Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"A National Prayer Alliance"
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do
be done with love." (I Corinthians 16:13,14)
The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" (Rev. 22:17)
The State of the Union Address
The State of the Union Address:
Headlines to pray over . . .
1. After 7 Years Under Pres. Obama, It's Time for Spiritual, Moral Renewal - Family Research Council
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to President Obama's State of the Union Address: "Tonight the president detailed the many ways in which he has fundamentally transformed America. When he took office, Barack Obama set out to accomplish this goal by tragically departing from the values that made America a great nation. But unfortunately, for the President, this isn't cause for concern -- but celebration. (Read article here)
2. Bubble Boy? - Gary Bauer
Is the president really as isolated from reality as he sounded last night? I could write pages analyzing every misleading and inaccurate comment. But I'll focus on just a few. (Read article here)
3. DNC Chair Dismisses Questions About CAIR Invites to Obama Speech - IPT News
In an interview Tuesday night, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz refused to address questions about the wisdom of her Democratic colleagues inviting two officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to the State of the Union address.
As we reported Monday, Democrats Alcee Hastings of Florida and California's Zoe Lofgren invited CAIR officials to the speech in response to a call from Wasserman-Schultz and Rep. Keith Ellison. It was a symbolic response to what they see as overheated rhetoric toward Muslim Americans in the ongoing presidential campaigns. (Read article here)
4. President doesn't address Iranian seizure of Navy boats in SOTU speech - The Hill
President Obama didn't mention Iran's seizure of two U.S. Navy vessels and 10 sailors in his State of the Union address. (Read article here)
5. Obama touts economy, knocks rivals in final SOTU address - The Hill
President Obama offered a stirring defense of his economic record in an election-year State of the Union address overshadowed Tuesday by Iran's seizure of 10 U.S. sailors. (Read article here)
6. Obama: 'Over-the-top' claims about ISIS plays into their hands - The Hill
President Obama in his final State of the Union address called protecting the American people from terrorists "priority No. 1" but sought to downplay what he said was "over-the-top" hype over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's strength. (Read article here)
7. GOP to Obama: You have no ISIS plan - The Hill
Congressional Republicans ripped President Obama for failing to come up with a plan to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria after he accused them of exaggerating the terror threat in his final State of the Union address. (Read article here)
8. Obama vows to cure cancer "once and for all" - The Hill
President Obama pledged a "new national effort" to find a cure for cancer in his final State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Read article here)
9. Dems stand as Obama calls for redistricting reform - The Hill
President Obama called Tuesday for an end to partisan redistricting, creating one of the biggest applause lines from fellow Democrats in his State of the Union address. (Read article here)
10. GOP '16 hopefuls pan Obama's address - The Hill
Republican presidential candidates gave unsurprisingly negative reviews to President Obama's final State of the Union address. (Read article here)
11. Rev. Graham on SOTU: 'Our Nation is Broken - It's Broken Morally, It's Broken Spiritually, It's Broken Politically' - CNSNews.com
In anticipation of President Barack Obama's last State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, Rev. Franklin Graham said he could already reveal the condition of our nation - it is broken, morally, spiritually, politically, and racially. The reverend added that he hoped President Obama would "turn to God for wisdom and direction" in leading America for his last 12 months in office. (Read article here.)
12. Fleming on Empty Chair At SOTU: 'What About The 57 Million Babies That Have Been Killed Since Roe v. Wade?' - CNSNews.com
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) told CNSNews.com on Tuesday night that President Obama's empty chair prop at the State of the Union address could have represented victims other than those who died from being shot with a gun. (Read more here)
13. Rep. Hartzler: Empty Chair at SOTU Should Be For 'Those Who've Had Their Heads Cut Off' by ISIL - CNSNews.com
At the State of the Union on Tuesday, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) said that the empty chair President Barack Obama left in the first lady's box for victims of gun violence should have been left for "those who've had their heads cut off or killed through ISIL, because that was the true cause of the problem in San Bernardino." (Read more here)
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!
