Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Thursday, October 29, 2015
". . . But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." (Romans 5:20)
". . . the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm . . . " (Nahum 1:3)
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)
1. 8,000 homes still without power two days after storm - Times of Israel
Close to 8,000 Israeli households remained without power Tuesday morning - two full days after a storm pummeled the country with strong winds and heavy rain. Meanwhile, new findings showed that Israel Electric Corporation workers deliberately dragged their feet in the wake of the storm over an ongoing labor dispute.
The IEC's management petitioned the National Labor Court Sunday night to order its employees to work in emergency mode after it discovered that some employees were purposely keeping to their usual shift hours despite the storm, apparently at the instruction of the union. Management further opted not to immediately notify state regulators of the labor dispute on Sunday, despite the fact that nearly 200,000 households had already been without power for hours, the financial daily The Marker reported Tuesday, citing Labor Court records.
2. Cabinet officially designates 3 terrorist groups - Israel Hayom
The cabinet on Sunday officially designated the Islamic State group, the Nusra Front and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades as terrorist organizations, effectively outlawing any affiliation with them. The decision followed a recommendation by the Shin Bet security agency.
Speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was "constantly fighting terrorist organizations."
3. Jewish, Zionist Groups Warn of 'Legal Battles' in Response to Academic Boycott Announcement in 'The Guardian' -Algemeiner
Jewish and Zionist groups responded furiously to a full page advertisement in the Tuesday edition of the UK Guardian that supported an academic boycott of Israel, signed by 343 academic staff.
"Today's Guardian (UK) newspaper ad of 343 academicians calling for a boycott of Israeli Universities and other educational institutions is yet another test of earlier failures," said Simon Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels.
Samuels noted that the British Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) was already legally counseled eight years ago that any formal boycott of Israel is unlawful.
4. UN resolution would freeze settlements, Palestinian lawsuits- Times of Israel
In the latest effort to revive direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, New Zealand has drafted a UN resolution that reportedly calls for a freeze on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and for Palestinians to abandon their bid to take legal action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
The draft resolution would assert that the Security Council is "very concerned" over the stalled peace talks, and call on both parties to "take the necessary measures to rebuild confidence and prepare for the resumption of negotiations," based on a two-state solution, Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
5. Israel welcomes French proposal for Netanyahu-Abbas meeting - Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "anyplace and anytime," an official in the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday in response to a French effort to set up such an encounter.
The trouble, the official said, "is that the Palestinians have refused such a meeting."
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raised the idea of such a meeting last week during a meeting he had in Paris with Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who is also the head of negotiations with the Palestinians. While the PMO has responded positively to the idea, the Palestinians - according to the official - continue to refuse to meet.
6. Top Hamas official: This intifada will never stop - Israel National News
Hamas's former interior minister recently declared that Allah had created man "to wage jihad" and declared that "this intifada will never stop".
The address by Fathi Hammad aired on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV on October 19 and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
According to Hammad, Allah took it upon himself "to persecute the Jews - the slayers of the Prophets, the bloodsuckers, the killers of the martyrs and of anyone who sacrifices himself."
7. Weekly Update from Insight for Intercessors
To read this update, please go here.
The Daily Brief
1. Russian aircraft approach USS Ronald Reagan, prompting US fighter jet scramble - Stripes
The USS Ronald Reagan scrambled its fighter jets earlier this week after two Russian naval reconnaissance aircraft flew within one nautical mile of the U.S. aircraft carrier as it sailed in international waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to 7th Fleet officials.
- Father, we do not know what Mr Putin is up to in the actions of his military, but we do know that our military may be in harm's way. We pray for Your strength and wisdom to know when to engage and when not to engage.
-"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom and in all your getting, get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)
2. Western and Gulf allies set out 'timetable' for Assad ahead of talks with Iran- Telegraph
Western allies demanding President Bashar al-Assad stand down as Syrian leader have agreed they can support him remaining in a transitional government as long as there is a "precise timetable" for his ultimate departure, France said on Wednesday.
Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, was outlining the common position of European countries including Britain, the United States, and their Gulf allies led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar in advance of a new attempt at peace talks scheduled for Vienna on Friday.
- Father, we realize that removing Assad will likely not occur. We pray that there would be a solution to the problem that would NOT leave the scattered jihadist factions in control of Syria. We pray for Your Spirit to start a wave of heart change in the region.
-"Because they do not change, therefore they do not fear God." (Psalm 55:19b)
3. China one-child policy to end- CNN
China will allow two children for every couple, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Thursday, a move that would effectively dismantle the remnants of the country's one-child policy that had been eased in recent years.
- Father, while this is a step in the right direction, the government of China is still a Communist, repressive regime. We pray that Your Spirit will invade their hearts and change the course of their nation.
