Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Thursday, November 12, 2015
"The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
(2 Timothy 4:18)
The Middle East in Focus
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)
GOD SENDS A SIGN OF LIFE IN THE SKIES OVER ISRAEL
Amazing. Above Israel, "Chai" shines -- the Hebrew symbol of life!
1. Syrian media reports Israeli airstrike near Damascus airport - Jerusalem Post
Around two weeks after a reported Israeli strikeon a weapons convoy in Syria, media outlets associated with Syrian President Bashar Assad reported Wednesday night another Israeli airstrike in the country.
According to the reports, Israeli aircraft carried out the strike adjacent to the Damascus airport at around 6:00 p.m. Yet it was not clear whether the target of the attack was a weapons shipment, or an alternate target, such as an Iran-backed terror cell operating against Israel.
2. Netanyahu clarifies he does not support unilateral withdrawal from land - Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday not to unilaterally withdraw from territory in the West Bank as part of any interim plan in the absence of a peace process.
"I will not uproot or evacuate settlements," he said in a message he posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday clarifying comments he made Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. Netanyahu was scheduled to fly back to Israel Wednesday night after his two-day visit to the US capital, during which he met with US President Barack Obama.
3. Netanyahu: 'Jerusalem and Temple Mount problem is insoluble' - Jerusalem Post
There is no solution for the problem that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount pose within the context of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Center for American Progress in Washington on Tuesday.
"Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, it's insoluble. I just do not see right now a solution for that. It has to remain under Israeli sovereignty - that is the only way to prevent this from exploding into sectarian strife," Netanyahu said.
4. Lawmakers blast 'anti-Semitic' EU over settlement labeling- Times of Israel
Israeli politicians from right and left leveled swift and strongly worded criticism against the European Union Wednesday over its decision to impose labeling guidelines on Israeli products produced over the Green Line, with the government likening the move to a boycott and MKs saying it amounted to anti-Semitism.
Israel's Foreign Ministry responded to the announcement of the move by summoning EU Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Anderson for a dressing down, Channel 10 reported.
The Foreign Ministry warned the plan could affect ties and accused Brussels in a statement of applying a double standard to Israel "while ignoring 200 other territorial disputes around the world."
5. 'Palestinian recognition of Jewish state needed for peace' - Israel Hayom
A day after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address at the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly at the Washington Hilton.
In his speech on Tuesday, Netanyahu said the Palestinians were to blame for the lack of peace.
"The truth is that the reason that we don't have peace yet with the Palestinians is not because of the settlements or a territorial dispute, the territories that were won in our defensive war of 1967," Netanyahu said. "Israelis and Palestinians had a conflict for half a century, almost 50 years, before Israel captured any of those territories or built even a single one of those settlements. And afterwards, we left part of that territory, Gaza. Left it to the very last centimeter or inch. Stripped out the settlements, went to the '67 boundaries, uprooted all the people who were there, disinterred people from their graves. What did we get? Peace? We got rockets.
The Daily Brief
1. Sunnis Rage Over Russian Backing for Shi'ite Foes - CNSNews.com
Russia's military intervention in Syria appears to be fueling sectarian animosity in the region, as Sunni clerics and organizations react with anger to the perception that Moscow is siding with a reviled Shi'ite front rather than targeting terrorists as it claims. Dozens of Saudi clerics, the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and the Muslim Brotherhood have slammed Russia for launching airstrikes last week in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The disparate anti-Assad opposition, which ranges from the Free Syrian Army to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda-linked groups, is primarily Sunni. Some rebel factions are backed by leading Sunni countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Russia, Iran, the Assad regime and Iraq - whose government is Shi'ite-led and close to Iran's - recently set up an intelligence-sharing center in Baghdad. While Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has rejected suggestions this is a new alliance, Iranian state media have already begun to call the new four-way arrangement a "quadripartite coalition."
- Lord, it doesn't matter from a spiritual standpoint whether the groups are Sunni or Shi'ite- all worship false gods. It is there that we ask You to move on those hearts to change them, and reveal Your power and Glory to the people of the region.
-"because there is no other God who can deliver like this" (Daniel 3:29b)
2. Rouhani says US-Iran ties could be restored but US must apologize- Jerusalem post
The nuclear deal between world powers and Iran could lead to better relations between Tehran and Washington and the eventual re-opening of embassies in both capitals, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Thursday.
