreme shortage of pillows for athletes who unexpectedly arrived to Olympic Village in the mountains, there will be a transfer of pillows from all apartments to the storehouse on 2 February 2014." Another blogger posted that residents near the stadiums are forbidden from using their fireplaces to avoid "unsightly" smoke coming from the chimneys. Its winter! I'm sure viewers will see a much more glorious side of the Olympics. Daniel 2:22 says the Lord "reveals the deep and secret things: he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him." The Olympic torch can't hold a candle to the light of Christ. The world might be fooled, but not the Lord. Just saying. . .
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Steve Green Speaks Out
Hobby Lobby President Speaks Out for First Time Since Healthcare Lawsuit Headed to Supreme Court
"This is God's company, and our responsibility is to operate it according to the guidelines He's given us in His Word."
(Washington, DC)-On March 25, the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in the case of Hobby Lobby's lawsuit against the White House administration regarding the contraceptive mandate in government healthcare.
Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby, has had little to say publicly about the ongoing lawsuit until recently, when he met with reporters for a first-time interview.
As published in the Washington Free Beacon, the following are excerpts from that interview:
Green begins by explaining the history of the company his father, David, founded. As he notes, it was 1985 and Oklahoma had been hit hard by the oil industry bust.
Said Green: "He spent hours of his day on his knees in prayer. He would try to avoid the phone because they weren't good calls. Basically, he prayed out to God, 'God, if You want this to survive, You're going to have to help, because I don't know how it's going to make it.' And obviously it did make it.
"It became very real for him at that point-not that it wasn't prior-but it became even that much more real that this really isn't our company. This is God's company, and our responsibility is to operate it according to the guidelines He's given us in His Word."
And this is what Green had to say about the contraception mandate: "We find ourselves in kind of a precarious situation, where the government's forcing us in essence to become a free abortion provider, which we don't want to be.
"What I hear quite often is that we're trying to impose our religion on our employees, and it's nothing of the sort. If I could keep every pharmacy from issuing every one of our employees these abortive products, then I might be imposing my religion, but I'm not doing that, I'm not even asking to do that.
"I just want to stay out of it. I want to stay out of it just like we are not required on procedural abortions to be involved, but the government's telling me I have to be involved in chemical abortions. I want to stay out of it. Don't bring me into it. Let that be between a woman and her doctor. But the government tells me I can't. I have to freely provide these abortive products to our employees."
Read more here: (Breaking Christian News) or here: (Washington Free Beacon)
FRC Commentary on Prayer Breakfast
At Prayer Breakfast, a Helping of Hypocrisy
It's a shame there weren't any mirrors in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton when President Obama spoke at yesterday's National Prayer Breakfast. He might have been forced to look into one when he spoke about the value of religious liberty, life, and human dignity. For the 3,500 in the audience, the President's remarks seemed almost surreal in the context of his five-year war on the same values he implored the crowd to defend. "We believe each of us is wonderfully made in the image of God," he said. "We believe in the inherent dignity of every person. No society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its people."
At times, the speech was so emphatically pro-life that it could have easily been mistaken for Obama's predecessor. "[K]illing the innocent is never fulfilling God's will," he insisted, seemingly oblivious to the millions of dollars this administration has spent advocating for exactly that in abortion policy. "In fact," the President went on, "it is the ultimate betrayal of God's will." For a man as politically savvy as the President, it seems impossible that the White House could be this tone-deaf. Whether he meant it as a jab at pro-lifers or not, the irony hasn't been lost on conservatives.
Like most Americans, we think it's a tragedy that the President doesn't apply this same standard of human dignity on the million innocent Americans who die every year under the violence made possible by his abortion policies. The same man who said he didn't want his daughters "punished with a baby," who asked God to bless Planned Parenthood, and who celebrated last month's anniversary of Roe v. Wade is only condemning himself. And while most of the press from yesterday's breakfast was focused on the President's contradictions on life, his hypocrisy wasn't limited to the unborn. "Freedom of religion is under threat . . . around the world," President Obama warned, neglecting to mention that one of its greatest threats is coming directly from the Oval Office.