-"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
4. US special forces reportedly in covert combat for months against ISIS - Watch.org
U.S. special operations forces reportedly have carried out several covert combat missions against ISIS over the past year, contrary to the Pentagon's insistence that operations like last week's raid of an ISIS-held prison in northern Iraq was a "unique" circumstance.
-"For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."
5. ISIS Hostage Feels 'Born Again' After Witnessing Christian Captives' Strong Faith- Christian Post
A Syrian priest who was held captive for months by the Islamic State terror group before being released said he was kept in an underground dormitory with 250 other Christians who refused to convert to Islam despite being pressured every day.
"The Christians were often questioned about their faith and about the Christian doctrine, and they did not convert to Islam despite much pressure. They were faithful to the recitation of the rosary. This experience of trial strengthened the faith of everyone, including my faith as a priest. It is as if I have been born again," Father Jacques Murad, prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian, shared of his experience, according to Agenzia Fides.
- Father, we thank You for the testimony of strong Christians. We ask that You infuse all of them with Your might and power, making them truly "born again" - not just for a priest, but for the ISIS fighters who see them.
-"He shall call upon Me and I will answer him." (Psalm 91:15a)
6. Ryan succeeds Boehner as House speaker
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan succeeded retiring John Boehner as House speaker on Thursday, appealing for unity as he embarks on the tough task of trying to heal deep divisions in the party and the chamber itself.
As he took the gavel after easily winning election on the floor, the Wisconsin congressman declared "the House is broken" and called for a fresh start.
"We're not solving problems, we're adding to them," Ryan said, adding that going forward: "We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean."
- Father, this was the candidate we did not want to succeed John Boehner. But we ask that no matter what we see, Your will shall be done. We pray for the heart of Speaker Ryan, that he be guided by You in all decisions that will now come before him. We ask that You grant him Your wisdom, in the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
- "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs 9:10)
7. BREAKING: High school boots praying football coach- Fox
Coach Joe Kennedy has been booted from the locker room at Bremerton High School in Washington State, Fox News has learned exclusively.
Superintendent Aaron Leavell placed the longtime coach on administrative leave after he refused to stop his post-game prayers.
- Lord, we ask that You protect this man who loves You and gives You honor. Order his steps and keep him in Your perfect will. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
-"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
8. 'Not a cage match': Cruz, others scold GOP debate moderators - Fox
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz rocked an already feisty Republican presidential debate Wednesday night by accusing the moderators of trying to put on a "cage match," putting the questioners on their heels with criticism echoed by several other candidates on stage.
The debate in Boulder, Colo., featured plenty of sparring among the candidates, but Cruz' challenge seemed to change the dynamic early on. Getting a strong reaction from the crowd -- and from others beyond the debate -- Cruz scolded the moderators for their questions, which included one to Donald Trump asking if he's running a "comic book" campaign.
- Lord, we thank You that at least one candidate stood up to the moderators last night. We continue to ask that the right man come forth from this field, someone who loves You and refuses to be shaken. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
- "I know whom I have chosen" (John 13:18)
9. Australia to join Chinese navy exercises in South China Sea - Reuters
Two Australian warships will hold exercises with the Chinese navy in the South China Sea next week, Australia's defense minister said on Thursday, just days after a U.S. navy patrol near a man-made Chinese island in the disputed waters angered Beijing. The HMAS Stuart and HMAS Arunta will visit China's main South China Sea base of Zhanjiang in the southern province of Guangdong ahead of drills scheduled for early next week, Marise Payne said.
"The Royal Australian Navy has a long history of engagement with regional navies and regularly conducts port visits and exercises - including in China," Payne said in a statement. "There have been no changes or delays to the schedule of the HMAS Arunta and HMAS Stuart since the United States activity in the South China Sea on 27 October 2015." (Read more)
- Father God, we are surprised to see this report today, as Australia has always been a strong ally of the United States. We know not why their leaders have now chosen this course of action, but we ask that only good results would come forth from this decision. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
10. Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria face-to-face for first time - Reuters
RIYADH/DUBAI Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they would attend international talks in Vienna on Friday on the Syrian conflict, in what will be their first meeting to discuss the four-year-long war.
Saudi Arabia said it aimed to gauge during the talks the willingness of Iran and Russia, the main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, for a peace deal, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Wednesday.