Even though some of the headlines we bring you are naming "Palestine" as a state, in the Word of God there is no "Palestine." Rather, the correct terminology is "the West Bank" or "Judea and Samaria." The only state is the state of Israel.
Due to legal constraints, we are not allowed to change text we are forwarding to you. Thank you for hearing our heart in this critical matter.
Sara Ballenger, President and Senior Editor
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
1. Iranian official: Saudi Arabia serving the 'Zionists' - Israel National News
Iran's Judiciary Chief on Monday blasted Saudi Arabia and said the Kingdom's rulers are serving the Americans and the "Zionists".
"The illogical and unwise measures by the Saudi rulers have led to nothing but weakening the Muslim world, providing service to the world arrogance and strengthening the terrorist stream," Sadeq Amoli Larijani said, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.
"Unfortunately, the Saudi rulers have turned into a laborer at the service of the Zionists and Americans," he charged.
2. Muslims Carrying Out Unauthorized Excavations on Temple Mount Claim They Are Repairing Water Leakage - Algemeiner
Unauthorized excavations were discovered to be taking place on the Temple Mount, the Hebrew news site 0404reported on Sunday, after photos of a bulldozer near the Dome of the Rock appeared on Arabic Facebook pages.
On one such page it was claimed that the digging was being done in order to repair a water canal that was leaking into one of the smaller domes of the compound. A posting on that page - called "Al-Aqsa Mosque" - also asserted that Israeli police attempted to put a stop to the work, prompting the Waqf (the Islamic trust that manages the Temple Mount) to intervene to allow it continue.
In response, an Israeli organization called "Students for the Temple Mount" called on Minster of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, who heads the Knesset committee dealing with rights of Jews on the Temple Mount, to intervene and put an end to "this flagrant contempt for Israel's holy sites." They also demanded the arrest and prosecution of those carrying out such unauthorized digs.
3. Israel struggles to combat homegrown ISIL threat - USA Today
JALJULIA, Israel - Israeli authorities are increasing security measures in Arab communities as a growing number of Muslims are signing up to fight for the Islamic State across Israel's northern border with Syria.
The Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, estimates that 50 Israeli Arabs have joined the civil war in Syria or are fighting in Iraq, and more may do so soon. The worry, as in Western countries, is that these fighters with the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, will return home to commit terrorist acts.
"ISIS recruits from Israel were not regarded as a problem a year ago, but the security establishment sees them as a concerning trend," said Boaz Ganor, director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel.
4. Hundreds march for Israel in Warsaw - Israel National News
Hundreds of people attended in Warsaw on Sunday a march in support of Israel in the face of an over three-month long wave of Arab terror against Israeli citizens.
The march, organized by a group of Christian organizations in Poland, was also attended by members of the Polish Jewish community.
According to the Jewish.pl website, the marchers carried Israeli and Polish national flags as they sung and danced.
"I've never seen such a large demonstration of support for Israel," Israel's Ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, told the crowd, thanking marchers for their participation.
- Heavenly Father, we give You praise!! We ask that You bless the people of Warsaw who have shown support of Israel. We pray that more people would feel this burden in their hearts and not be afraid to take a stand. May the rest of the world take notice. In Yeshua's name, amen.
5. Youth attacks Jewish man with machete at Marseille synagogue - Times of Israel
A Jewish man was injured Monday morning during an attempted stabbing attack outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille, police sources said.
Binyamin Amsalem, a teacher, sustained light injuries to his hand when a man wielding a machete attacked him when he was on his way to the synagogue for morning prayers, local reports said.
The attacker reportedly threw the knife before fleeing the scene.
Police said the perpetrator was caught 10 minutes later and has been taken into custody.
- Father, we ask for Your healing hand to be with this Jewish man. Father, please protect Your children. May his heart hunger for You and may he come to know You in a deeper way. We ask that You reveal Yeshua to him in all Your fullness. In the name of Yeshua, amen.
