Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. " (Rev. 22:13)

Today's Daily Brief

1. An Epochal Battle--Iowa Caucus Kicks Off Most Wide-Open Race Since '80 -- Wall Street Journal

Looking beyond the Reagan-Bush era, when Iowa voters walk into their state's caucuses tomorrow night, they will be kicking off a milestone campaign year that promises a new political course for America.

For the first time in 80 years, no incumbent president or vice president from either party is seeking the White House, creating an unusually unsettled campaign with no obvious front-runner. Power in Congress is divided so evenly between the two parties that neither has really been in control since the 2006 elections. Now, in the wide-open 2008 general election, voters will declare whom they want to run the executive and legislative branches.

· Gracious Lord, we humbly ask You for godly leadership for America. Please continue to intervene in this election process and select our leaders, at all levels, who will honor You and seek Your face in all of their decisions. May we remain diligent in prayer for our president, our troops and our country; even if things look bleak to us, for only YOU know the seen and unseen. May America truly be "One Nation, Under God" for all time! · "Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16: 13 NKJV)

2. Musharraf Asks For Help In Bhutto Investigation -- Wall Street Journal

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, warning that Pakistan faced "great danger," appealed for calm and unity as his government delayed crucial parliamentary elections until February 18, more than six weeks later than originally scheduled because of the country's "law and order" situation. In a televised address, Mr. Musharraf expressed grief over Mrs. Bhutto's death at a campaign rally last month in Rawalpindi, and announced that a team of British police from Scotland Yard would help in the investigation of Ms. Bhutto's death.

· Heavenly Father, please restore Your calm and hope of salvation for this country that has been denied a right to know You as its true Savior and King. Please use Mrs. Bhutto's death to save many alive, and may the kind and caring love that she had for her nation live on and serve as a testimony for You. · "'But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.' And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." (Genesis 50: 20-21 NKJV)

3. Oil Futures Rise to $100 a Barrel -- Associated Press

Crude oil prices soared to $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time, reaching that milestone amid an unshakable view that global demand for oil and petroleum products will outstrip supplies. Surging economies in China and India fed by oil and gasoline have sent prices soaring over the past year, while tensions in oil producing nations like Nigeria and Iran have increasingly made investors nervous and invited speculators to drive prices even higher.

Violence in Nigeria helped give crude the final push over $100. Bands of armed men invaded Port Harcourt, the center of Nigeria's oil industry Tuesday, attacking two police stations and raiding the lobby of a major hotel. Word that several Mexican oil export ports were closed due to rough weather added to the gains, as did a report that OPEC may not be able to meet its share of global oil demand by 2024.

The White House on Wednesday said it would not release oil from the nation's strategic reserves to drive prices lower. "This president would not use the (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) to manipulate (prices) unless there was a true emergency," said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

· Dear Lord, please provide an abundance of this natural resource to America and Israel and her allies so that we can continue the Good Work that You have begun in us. We ask for Your divine intervention for May those who could die for lack of heat, that they be kept safe and warm in these winter months. For Your glory we pray these things. Amen. · "Arise, O Lord! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, to repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; seek out his wickedness until You find none." (Psalm 10: 12, 14- 15 NKJV)

4. Suicide Bomb at Baghdad Funeral Kills 32 - AP

A suicide attacker killed at least 32 men gathered in eastern Baghdad Tuesday to mourn the death of a retired Iraqi army officer, a Shiite who was slain last week in a car bombing blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq.

· Lord God, we continue to lft up the nation of Iraq, that they migt know Your peace. · "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession." (Psalm 2:8)

5. American Diplomat Killed in Sudan in New Year's Shooting - AP

An American diplomat in Sudan was shot early this morning as he was coming home from a New Year's Eve party at the British Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, Western officials said. He was later reported dead by The Associated Press. His driver, a Sudanese employee of the American Embassy, was also killed.

In Washington, the United States Agency for International Development identified the victim as one of its officials, John Granville, 33, originally of Buffalo, N.Y. American officials said it was "too early to tell" if the shooting was random or planned, but Sudanese officials said the circumstances were suspicious, especially because gun crime is rare in Khartoum, considered one of the safest cities in Africa.

· Pray for the family of Ambassador Granville, that they would be comforted in their time of grief. Pray for the authorities in Sudan, that they be granted wisdom to find the murderer and bring him to justice.

· "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Mark 5:4)

6. Kenyan Church Torched by Mob, Killing at Least 50 - AP

Dozens seeking refuge reportedly trapped in inferno as violence spreads following re-election of Mwai Kibaki.

· Begin to cry out with us on behalf of the persecuted church around the world, daily, by following our new section, below. Include the needs of these precious ones in Kenya in your prayers today.

· The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

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:

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth. " (Psalm 57:11)

1. Olmert sees 'hand of God' in 'peace' process - JNW

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday he believes he can almost see "the hand of God" in the coming together of purportedly Israel-friendly countries which are working to create a Palestinian state on the historical homeland of the Jewish people.

2. 'Weak' Olmert, Abbas will welcome Bush - JNW

When George W. Bush makes his first visit as president to Israel next week, the American will be hosted by politically weak Israeli and "Palestinian" leaders. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestine Liberation Organization/Palestinian Authority chairman, has lost any ability he may had to exercise control over his own people, with inter-Arab violence claiming at least eight "Palestinian" lives in Hamas-Fatah clashes in Gaza Tuesday. This means that Abbas cannot commit himself to ensuring the maintenance of security Israel is looking for before it will be willing to make more concessions to the PA.