However, he said he expected the United States to apologize to Iranians before diplomatic relations could be restored.
- Father, we must not apologize to Iran, a totalitarian, supporter of terrorism. We shouldn't be dealing with them at all. Lord, we pray that You will stop our leaders form acts of submission to any of these Muslim countries.
-"For they speak against You wickedly; your enemies take Your name in vain." (Psalm 139:20)
3. Extremists cheer killing of Americans in Jordan- The Hill
Islamic extremists are cheering a Jordanian for killing two Americans and at least three others at a police training facility on Monday, and urging followers to copy the man's attack.
Supporters of the violence called 29-year-old Anwar Abu Zaid a "martyr," and said that his "beautiful news" should inspire copycats.
"The killing shall continue and will not stop," wrote one person on Twitter. "Where will the next strike happen?"
"I suspect we will be hearing about similar operations," wrote another.
The social media postings were gathered and translated by the monitoring organization Middle East Media Research Institute.
-Father, we pray that You will cause all people to fall to their knees before You, from Islamic extremists to all others.
-"As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11)
4. Christianity is Not Declining in America, Baylor Professors Say - Christian headlines
Professors from Baylor University argued this week that religion is growing in America.
The professors from Baylor's Institute for Religion Studies in Waco, Texas, were part of a panel discussion at the National Press Club, according to The Christian Post.
The men said that surveys released about religious participation have been wrongly skewed. For example, Byron Johnson, a social sciences professor and founder of the Institute for Religion Studies, said that a Pew Research study found that 44 percent of Americans left the faith affiliation in which they were raised.
- Father, often polls and statistics are used by people to further an agenda. We ask that Christians have discernment, and bring about true unity of the Spirit of God.
-"A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks likes will not escape." (Proverbs 19:5)
5. Teen runner disqualified from state meet -- Was it the Bible verse?
Was a high school cross country runner disqualified from a state championship meet because there was a Bible verse embroidered on his headband?
Georgia Congressman Douglas Collins seems to think so.
"Religious expression being squashed right here in the Ninth District," the Republican lawmaker tweeted. "This is outrageous."
- Lord, these kinds of incidents are occurring more and more across America. We ask that You protect Your people and give them wisdom on how to respond.
- "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)
6. Christian Daycare Workers Fired for Refusing to Call a Little Girl a Boy - Breitbart
HOUSTON, Texas - Two daycare workers have been fired for refusing to go along with the center's transgender agenda. Madeline Kirksey, one of the workers who is an author of a Christian book, says her religious liberty rights have been violated. The two were fired after refusing to call a little girl a boy.
The two male parents of a six-year-old little girl told employees at the school to refer to their daughter as a boy, and to call her by a new masculine name. The little girl's hair had also been cut like a boy's.
Kirksey told Breitbart Texas in an interview, that the problem was not so much with the transgender issue as it was with telling young children that the little girl was a boy when she was not, and with calling her "John" (not the name given) when that was not her name.
She, and another worker who does not want to be identified, were fired from the Childrens' Lighthouse Learning Center in Katy, Texas, a city just west of Houston.
- Father, we repent of our sin in this nation. We have literally confused our children and made them struggle with gender issues that are not real. Sin has caused this, and we pray for Your abundant mercy over us.
-"As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and a noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and HE shall hear my voice." (Psalm 55:16,17)
7. Racial Discrimination Protests Ignite at Colleges Across the U.S. - NY Times
The passion that ousted the heads of the University of Missouri after protests over racial discrimination on campus is spreading to other colleges across the country, turning traditional fall semesters into a period of intense focus on racial misunderstanding and whether activism stifles free speech.
- Lord, as racial tensions mount across the nation in cities and colleges, we pray that You would raise up wise leaders in all areas who can help bring peace. We pray for a move of Your Holy Spirit to sweep across the country from coast to coast and border to border.
-"for anger rests in the bosom of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:9b)
8. 'Classic mid-November storm' brings snow to Midwest, causes havoc on highways
A fast-moving storm system dropped both snow and rain over portions of the Midwest on Wednesday, packing strong winds that flipped semitrailers, damaged industrial park buildings and downed power lines in parts of Iowa and Nebraska.