6. Once staunch critic, Cyprus now sees Israel as fighting for its survival - Jerusalem Post
Cyprus no longer sees Israel as an aggressive country imposing its will by force on the Palestinians, but rather as a small nation fighting for survival in the face of much greater odds, Averof Neophytou, head of the country's center-right ruling party said on Monday.
Neophytou, also chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee in the Cypriot House of Representatives, told The Jerusalem Post that over the last decade his country - once, alongside Greece, among the most critical of Israel in Europe - now has a "clearer picture" of the Jewish state.
"It is a country of eight million fighting a struggle for survival and having to face hundreds of millions of Muslims and Arabs, part of whom don't even recognize the right of the existence of a Jewish state," he said. "So which side is strong, and which side is weak? Which side is fighting for survival?" Neophytou, in the country for three days meeting senior officials including President Reuven Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, said Cypriots now identify with Israel, since it too is a small country of 800,000 people struggling for its survival. Turkey, its massive neighbor to the north, has a population of about 75 million.
- Heavenly Father, we send praises up to Your Throne for this report regarding Cyprus. We pray that more people would also have this revelation. We pray that more people would have their eyes opened to the truth and that from them would come forth an army of prayer warriors. Raise up your Joel's Army, Lord! Raise up more people to cry out! We pray this in the mighty name of Yeshua; the name above all names, amen.
7. IDF creates new, cutting edge unit to combat unconventional weapons - Israel Hayom
Against the backdrop of a changing battlefield, Israel Hayom has learned that the Israel Defense Forces is in the process of establishing a new company within the Engineering Corps' elite Yahalom ("Diamond") commando unit to combat the threat of chemical weapons on land.
According to an officer familiar with the details, the decision to create the Sayfan ("Gladiolus") company was based on the IDF's most up-to-date intelligence assessments. The new unit's mission will be to detect, identify and treat unconventional materials in a combat zone.
The officer said soldiers in the new unit will have a very high security clearance and a unique and advanced set of capabilities, and will use technology that the IDF has never had until now.
- Abba, we thank You for the IDF that protects the land. We thank You that they are increasing ways to protect the people. Father, we ask that You give them wisdom, discernment, and protection while they train and while they serve. Send Your ministering spirits to stand watch over them. In the name of Yeshua, amen.
The Daily Brief
1. Iran releases American sailors after Standoff - The Times of Israel
The US Navy said the American crewmembers were returned safely and there were no indications they had been harmed while in custody.
The nine men and one woman had been held at an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf after being detained nearby on Tuesday. The tiny outpost has been used as a base for Revolutionary Guard speedboats as far back as the 1980s.
The sailors departed the island at 8:43 a.m. GMT aboard the boats they were detained with, the Navy said. They were picked up by Navy aircraft and other sailors took control of their boats for the return to Bahrain, where the US 5th Fleet is based. (Read more)
- Abba, we praise You for this good news of the release of all of our sailors and their boats by the Iranians. We do not know the details of their capture, as there are several accounts coming forth...but we thank You that they are unharmed. We pray that good will come of this situation, and some important lessons learned to avoid such an occurrence again. In Your name we pray, especially for their emotional healing, and may they realize Your hand of protection holds them. Amen.
- "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there." (Psalm 139:7, 8)
2. Obama vows to veto bill to restrict Iran sanctions relief - Times of Israel
President Barack Obama will veto a Republican-sponsored bill which the administration says will prevent the United States from meeting its obligations under the nuclear deal struck between Iran and world powers, the White House warned Monday.
The bill, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act, authored by Republican Congressman Steve Russell, passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week and was expected to reach the House floor Wednesday.