3. Arab-on-Arab violence in Gaza threatens Bush visit - JNW

At least eight Palestinian Arabs were killed in the Gaza Strip on the last day of 2007 and the first day of 2008 as tensions between the controlling Hamas terrorist organization and the ousted Fatah terrorist organization exploded once again.

4. Talks with Bush to focus on Iran - Ynet News

Talks between Israeli leaders and US President George W. Bush during his visit to the country next week will focus on both the Palestinian and the Iranian issues, sources in the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday.

5. Barak: West Bank roadblocks to remain in place despite objections - Ynet News

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday refused to dismantle Israel's network of hundreds of roadblocks across the West Bank, sparking an outcry from Palestinians, who complained that they cannot rebuild their violence-shattered economy without freedom of movement for people and goods.

6. 'Al-Hayat': Turkey mediating between Israel, Syria - Jerusalem Post

Direct negotiations between Israel and Syria could materialize if the Turkish mediation which is allegedly underway is successful, Al-Hayat reported Tuesday.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Tonight we are introducing our new, daily prayer point: Prayers for the Persecuted Church. Please join us in praying in the Spirit over the neediest among us, worldwide, who are suffering for the cause of Christ.

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

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

1. Mob Torches Kenyan Church; At Least 50 Killed - AP

A mob torched a church sheltering hundreds of people fleeing election violence Tuesday, killing up to 50 people - including many children - as four days of rioting and ethnic clashes marked one of the darkest times in Kenya's history.

2. India Christians Hiding In Orissa Jungles As Violence Continues - Compass Direct

At least four Christians are feared dead, many injured and more than 50 churches and 200 homes are either destroyed or damaged in Orissa state in anti- Christian violence that began Christmas Eve. Violence by Hindu extremists continues in some pockets despite the state imposing a curfew and deploying hundreds of police officers. Extremists have pursued Christian leaders into forests where they fled. The Delhi Catholic Archdiocese fears a repeat of 1998 attacks on Christians in Gujarat, followed the next year by the burning alive of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons in Orissa.

3. Nigeria Military Patrols City After 10 Die In Religious Clashes - Worthy News

Tensions remained high last month in Nigeria's north- eastern city of Bauchi after up to 10 people were killed, 30 critically injured and three churches reportedly set on fire in clashes between Muslim and Christian communities, BosNewsLife monitored.

4. A Personal Note from Friends in Kenya

The precious Body of Christ in Kenya is in great danger as I write this. We just received information that an Assembly of God church in Eldoret, Kenya was just burned to the ground by godless and lawless men. As many as 50 people inside taking refuge were burned to death. Many of these were children. Undoubtedly, most of them were Christians who had gathered to pray for their nation. This terrible act against the Body of Christ took place less than an hour's drive from our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ taking refuge at Pastor Joshua Atieno's compound and church. There are many widows and orphans at St. Luke's Church and Ministries.

We just received the following report from Jeremy McClintock: "I spoke with Pastor Joshua briefly this morning (the 1st) and they are all well right now and staying indoors, but they are in desperate need for food. They are worried about violence and cannot travel into the city which is about 40 minutes away from their compound. If you can, please spread the word and ask if people would pray for a miracle that food would come to them to feed his family, the orphans and the widows there at St. Luke's." Jeremy (Source: Court Wood, In Jesus' Name Ministries)

5. KENYA: How you can help

If you would like to help our brethren in Kenya, designate your gift "for our Kenyan brethren." Make your gift payable to In Jesus' Name Ministries and send to PO Box 350 Strasburg, VA 22657. If you call our office at 540-465-4755, and advise us of the amount of your gift, we will be able to wire your help as soon as Pastor Joshua Atieno lets us know it is safe for him to go into town.

Thank you so much for praying, and for helping if you can.

Gratefully your servants in Jesus Christ,

Court and Sandy Wood

Terrorist Bodyguards for President Bush

Terrorist Bodyguards for President Bush

You can apparently choose your friends but not your bodyguards. In a year when stories from the Middle East have often defied logic, now President Bush will have members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, armed to the teeth, as his bodyguards.

This intriguing event will take place January 9, when the President makes his swift dash into Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority [PA] chairman Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen].

The twist in the tale of this absurdity is Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is the military wing of the Abbas' led Fatah and is listed by the US State Department as a "terrorist organization." They have taken credit for suicide bombings in Israel in 2005 and 2006 and have a long list of shootings and rocket launching activities.

WorldNetDaily broke the story this week. They spoke with a chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Ramallah who also serves as a senior officer in Force 17, the PA presidential guard unit. He confirmed to WND he had been "slated to patrol the road outside Abbas' compound during his meeting with President Bush."

The Israeli security for the Presidential visit is likely to cause chaos in the region. 8,000 police officers will be on duty. Thousands from the local fire departments will be on duty. The main highway between Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will be completely closed to civilian traffic as the US convoy moves out to attend meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

There are reports that armored vehicles from the USA are being shipped to Israel for the event.

Radical groups are marshalling to protest and proclaim their points of view at various locations. This will add to the sensitivity of the situation and the extreme state of high alert surrounding the visit.

(By Ron Ross, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, December 27, 2007)

Prayer Focus
Pray that the Lord will protect President Bush and all who participate in his visit to the Middle East.

"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:11)

Links to Other Resources

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

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