When President Obama highlights religious freedom, as he did yesterday, he is doing so as the leader of the most oppressive administration in American history. While he praises religious freedom as a "universal right," more than 90 plaintiffs are in court, fighting the White House over the loss of it under ObamaCare. While he insists that human dignity cannot survive without "the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose," millions of suffering Christians around the world beg the U.S. to intervene on their behalf. While he condemns the people who would use religion to hurt others because of "who they love," the government is forcing Christian businesses to close if they won't participate in same-sex "weddings." While he sends our troops into harm's way to defend this rich legacy, thousands of service members are too worried about the backlash to exercise it themselves.
From the comfort of a hotel ballroom, the President insists he has called out world leaders to do more to respect human rights. Yet when Congress pleads with the White House to intervene on behalf of the persecuted church in Iraq, Nigeria, China, Egypt, or Kenya after suicide bombers destroy churches and families, the response from the White House is always the same: silence.
For the first time in months, the President did acknowledge the plight of Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-turned-U.S.-citizen, who's been brutalized in prison for 18 months while his wife begs for his release on Capitol Hill. "And as we continue to work for his freedom, again we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho."
While the President's words still hung in the air yesterday, Pew Research Center announced for the sixth consecutive year that Christians are the most oppressed religious group in the world. Believers in 110 countries were harassed for their faith -- a number that's steadily climbed since Pew started its analysis in 2008. The United States wasn't one of the countries, but if the President's policies are any indication, the odds are increasing every day. (Family Research Council)
Obama's Prayer Breakfast Hypocrisy (Part One)
Obama's Prayer Breakfast Hypocrisy (Part One)
As I mentioned in yesterday's report, I had the privilege of attending the 62nd annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. There were several inspirational speakers, scripture readings and stirring performances. Of course, remarks by the president of the United States are always a big moment at any event. But sitting there with thousands of people listening as Obama talked, I was stunned by the hypocrisy. Here are a few examples.
Mr. Obama talked about how "we affirm the freedoms endowed by our Creator," an obvious reference to the Declaration of Independence. The rest of the line says that we are endowed "with certain unalienable Rights," first among them being the right to life. But Obama left that out.
He quoted from Psalm 139, saying we were "wonderfully made in the image of God." But he avoided the previous verse, "You wove me in my mother's womb." The president talked about the "inherent dignity of every human being -- dignity that no earthly power can take away." Seriously, Mr. Obama? The unborn are in more danger under your administration than they have ever been in the history of our republic.
The president said a lot about religious freedom, yet he is forcing religious business owners and institutions to subsidize abortion, sterilization and other procedures they find morally objectionable.
On Religious Persecution
The main thrust of Obama's speech was religious persecution around the globe. According to a recent Pew Research Center study, Christianity is the most persecuted faith. Sadly, Obama's record on fighting Christian persecution is abysmal.
Obama told the audience that he looked forward to appointing a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. But the position was vacant for more than two years during Obama's first term, and has been vacant for the past three months. Clearly it is not a high priority.
He has minimized the importance of religious freedom in his foreign policy and focused instead on promoting homosexuality. Obama has aggressively criticized Russia's treatment of homosexuals, while saying relatively little about churches bombed and torched throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Even his critics concede that one advantage this president has is his oratory. Yet Obama has seldom emphasized the subject of Christian persecution in his speeches. He is too busy fomenting class warfare. When he raises the subject of religious freedom, it is often in defense of Islam, such as supporting a mosque at Ground Zero or telling a Cairo audience that one of his responsibilities as president is "to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam."
Some in the audience were happy that Obama specifically named Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was unjustly imprisoned in Iran. But unlike Presidents Reagan and Bush, who would bring up religious persecution during important negotiations with foreign leaders, Obama signed a horrible deal with Iran, while the fate of Pastor Abedini didn't even seem to be an afterthought.
Obama tickled the ears of those in the room yesterday, but would not dare offend the ears of the Iranian mullahs. (Gary Bauer)
Obama's Prayer Breakfast Hypocrisy (Part Two)
Obama's Prayer Breakfast Hypocrisy (Part Two)
Even while addressing the National Prayer Breakfast, Barack Obama could not resist the opportunity to promote same-sex marriage. He did it subtly, lamenting how faith, in his view, is twisted to "justify hatred and persecution against other people just because of who they are, or how they pray or who they love."
I know such rhetoric appeals to many young people. But all healthy societies reject such sentimentality and try through law and custom to discourage certain types of "love." An adult who is sexually attracted to a child and acts on that attraction is and should be discriminated against and jailed.