Lawmakers were to vote on the bill as American sanctions on Iran were set to be lifted in the coming weeks as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached in July. Under the deal, the United States is required to lift its nuclear-related sanctions against Iran after the International Atomic Energy Agency certifies that Tehran has completed all of its initial obligations. (Read more)
- Father God, once again we stand in the gap, and we ask that You not hold the sin of one man -- even though he is our "king" - against our entire nation. We know that by allowing Iran to prosper, we are enabling a sworn enemy of Israel to enjoy financial success. Forgive us, O Lord, we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- [For Israel] " . . . the one who curses you I will curse. . . " (Gen. 12:3b)
3. US church pension board blacklists Israeli banks - The Jerusalem Post
The United Methodist Church . . . numbering over seven million members in the United States, announced on Tuesday that its pension board will not invest in five Israeli banks in protest of their role in financing Israeli settlement activity beyond the 1967 Green Line. The move is considered a victory for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, an ad hoc campaign driven by pro-Palestinian supporters . . . (Read more)
- O Lord God of Israel, we repent on behalf of the United Methodist Church, for this foolishness of divesting from Israeli banks, due to what they believe is human rights violations by Israel. We ask that You would show them the truth of who is persecuting who, and forgive them. May they realize their error, and reverse this decision, we pray, in Jesus' name, Amen.
- "All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37)
4. ISIS Suffers Financial Blow as US Airstrikes Destroy Cash Warehouse - Breaking Israel News
In its ongoing effort to rid the world of the threat that is the Islamic State (ISIS), the United States dropped two 2,000 pound bombs on a cash storage facility in the city of Mosul, Iraq on Monday.
According to the Associated Press, a US defense official revealed this particular facility housed "millions" of dollars meant as financial support for the terrorist regime. The funding pays for all ongoing ISIS operations, including its militants, deadly weapons, and propaganda.
The airstrike consequently destroyed all moneys that were held there.
Despite its close proximity to civilians, none were hurt in the bombing. This is due to intense investigation on the part of the United States which watched the site for days, determining when the fewest number of civilians would be in the area. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for this news of the destruction of much of the finances of ISIS. We thank You that You said "the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous"! We pray that this continuing "war" with ISIS will result in their total defeat in every area, not just the financial. We thank You that no innocent civilians were harmed in this raid. We ask for the continued success in all these operations against ISIS. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous." (Proverbs 13:22)
5. Report: ISIS obsessed with launching 9/11-style attack using weaponized drones - Jerusalem Post
A British thinktank says terror groups like Islamic State can easily outfit commercially-available drones with weapons in order to to carry out large-scale terror attacks.
According to British daily The Guardian on Monday, the Oxford Research Group's Remote Control project analyzed 200 drones that are available for purchase to the public in stores or on the Internet and found that many of them can easily be converted to drop explosives.
"Islamic State is reportedly obsessed with launching a synchronized multi-drone attack on large numbers of people in order to recreate the horrors of 9/11," they said, noting that "the technology of remote-control warfare is impossible to control." (Read more)
- Father, we thank You that You and Your heavenly host are more powerful than any weapon that man can invent. We apply the precious Blood of the Lamb over each of these drones, and we ask that, when the time comes, they would fail in their mission. Thank You, Almighty God, that You are sovereign over all, and we give You all praise, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "No weapon that is forged against you shall prosper . . " (Isaiah 54:17)
6. House Homeland chair warns of terror attacks at Disney, Oscars, Mall of America - Washington Examiner
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is warning in a chilling new book that terrorists could easily hit Disney World, the Academy Awards and shopping centers like the Mall of America with killer biological attacks, killing thousands and sending the nation into a panic.
In Failures of Imagination: The Deadliest Threats to Our Homeland--and How to Thwart Them, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul outlines nightmare scenarios of attacks against the United States, and even outlines a possible Russian invasion of Eastern Europe in two years. (Read more)
- Lord God, we continue to cry out to You that Your hand of protection would rest upon our people . . . wherever they gather. Thank You, Lord, for the promises of Psalm 91, in Your name, amen and amen.
- (Psalm 91)
7. Clinton Email Outlined Plan to Spark Arab-Spring Style Protests Against Israel - Breaking Israel News
In a new batch of released emails from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, a former US diplomat suggested to Clinton that she push the Palestinians to form Arab Spring-like protests against Israel to push the government to make fresh overtures towards a two-state solution.