National Weather Service officials said the system, which began Tuesday around Utah and moved eastward into the country's midsection, dumped more than a foot of snow on the Rockies before creating conditions ripe for tornadoes.
- Lord, we pray for Your protection and strength as we head into winter. The west needs snow, and the east often gets too much in El Nino years. We ask for Your mercy and grace for the nation.
-"for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4b)
9. "The biggest sham": Sheriffs fume at mass release of 6,000 federal inmates
Local sheriffs across America are voicing concern for the safety of the citizens they've sworn to protect after the biggest one-time release of federal inmates in U.S. history -- though advocates of criminal justice reform maintain the release is being handled responsibly.
The 6,112 inmates were released from federal prison at the beginning of November in response to a decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce sentences for most drug trafficking offenses and apply them retroactively. It coincides with a broader and bipartisan push for rethinking federal sentencing.
- Father, we ask for protection for the citizens who may encounter these criminals. We bind up the flesh of these men and pray that You will bring people into their sphere who will help to change their lives.
-"Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men." (Psalm 59:2)
10. VA officials got $142M in bonuses amid scandal - The Hill
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials collected more than $142 million in bonuses in 2014, the same year the agency was under fire for protracted delays in giving veterans treatment and fake patient wait lists.
Despite a pay freeze for top-level officials, the agency continued to pay performance-based bonuses to nearly half of its employees nationwide, according to data published by USA Today on Wednesday.
Among the payouts were bonuses of $4,000 to $8,000 for officials who managed the construction of a Denver facility that is more than $1 billion over budget.
- Father, the VA is terribly flawed and riddled with corruption at the expense of our military veterans. We ask that You stop the waste and corruption, and bring true medical assistance to the men and women who have served America.
-"You shame the counsel of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge." (Psalm 14:6)
The Daily Jot
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Fact and fiction--The truth of news
Where do you get your news? A recent report by the Brookings Institution about news is alarming. The report indicates that daily newspapers are down about 80% and circulation is only around 15% of the population. Moreover, in a 40 year time frame, journalists reporting the news have dropped in half to 32,000. Within these changes, a new news genre has arisen, one called "opinion journalism," where facts are not checked, statements of opinion are made as if they are facts, news is twisted to fit points of view. The lack of true journalists, according to the report, has caused the public to have "a hard time judging the credibility of what they read." This, in my opinion, creates a great danger to free society.
This has created a situation in our nation where people do not know what is news and what isn't. It is also linked to truth. There are so many views and slants, stories that sound like news, but are not true, and just plain outrageous claims that people can become very confused, angry, disheartened and hopeless if they cannot find the truth. Everybody has their opinion or angle, but very few seek the facts and the truth behind the facts. This is an atmosphere where people ply the fear of others to impact agendas. It is a time in our history where people can easily manipulate the masses so they can come to no sensible conclusions, even to defend themselves. This is the height of ideological subversion.
For example, there are usurpers who want to divide people on skin color so they can garner more power and wealth. They will hijack an event, such as what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, come up with a theme ("Hands up, don't shoot) and create chaos and confusion. The news media then reports on the event rather than the facts. The facts, as they came out, confirmed that Michael Brown did not run down the street, drop to his knees, put his hands up and shout "Hands up, don't shoot." He actually struggled with a policeman for his weapon and was shot in the process of the policeman defending himself. Yet businesses and homes and reputations were destroyed over this demonstration of "opinion journalism."
There are countless examples on gun control, immigration, Islam, Christianity, homosexuality and more. No facts, just opinion based on what someone determines is fair. At The Daily Jot, stories are fact-checked. Two-source documentation is the policy--meaning at least two independent sources confirm a story. Even then, opinion leaders scoff if the sources do not agree with their doctrine or politics. An informed public is necessary for citizenship to maintain and prosper a free society. This means you, yourself, has to take responsibility for discerning the truth, especially as we are in the days of Isaiah 59:14, where "justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." Don't just accept what these "opinionators" are saying, check the facts.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Church leaders welcome review of Indonesian religion law
Catholic leaders in Indonesia have welcomed an announcement that the government will review legislation that critics say restricts constitutional protections to religious freedoms.