A man or woman who breaks their marriage vows because he or she now "loves" someone else is condemned by all faiths. In fact, Gallup's polling finds that adultery is considered the most morally offensive behavior, more so than cloning, suicide or abortion.
Every civilization prohibits legal recognition of incest because that particular form of "love" is fraught with obvious dangers. Likewise, until the last 15 years or so, virtually every society and every major faith discouraged same-sex relationships and never considered extending it to marriage.
I suppose it is possible that throughout all of recorded history every society was wrong and that we have experienced true enlightenment only in the last decade. I don't buy it.
I do not believe we are becoming more enlightened. Instead, America is being ripped away from its Judeo-Christian worldview. Same-sex marriage is already being followed by demands for legal polygamy. The legitimization of incest won't be far behind.
Speak Up For Faith
The anti-Christian bias of Hollywood elites has been exposed for all to see. On January 16th, the song "Alone Yet Not Alone," from the movie of the same title, was nominated for an Academy Award. It is a beautiful song, sung by a truly inspirational lady, Joni Eareckson Tada.
The film is based on a true story of two young girls captured by Indians in 1775. They were reunited with their mother eight years later when they recognized a hymn she sang to them as children.
Unbelievably, the Academy withdrew the nomination of "Alone Yet Not Alone" less than two weeks after it was awarded. The official explanation for withdrawing the nomination was that composer Bruce Broughton had violated rules against lobbying when he emailed members of the Academy's Music Branch about the song.
But considering the lengths that other studios and producers go in order to promote their work, many Hollywood insiders aren't buying that excuse. In fact, one entertainment writer labeled the move "extremely rare and cringe-worthy."
Many suspect anti-Christian bias is to blame. As a Los Angeles Times writer suggested, ". . .the academy has never rescinded a nomination due to improper campaigning until a faith-based movie with a quadriplegic pastor came along."
Responding to the Academy's decision to rescind the nomination of her song, Joni Eareckson Tada told Breitbart News, "I can't say the reason the nomination was rescinded, but it has to be more than a few emails. But if they pulled the Oscar from all the movie people who campaigned for an Oscar, they would probably all have to give them back." (Gary Bauer)
TAKE ACTION: Artists for Life has a launched a petition drive calling on the Academy Awards to reverse itself and reinstate the nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone." Speak up for faith. Click here to sign AFL's petition.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
The Best Friends Foundation
We can, we must, do better for our daughters.
Elayne Bennett underscores this call to action in her recently released book "Daughters in Danger." She knows first-hand the dangers girls face in our postmodern, hyper-sexualized culture. In 1987, Bennett founded the Best Friends Foundation. The nationwide program - which includes curriculum for middle and high school students - has benefitted more than 30,000 girls across the country.
Through this program, she has seen how open girls are "to the message of maintaining self-control through self-respect." The program allows them to work within their peer group where their peers will "support them in making good decisions." (CitizenLink) Read more.
> > > Tonight, we offer praise for the good work of the Best Friends Foundation, and praise for the 30,000 lives of young girls in our culture whom they have blessed. We pledge to hold this group in prayer as they continue this valuable work for our nation, one child at a time. Amen.
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders:
Epic Ice Storm in Slovenia
Slovenia Is Still Frozen Solid:
'This Is Crazy, Really Crazy'
A woman looks out of the window of an ice-covered building in Postojna February 5, 2014. Cars stand entombed in a crystal-like casing near the deserted railway station in Postojna. Trees and electricity pylons lie felled in the snow by the sheer weight of ice enveloping them.
Three days of blizzards and a freak ice storm have inflicted "the worst devastation in living memory" in the small Alpine country of Slovenia as life in half of the country is frozen in place. Unexpected rain in the west rapidly turned to ice, entombing cars, trains, ATMS, and power lines in addition to half of Slovenia's forests (roughly 1.2 million acres). A tiny EU member-state already going through a recession and a bank bailout over billions of euros in toxic debt, Slovenia is now facing the worst economic crisis in two decades. "Slovenia has witnessed a major natural disaster," Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek said while visiting the badly-hit town of Ljubno ob Savinji.
To view excellent series of photos of this phenomena, go here.
To view a video (4 minutes long) of the countryside in Slovenia, caked in ice, go here. [This video was shot by an employee of Accuweather.com.]
"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."
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
"Bless the Lord O My Soul" - Matt Redman