Thomas Pickering, a former US ambassador to Israel, wrote to Clinton on December 18, 2011 that she should recommend sparking Palestinian demonstrations, led by female protesters, to force Israel to re-enter peace negotiations.
The protests, which also called on Israeli Jews to hold parallel demonstrations against the government, should be led by and attended by women only so as to reduce the chances of violence.
"On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force. Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate - they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it," Pickering wrote.
Clinton, upon receiving the email, then asked an aide to print it out. (Read more)
- Father God, in hindsight it seems that the former Secretary of State may have had this email printed out, but in the end, never acted upon it. We ask that Your Hand of restraint would continue to rest upon all in authority that are bent on doing harm to Israel. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "A froward man soweth strife; and a whisperer separateth familiar friends." (Proverbs 16:28)
8. Obama's Chief of Staff Promises 'Audacious Executive Action' in Final Year - National Review
During a breakfast with reporters in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, McDonough responded to the observation that the president's final speech before Congress lacked the usual pledge to "go it alone" if lawmakers failed to act. Coupled with the feeble executive actions on gun control announced earlier this month, had President Obama rethought the utility of acting unilaterally on issues important to the White House? "We'll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I'm confident of that," said McDonough, explaining that President Obama's decision not to outline specific executive actions was more about a commitment to process than a lack of willpower.
"We'll do audacious executive action over the course of the rest of the year, I'm confident of that," said McDonough, explaining that President Obama's decision not to outline specific executive actions was more about a commitment to process than a lack of willpower. (Read more)
- Lord God, we continue to ask that You draw a line of the Blood of the Lamb around this president, that he not be allowed to go beyond the proscribed duties of his office in the coming year. We ask this in Your name, amen and amen.
- "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:14)
9. Dozens of Earthquakes Swarm in Oklahoma - Weather Channel
Earthquakes have shaken parts of Oklahoma at least 30 times in 19 hours. Meteorologist Ari Sarsalari has the details.
A pair of moderate earthquakes shook northwest Oklahoma late Wednesday night, part of a swarm of Sooner State temblors that has produced more than two dozen quakes in less than 24 hours.
A 4.7-magnitude tremor was followed 30 seconds later by another 4.8-magnitude quake centered in a sparsely populated area about 20 miles northwest of Fairview, Oklahoma, about 97 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. The quakes struck at depths of 2.1 and 3.7 miles below the surface. (Read more)
- Lord, we ask that You would give Your supernatural wisdom to these seismologists, and others, who are trying to find out why there are suddenly so many earthquakes centered in Oklahoma. We ask for these things to be revealed, so that any catastrophes can be avoided and lives saved. We ask this in Your Name, Amen.
- "When the earth and all its people quake, it is I Who hold its pillars firm."
The Daily Jot
President's last State of the Union endured by Americans
He took over an hour to lecture Americans on the reason that his policies are not working is because of us, not him. The president was hard set on telling Americans that what they fear most is best for them, that change and progress is hard, especially if you fear it. Mr. president, Americans do not fear the future. They don't fear you. They do have a healthy understanding of the consequences of bad leadership--they have seen it over the past decade. Fear isn't the reason there is so much push back from the Islamic Marxist agenda of this president. The push back is because Americans know deep down in that it is bad for them, bad for their children, and the wrong direction for the country.
His claims that student loans are more affordable, that healthcare is more affordable, that the Islamic State is not a dire threat, that immigration isn't an economic threat, that the economic and job situation is thriving, and so on, can be countered with the facts. Over and over again, we are told that what we are experiencing in our every day lives, is not real. That the crime and mass murders and terrorism is the fault of a lack of gun control doesn't even pass the straight face test. His horrible and destructive policies of allowing undocumented aliens from terrorist sponsoring nations into this country at will is the hallmark of his legacy, the full measure of the type of change only an enemy would bring.