"The most important thing is that freedom of religion and of worship guaranteed in the constitution must not be narrowed with regulations that can create problems," Father Guido Suprapto, the Indonesian bishops' laity commission secretary, told ucanews.com.
Father Suprapto made his remarks in response to a Nov. 9 statement by Indonesian Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo, which said his office will review the legislation in coordination with Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin.
The legislation, enacted in 2006, laid out onerous requirements to build places of worship. This has particularly impacted religious minorities in Muslim-majority communities. Church officials, for example, are obligated to provide a list of names and signatures of 90 worshippers and get signed support from at least 60 local residents along with the approval of a village head.
The legislation provoked a spate of church demolitions this year in Aceh province, where authorities took down places of worship that did not possess required permits. In one incident, a group of Muslim hard-liners torched a Protestant church.
"If a place of worship is already built but has no building permit yet, the local government should facilitate the issue of the building permit. But they fail to understand this," Father Suprapto said Nov. 10.
"We don't need [this legislation] as the constitution has accommodated every citizen's freedom of religion and of worship. It would be good if we return to the constitution," Father Suprapto said. (UCA News) Read more.
Our Grandmothers' Songs
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
"God is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing: For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe; His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate, On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God's own choosing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same, And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us: The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure, One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth; The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth: Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also; The body they may kill: God's truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.
Please go here.
(Sung by Steve Green)
About the Author:
Words & Music: Martin Luther, 1529.
Translated from German to English by Frederic H. Hedge, 1853.
This song has been called "the greatest hymn of the greatest man of the greatest period of German history" and the "Battle Hymn of the Reformation."
This hymn was sung at the funeral of American president Dwight Eisenhower at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, March 1969.
About this Hymn: In 1720 a remarkable revival began in a town in Moravia. Jesuits opposed it, and the meetings were prohibited. Those who still assembled were seized and imprisoned in stables and cellars. At David Nitschmann's house, where a hundred and fifty persons gathered, the police broke in and seized the books. Not dismayed, the congregation struck up the stanzas of Luther's hymn,
"And though this world, with devils filled, Should threaten to undo us; We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us."
Twenty heads of families were for this sent to jail, including Nitschmann, who was treated with special severity. He finally escaped, fled to the Moravians at Herrnhut, became a bishop, and afterwards joined the Wesleys in 1735 in their expedition to Savannah, Georgia.
Signs and Wonders
TAURID FIREBALL SHOWER CONTINUES
For the second week in a row, Earth is passing through a swarm of gravelly debris from Comet Encke, source of the annual Taurid meteor shower. Over the weekend Graeme Whipps observed a pebble-sized fragment of Comet Encke disintegrating over Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
"What a cracking night," says Whipps. "I don't remember seeing so many bright meteors, and the auroras weren't bad either!"
Earth runs unto the debris zone of Comet Encke every year around this time. Usually, the encounter produces a minor meteor shower, but 2015 is different. By some measures, fireball rates are 10x higher than normal. The extra fireballs are coming from a "swarm" of gravelly meteoroids that weaves in and out of Comet Encke's dusty debris zone. In most years, Earth misses the swarm. This year, however, is a hit. (SpaceWeather.com)
The Good News Corner
Despite Tensions, Christians Keep Coming to Israel-And Giving Back
(Israel)-450 listeners of the Salem Radio Network gathered this week in Jerusalem for a historic "Stand with Israel" tour hosted by nationally syndicated radio personalities Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager.
Salem is a leading media company serving a Christian and conservative audience. Both Prager and Gallagher broadcasted live shows from Jerusalem which aired on Salems 2,000 radio affiliates throughout the United States.
Unlike their previous tours to the Holy Land, "Stand with Israel" has a higher purpose, according to Salem President David Santrella. "This isnt a vacation or a pilgrimage. We are not just here to see sites, but to make a statement and do something more," he said.
One way Salem listeners did something more was by donating blood to Israels national blood bank coordinated by and in partnership with Heart to Heart. "Our listeners came here not asking...
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Don Moen - "Jesus You Are My Healer"
Two Daily Conference Calls
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners encourages you to participate, any day of the week, on these calls which are each ongoing, day and night! To learn more about how you can join these calls, please go here.