"The view of our partners ... was that we should test the intentions of the Iranians and the Russians in arriving at a political solution in Syria, which we all prefer," al-Jubeir told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and three of his deputies will travel to Vienna, Iranian state news agencies said. It will be the first time that Tehran has been represented in international discussions on the Syrian crisis. (Read more)
- Father God, in these increasingly perilous times, it seems that every headline in the news warrants our prayerful intervention. As these two, age-old enemies meet at the same table tomorrow in Vienna, we thank You that You are hovering over these talks. Saudi Arabia has traditionally seen Iran as its enemy. Lord, cause the scales to fall off their eyes that they might know whom they are talking to, and the inherent danger this may present. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." (John 14:14)
The Daily Jot
Thursday, October 28, 2015
Following God rather than men
The longstanding principle of government is that people give up some rights for the protection of civil government. America was formed with limited government to supply protections enumerated in the Constitution that the people may be as free and safe as possible to live their lives as they see fit. Irrespective of whether one believes revisionist history or will delve into finding the truth, America's founding fathers agreed that the Word of God was the foundational standard for this government of the people, by the people and for the people, hence the reference to rights endowed by the Creator. Laws were created to provide protection and order to society. This is the model God gave Moses. We are subject to this system.
Paul wrote in Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." He goes on to say that rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Verses 7-8 say, "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law." He then writes about the laws found in the Commandments and how we must follow them. So many use these verses to say that we must submit to government whether it is evil or not because it is sovereign of God.
Herein lies a great mystery. In verse 12:21, the last verse before Romans 13:1, Paul writes, "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." So what if a government is evil? Christ is the example. He subjected himself to the rulers and the government, but stood firm in the laws of God. His example revolutionized the world and its governments. Peter and the Apostles were told by the ruling authorities to not preach the Gospel. They did it anyway, saying in Acts 4:19, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye," and in 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men." So do you follow government and men even if they are evil, or follow God? Is silence/inaction approval?
The Prophets of the Bible point toward terrible things occurring as the world enters the end times. It seems that the US president's policies supporting the death cult of Islam are part of the positioning of God's end time plan. Yet many suffer horribly as it plays out. This does not mean that we do nothing against this evil, justifying our inaction as subjection to the sovereignty of God through government. We will not prevent God's sovereign plan, especially by standing for what is right. Irrespective of what we do God will have his way. We are instructed to stand against evil, and having done all to stand, even while God's plan is in motion. My conclusion: It is perilous for one to hide behind the "sovereignty of government" as an excuse to do nothing in the face of evil, i.e., when Christians are being slaughtered due to the policies of government.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, introduced a resolution of impeachment against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The impeachment resolution was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
"Commissioner Koskinen violated the public trust. He failed to comply with a congressionally issued subpoena, documents were destroyed on his watch, and the public was consistently misled," Chaffetz said. "Impeachment is the appropriate tool to restore public confidence in the IRS and to protect the institutional interests of Congress."
I agree. It is unconscionable that no one has been held accountable for the gross abuses that took place at the IRS during the Tea Party targeting scandal. Since the Obama Justice Department is refusing to take action, the House of Representatives must act. (Gary Bauer)
The Establishment's Nervous Breakdown
The Establishment's Nervous Breakdown
As Trump and Carson fight for the lead, establishment candidates were at first dismayed. Then they were in denial. Now they appear to be melting down.
First, Jeb Bush said he had cooler things to do than put up with angry voters and the current political process. Yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich lashed out at conservatives, saying, "I've about had it with these people."
Kasich launched into a tirade against several other candidates, grossly distorting their views and suggesting that he wasn't all that interested in entitlement reform, major tax reform or doing anything about securing our borders. Kasich asked, "What has happened to our party? What has happened to the conservative movement?"
With all due respect, governor, frustrated conservatives have been asking those very questions for years as they watched the debt pile up and our values get eviscerated. If the choice in America boils down to a liberal party and a less liberal party, there's little incentive for conservatives to vote and Democrats will win every time. (Gary Bauer)
First Amendment Defense Act (FADA)
Since the Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage decision, the desperate need for FADA has been plain, but FADA has come to a near standstill as Congress tends to other priorities. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is supporting the federal courts as they impose same-sex marriage in the states; and 2) local jurisdictions like the Houston City Council and the Fairfax County Virginia School Board persist in passing sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI) "rights" measure on communities and public school students. Such actions will continue to escalate unless 1) pastors and people get seriously involved, and 2) a federal FADA is passed to strengthen and enforce the First Amendment guarantees to the American people. Until then stories like Kim Davis, Barronelle Stutzman, Aaron and Melissa Klein and others will only proliferate across America with great harm to Christian families and religious liberty. Only prayer will jumpstart FADA!
- Pray that God's people will awaken to the present and escalating threat we and our children face. May pastors enlist in the fight and lead their people to reclaim religious liberty. May FADA find new life and may Congress pass and the President sign it!
- "Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them." (Ezek. 22:26)
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Defunding ObamaCare, P.P.
Defunding ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood
The House of Representatives voted Friday, 240-189 on a Continuing resolution (CR) reconciliation bill that would defund the bulk of federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year, and to end parts of ObamaCare: the individual and employer mandates, the "Cadillac tax" and the medical device tax. The measure will by no means gut ObamaCare, but is a beginning.