When he speaks of religious freedom, he is speaking of not criticizing Islam. When he speaks of marriage, he is speaking of homosexuals. He listed the things that "give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come." Among them were economic recovery, a reformed healthcare system, a reinvented energy system, and homosexual marriage. The reality we face every day is $18 trillion dollars of debt (over $8 trillion added in the past seven years), nearly 20 million people who want a full-time job and still cannot find one, a record number on food stamps--12.27 million more Americans than when he took office. Healthcare is unaffordable and he wants to tax us for climate change, something that is documented to be fabricated by unethical scientists. His world is fiction. The one we face is reality.
This kind of change is not something American's fear. They dread it. Deep down in they know it will bring disaster. The basis of survival for any nation is a secure border, for example. This "president" has purposely made our border insecure. He has pitted Americans against one another. Our nation lacks ethical, moral and spiritual leadership. We have endured seven years of this purposeful dismantling of our society. It is time for change--to the God-fearing, common sense we once had. Proverbs 29:2 says, "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn." We are a nation in mourning for bad choices in leadership. If only we can know it and change it.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
FRC's 2016 State of the Family Address
FRC's 2016 State of the Family Address
''Acts of Courage Should Inspire Us to Make 2016 a Turning Point''
The night before the State of the Union Address, Tony Perkins delivered his annual State of the Family address before an audience at the headquarters of the Family Research Council.
To view Tony's riveting remarks, please go here.
. . . or to read this address, please go here.
IFA Issues a Call to Fast/Pray for the Unborn
Intercessors for America Issues a Call to Prayer and Fasting for the Unborn
Ever since the now-infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision on January 22, 1973 legalizing unrestricted abortion on demand in the United States, no other single cause has prompted more consistent prayer across our nation than the issue of life in the womb. Many Christian leaders have called that date a turning point from which our country has never recovered. And yet thousands of intercessors have pressed on patiently, continuing to pray.
As a result, God is showing His grace and power, and hearts are being changed. Glimmers of hope are bringing forth increased faith. There is evidence that light is advancing and darkness receding. For the first time in many years, a majority of Americans call themselves pro-life. Overturning Roe v. Wade seems a real possibility in our lifetime. God is at work, answering the prayers of His people.
January is National Sanctity of Life month, and IFA encourages you to fast and pray with many likeminded believers for these innocent lives at risk. Beginning January 17, we will share a weeklong series of daily devotions. Invite your family, friends, prayer group, and church leaders to pray with us. Each devotional, including specific prayer points, will be delivered daily to your inbox during this week of prayer. You can sign up here.
In addition, we will have a focused time of prayer during a National Sanctity of Life Prayer Conference Call on Friday, January 22, at 12:15 p.m. (ET). Leaders from the pro-life movement will be sharing their various perspectives and will lead us in prayer during the call. We have found such unity to be powerful. To join the call, dial 712-432-0075 and enter the code as prompted (1412452#). Alternatively, you may participate by watching the live Webcast here.
Together, with God's help, we can lift the culture of life in our nation to a new height. Please join us.
> > > To learn more about IFA's initiative for the unborn, please go here.
The Persecuted Church
No Escape for Christians Facing Intense Persecution in Pakistan
Pakistan is predominantly a Muslim country with 97 percent of its population adhering to Islam and the religious minorities making just a fraction of the population with varying estimates at a few percent of the total population. The Constitution of country has guaranteed full rights and protection to all its citizens. The founder of the country, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, apparently promised freedom for other religious minorities in his address to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947, and Christians along with other religious minorities agreed to and believed in his promise. However, unfortunately, these safeguards did not come true and Pakistan is now not known as a responsible democracy. Recently, many banned organisations have been openly speaking against rival sects and other religions, and this has resulted in the killings of many innocent people from religious minorities. Pakistan has been facing a growing hatemongering problem and most of it this comes from within the urban/semi-urban centres. Though Article 20 of the Constitution deals with the "freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions" and Article 36 is about the protection of minorities and safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of minorities, the reality is that unfortunately things have only gotten worse in the last six decades because of the growing violence against religious minorities in Pakistan.
