Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Daily Brief - Thursday, January 17, 2008

And you shall be secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes, you shall search about you, and you shall take your rest in safety. (Job 11:18 Amp)

1. Freedom House Sees Global Reverse of Liberties-

Political freedom is retreating in large parts of the world including Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Venezuela, and China, the independent Freedom House human rights organization reported on Wednesday. There were reversals in political rights and civil liberties in one-fifth of the world's countries in 2007, including some politically crucial states like Russia and Pakistan, Freedom House said in its annual global survey.

· Lord we pray that Your Spirit would move across every corner of the world, bringing Your freedom and liberty to those who are bound. As the darkness grows in the earth, we ask that You will make us vessels of Your love and power.

· "For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you; and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:2)

2. US to Purse New Iran Sanctions- AP

The Bush administration won't back down on pursuing new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program despite questions about their usefulness raised by government auditors, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

· Father, as nations have struggled to control the dangerous leadership in Iran and been largely unsuccessful, we ask that You would intervene to Your glory. We place our future and trust in You alone to stop Iran's plans.

· "When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19b)

3. Possibility of First Contested Convention in 60 Years - Fox News

The Republican presidential race is so unsettled that some party officials are openly talking of a scenario that seemed almost unthinkable until now: the first contested GOP convention in 60 years.

· Lord we ask that wisdom, truth, and unity come to the parties of both sides, and very soon. We continually stand before You in humility, asking for mercy and Your wisdom to lead our nation. We bind the spirit of division among our candidates and pray that You will show them truth for the best interests of the American people.

· "But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another." (Galatians 5:15)

4. Texas City Ordered to Turn Land Over to Feds for Border Fence Construction- Foxnews

A federal judge has ordered a small border city in Texas to temporarily turn over its land to the federal government so it can begin to build a border fence. U.S. District Judge Alia Moses Ludlum ordered the city of Eagle Pass, on the border about 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, to "surrender" 233 acres of city-owned land. The Justice Department sued the city for access to the land.

· Lord, we have stood in agreement for our borders to be protected, and for completion of the border fence. We also ask that You will not allow our need of security to be abused by governmental agencies. Let us be vigilant not only for security, but for freedom. Preserve us in the midst of war, O God, and grant us Your wisdom.

· "Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away." (Hebrews 2:1)

5. A) Bush, Bernanke Endorse Economic Stimulus Package- Fed Chief Says Package Must Be Put In Place Quickly- MSNBC

President Bush and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday embraced calls for an economic stimulus package to avert recession. Bernanke said such a plan should be quickly implemented and temporary so that it won't complicate longer-term fiscal challenges.

B) Republicans Make Extending Bush Tax Cuts A Priority -

Republican congressional leaders are insisting that talks on extending President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts be included in deliberations on an economic stimulus package. The Bush tax cuts are now set to expire in 2010. The combined cuts were projected to save taxpayers $1.7 trillion over ten years.

· Lord, You alone see the dangers of temporary fixes that can create long term disasters. We pray that Your wisdom would prevail, and let our hearts be changed as a nation, so that the problems in our economy can be corrected with Your mercy and love.

· "And one says, 'Do not destroy it, for a blessing is in it,' So will I do for My servants' sake, that I may not destroy them all." (Isaiah 65:8)

6. Number of Abortions Lowest in Decades- (

The number of abortions being performed in the United States has dropped to 1.2 million a year -- the lowest level since 1976, according to a new report. The report did not identify reasons for the drop in abortions, but the researchers said it could be a combination of factors, the Boston Globe reported.

· Praise You, Lord for this spot of good news! May You continue to find ways to stop the abortions in America.

· "For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 117:2)

7. Ex-Republican Lawmaker Accused of Aiding Terrorist - Washington Times

A federal grand jury in Missouri has indicted an Islamic relief agency, several of its former officers and a former Republican congressman on charges of illegally transferring cash, along with stolen government funds, to a U.S.-designated terrorist. The 42-count indictment, announced yesterday in Washington by Kenneth L. Wainstein, assistant attorney general for national security, said the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), its former officers and former Rep. Mark Deli Siljander engaged in the transactions to benefit U.S.-designated terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

· Father ,we thank you for revelation of this situation. We humbly ask for Your Spirit of repentance to come over our entire land, over its leaders in every state, city, and county. May You come to reveal the hearts of men and bring a new direction to our nation. We ask forgiveness for our sins, and release Your Spirit to change our nation.

· "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments to do them." (Ezekiel 36:27)

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto You. When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 32:8)

1. Heavy Qassam barrages hit Negev - Ynet News

Another day of rockets in Negev: At least six people were hurt Wednesday evening after several Qassam barrages landed in and around Sderot and south of Ashkelon.