Because reconciliation is not subject to filibuster, only 51 votes are needed in the Senate to pass. However, the House GOP leadership agreed to a secret budget deal with the White House and House Democrats announced just before midnight Monday that would fund the government for two years, reportedly giving the President unlimited spending and borrowing authority so long as the military and domestic spending increases are matched dollar for dollar.
So the secret budget deal that disallowed participation by rank and file conservatives, it appears, will trump the need for temporary funding via the CR and effectively scuttle the Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare defunding plan outlined above. The new bill could pass as early as late Wednesday in the House. Sen. Rand Paul promises a Senate filibuster and others may join him.
- May God-fearing Americans continue to act to defund Planned Parenthood and prevail! President Obama might veto it, but the guilt will be on our hands if we do not make every effort to end the shedding of innocent blood with our tax dollars!
- "And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (I Samuel 17:26)
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
The 50-Yard Line
The 50-Yard Line:
Forbes, Lankford Send Letter in Support of High School Coach's Freedom to Pray with Students
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), together with 45 other members of the House and Senate, addressed a letter to Bremerton School District Superintendent Aaron Leavell and Bremerton High School Principal John Polm, expressing concern over reports that the Bremerton School District views Coach Joseph Kennedy's tradition of quietly praying at the fifty yard line after the conclusion of school football games as unlawful under the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
- Lord, we pray that this school district will relent from pressuring Coach Joseph Kennedy to cease this time of quiet prayer with his team at the end of each game. We ask this in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (I Tim. 2:1,2)
Our Grandmothers' Songs
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
SOFTLY AND TENDERLY JESUS IS CALLING
"He's calling you!" (Mark 10:49)
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling- Calling for you and for me; Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching- Watching for you and for me!
Come home! come home!
Ye who are weary, come home!
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading- Pleading for you and for me? Why should we linger and heed not His mercies- Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing- Passing from you and from me; Shadows are gathering, death-beds are coming- Coming for you and for me!
Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised- Promised for you and for me! Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon- Pardon for you and for me!
Please go here.
About the Author:
Words and Music: Will Lamartine Thompson, 1880
About this hymn:
When the world-renowned lay preacher, Dwight Lyman Moody, lay on his death bed in his Northfield, Massachusetts, home, Will Thompson made a special visit to inquire as to his condition. The attending physician refused to admit him to the sickroom, and Moody heard them talking just outside the bedroom door. Recognizing Thompson's voice, he called for him to come to his bedside. Taking the Ohio poet-composer by the hand, the dying evangelist said, "Will, I would rather have written "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling" than anything I have been able to do in my whole life."
This hymn was sung in the Academy Award winning movie "Trip to Bountiful" (1985), and at a memorial service for American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, April 8, 1968.
Signs and Wonders
Oxygen discovered on Rosetta comet, stunning scientists
Scientists have for the first time detected oxygen on a comet, a finding that could upend theories about how the solar system was formed.
Reporting their findings in the journal Nature on Wednesday, an international team said that they detected "a lot" of molecular oxygen in the cloud of gas, or coma, surrounding the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
While molecular oxygen has been found in Jupiter and Saturn, it's never been found on a comet. The neutral gas comas of most comets are composed largely of water, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
"It is the most surprising discovery we have made so far in 67P because oxygen was not among the molecules suspected in a cometary comas," Kathrin Altwegg, one of the co-authors on the paper from the University of Bern, told reporters during a press conference Tuesday.
"The first time we saw it I think we all went a little bit into denial because it was not expected to be found in a comet," she said. "Molecular oxygen is very reactive. There was a lot of hydrogen around when the solar system was formed. Everybody and all models showed that molecular oxygen would react with the hydrogen and would no longer be present as molecular oxygen."
. . . Now, it could force scientists to reconsider how the solar system was formed. . . (Fox News) Read more here.
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." (Luke 21:25)
The Good News Corner
China Announces They Will End the One-Child Policy;
Will Allow Couples Two Children
China's ruling Communist Party announced Thursday that it will abolish the country's decades-old one-child policy and allow all couples to have two children, removing remaining restrictions that limited many urban couples to only one, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The move to allow all couples to have two children was "to improve the balanced development of population" and to deal with an aging population, Xinhua said on its microblog.
Citigroup researchers said they expected a 5 to 10 percent rise in Chinese births, according to The Associated Press.
The widely unpopular policy was first introduced in 1979 as a temporary measure to curb a surging population and limit demands for water and other resources. It was long considered one of the party's most onerous intrusions into family life.
But the country has been moving toward easing family planning restrictions in recent years due to a variety of factors, including a looming labor crisis. China's working-age population is drastically shrinking, and the United Nations projects that China will lose 67 million workers from 2010 to 2030. Meanwhile, China's elderly population is expected to rise from 110 million in 2010 to 210 million in 2030. By 2050, the seniors will account for a quarter of the population.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
"Amazing Grace" - Chris Tomlin
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.