Our Grandmothers' Songs
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER
"Pray continually." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! That calls me from a world of care, And bids me at my Father's throne Make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, My soul has often found relief And oft escaped the tempter's snare By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! The joys I feel, the bliss I share, Of those whose anxious spirits burn With strong desires for thy return! With such I hasten to the place Where God my Savior shows His face, And gladly take my station there, And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! Thy wings shall my petition bear To Him whose truth and faithfulness Engage the waiting soul to bless. And since He bids me seek His face, Believe His Word and trust His grace, I'll cast on Him my every care, And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer! May I thy consolation share, Till, from Mount Pisgah's lofty height, I view my home and take my flight: This robe of flesh I'll drop and rise To seize the everlasting prize; And shout, while passing through the air, "Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!"
Please go here.
About the Author:
Words: William Walford, 1845;
Music: William B. Bradbury, 1861
About this Hymn:
During my residence at Coleshill, Warwickshire, England, I became acquainted with W. W. Walford, the blind preacher, a man of obscure birth and connections and no education, but of strong mind and most retentive memory. In the pulpit he never failed to select a lesson well adapted to his subject, giving chapter and verse with unerring precision and scarcely ever misplacing a word in his repetition of the Psalms, every part of the New Testament, the prophecies, and some of the histories, so as to have the reputation of "knowing the whole Bible by heart."
He actually sat in the chimney corner, employing his mind in composing a sermon or two for Sabbath delivery, and his hands in cutting, shaping and polishing bones for shoe horns and other little useful implements. At intervals he attempted poetry. On one occasion, paying him a visit, he repeated two or three pieces which he had composed, and having no friend at home to commit them to paper, he had laid them up in the storehouse within.
"How will this do?" asked he, as he repeated the following lines, with a complacent smile touched with some light lines of fear lest he subject himself to criticism. I rapidly copied the lines with my pencil, as he uttered them, and sent them for insertion in the Observer, if you should think them worthy of preservation. (Thomas Salmon)
Signs and Wonders
Massive seabird die-off lines Whittier beaches with carcasses
Thousands of dead common murres are washing up on the beaches of Whittier, an unprecedented die-off that has scientists wondering how many more thousands remain uncounted throughout Prince William Sound.
A recently retired federal biologist doing beach surveys in Whittier over the weekend estimated there were more than 7,800 dead murres along a little over a mile of beach. That's nearly five dead birds per meter of beach, officials say.
The scale of the die-off is unprecedented along the Sound, longtime residents say.
"It's just mind-boggling," said David Janka, a Cordova charter owner who passed along reports of dead birds from there as well as Valdez, Tatitlek and Chenega. "I just took a picture a few minutes ago of an eagle with a murre in its talons."
David Irons, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, made the grim discovery in Whittier and sent alerts to colleagues. The beach survey probably signifies an even larger loss -- maybe tens of thousands -- of the large black-and-white seabirds, Fish and Wildlife Service officials say.
To get a better picture what's happening throughout the Sound, the U.S. Geological Survey has chartered a boat out of Whittier to explore more remote beaches on Thursday, according to John Piatt, a research biologist at the USGS Alaska Science Center.
There have been other seabird die-offs in Alaska -- most recently in 1993 -- and along the West Coast. But the current event, which began this spring from California north, is the worst Piatt has seen in 40 years of research in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
"It's a regular part of their life history, but I would say this is the most extreme I have ever seen or heard of," he said Tuesday by phone from Newfoundland, where he is on leave and monitoring the situation in Alaska.
Scientists don't know exactly what's causing the die-offs and associated murre strandings inland, far from the North Pacific, where they normally spend the winter. But they know the birds are dangerously underweight and emaciated.
(Alaska Dispatch News) Read more here.
The Good News Corner
After being Detained, U.S. Navy Sailors Held by Iran Are Released
[CBN News] Ten U.S. sailors were taken into custody Tuesday for crossing into Iranian waters are now free, according to Iran media outlets.
U.S. military officials say the two small U.S. vessels drifted into Iranian waters on Tuesday after one of them experienced mechanical problems. The other then followed to offer help.
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Kim Walker Smith - "I Exalt Thee"