2. 'Syrian spy' busted before nuke attack - World Net Daily

Israel arrested a suspected Syrian militant operating on Israeli soil accused of preparing attacks against the Jewish state, WND has learned.

3. First Temple seal found in Jerusalem - Jerusalem Post

A stone seal bearing the name of one of the families who acted as servants in the First Temple and then returned to Jerusalem after being exiled to Babylonia has been uncovered in an archeological excavation in Jerusalem's City of David, a prominent Israeli archeologist said Wednesday.

4. Israeli FM Livni heads to Moscow for talks on Iran, Middle East peace talks - Ha'aretz

Iran's nuclear ambitions and Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are expected to top the agenda for Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who was scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday for meetings with her Russian counterpart and top officials.

5. Lieberman pulls party from coalition after Olmert crosses his "red lines" - Israel Insider

MK Avigdor Lieberman, Chairman of Israel Beitenu, a center-right party with 11 mandates, announced his resignation as Minister of Strategic Affairs and the departure of his party from the government of Ehud Olmert, leaving behind a coalition of 67. The religious Shas party may follow him out, creating a potential condition of a minority government without minimal stability.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (Psalm 91:14)

1. US President declares January 16, 2008, Religious Freedom Day - White House Press Office

[See full report, below.]

2. Lebanon U.S.-targeted blast raises stakes - Middle East Times

The bomb attack on a U.S. embassy car in northeastern Beirut Tuesday has raised the country's presidential crisis to a new level, by further pressuring Lebanon's belligerent politicians to agree to resolve their differences or risk a total security collapse.

This is the first time in two decades that U.S. interests in Lebanon have been directly targeted, and this attack comes as the latest in a wave of bombings against politicians and journalists followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005.

3. Protests Bring New Violence in Kenya - New York Times

Opposition protests resumed in Kenya on Wednesday, and as many people here feared, violence erupted across the country once again.

Fourteen of Kenya's leading donors, including the United States, issued a statement this week warning the Kenyan government that they were reviewing foreign aid in light of the crisis. The United States gives the country more than $600 million in aid each year.

It seems that Kenya has been unable to get back to normal after a flawed election on Dec. 27 ignited unrest and violence that has already claimed more than 600 lives. Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent president, was declared the winner over Raila Odinga, a top opposition leader, but several election observers said the government rigged the tallying of the results to give the president a slim, 11th-hour victory.

American diplomats in Kenya recently finished their own analysis of the voting results and concluded that the election was so flawed it was impossible to tell who really won.

· Pray first that peace would return to Kenya; then ask our Lord to give His wisdom to those in authority as they try to sort out this election. · "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of the Father who gives to all men generously . . . and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)

4. Turkish Court Hears Suspected Killers Of Christian Publishers - BosNewsLife
Trial Comes After Turkey Releases Teenager Planning "Massacre"

Amid tight security, seven people appeared again in court in the south-eastern Turkish town of Malatya Monday, January 14, to answer charges of involvement in torturing and killing one German and two Turkish Christians last year, a case that added to international concerns over violent incidents against the Christian minority in this predominantly Muslim nation.

President Bush declares January 16, 2008, Religious Freedom Day

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA (ANS) -- US President George W. Bush, currently on a swing through several Middle Eastern countries, has declared Wednesday, January 16, "Religious Freedom Day."

The White House released the following proclamation:

"Thomas Jefferson counted the freedom of worship as one of America's greatest blessings. He said it was 'a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.' On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

"The freedom to worship according to one's conscience is one of our Nation's most cherished values. It is the first protection offered in the Bill of Rights: that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' In America, people of different faiths can live together united in peace, tolerance, and humility. We are committed to the proposition that as equal citizens of the United States of America, all are free to worship as they choose.

"In an era during which an unprecedented number of nations have embraced individual freedom, we have also witnessed the stubborn endurance of religious repression. Religious freedom belongs not to any one nation, but to the world, and my Administration continues to support freedom of worship at home and abroad. On Religious Freedom Day and throughout the year, we recognize the importance of religious freedom and the vital role it plays in spreading liberty and ensuring human dignity.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2008, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of religious liberty, endeavor to preserve this freedom for future generations, and commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities.

"IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second."

· Offer a great chorus of praise on behalf of this action by President Bush, and lift up prayer that January 16th will continue to be designated Religious Freedom Day in coming years. Praise God! · "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 150:6)

Links to Other Resources

Recommended links are now posted on our CHPP Blog. Click here to visit our blog for more information.

We particularly wish to cite Intercessors for America as the source to find all other ongoing prayer initiatives at this time.

For news at the state level (including court decisions re: gay rights), please see the links for the Family Research Council and for Citizen Link (Focus on the Family.) Thank you!!