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The Daily Brief
"Praying for All in Authority"
Monday, February 19, 2018
"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." " (2 Chronicles 20:12)
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"Standing United Together . . . Under the Cross of Christ"
Focus on Parkland
Focus on Parkland
Updated news for prayer
Dear Saints of the Most High God,
Below please find several articles related to the aftermath of the horrific shootings of 17 students and staff at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week.
As the news surrounding this tragedy continues to unfold, it is clear that this story has impacted our entire nation, much as did the attacks of 9/11.
Clearly, this issue of stopping these shootings, and gun control measures, will also now become a huge issue in the upcoming midterm elections in Congress.
We ask you all to please lift each matter before our Lord now, praying in the Spirit as you do so, unless otherwise indicated. Thank you.
1. The Florida School Shooting Suspect Flew Into A Jealous Rage When Another Student Began Dating His Ex-Girlfriend - BuzzFeed News
PARKLAND, Florida - Three students who knew the suspected high school shooter told BuzzFeed News they reported him to school administrators for erratic behavior and threatening them after an ex-girlfriend broke up with him and began seeing another teenager.
The students who spoke to BuzzFeed News - Dana Craig, 16; her boyfriend, Matthew Rosario, 16; and Enea Sabadini, 17 - said that such a fight happened, and that it was the culmination of a jealous and angry period for Cruz because Enea began dating Cruz's ex-girlfriend. Three other friends who asked BuzzFeed News not to use their names, for privacy reasons, confirmed their accounts.
"I'm going to watch you bleed," read an Instagram message sent under Cruz's name to Enea in 2017, when students said Cruz was no longer at the school. "I am going to shoot you dead." Another message said Enea "stole my ex." (Read more)
- Father, there seems to be so many indications that this young man was prone to violence. We are saddened that actions were not taken soon enough to prevent his rampage in Florida. We continue to lift up the families who have suffered terribly from his actions. We speak Your peace and comfort upon them.
- "So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." (John 16:22)
2. Trump slams FBI over 'missed signals' on Florida shooting, asserts Russia was distraction - Fox News
President Donald Trump urged the FBI to "get back to the basics" Saturday night after an embarrassing series of mistakes in connection with the Parkland, Fla., massacre.
"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter," the president tweeted late Saturday. "This is not acceptable."
The president then asserted that the agency was perhaps distracted by the investigation into possible Trump administration ties to Russia.
"They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign," the president wrote. "There is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" (Read more)
3. Florida Gov. Rick Scott calls for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign in wake of Parkland school shooting - Fox News
Florida Gov. Rick Scott called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign Friday in the wake of revelations the bureau ignored a Jan. 5 tip about Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 when he opened fire on Valentine's Day.
The agency said earlier Thursday in a statement that it received a call in January from a person close to Cruz through its Public Access Line tipline to express concerns about Cruz's erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts. That tip said that Cruz had a gun, wanted to "kill people" and there was the "potential of him conducting a school shooting."
Scott said Wray must resign, saying acknowledging a mistake "isn't going to cut it.." "An apology will never bring these 17 Floridians back to life or comfort the families who are in pain. The families will spend a lifetime wondering how this could happen, and an apology will never give them the answers they desperately need," he said in a statement.
"We constantly promote 'see something, say something,' and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act. 'See something, say something' is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign." (Read more)
4. Limbaugh suggests armed security is only answer to mass shootings at schools - Fox News
Conservative talk radio star Rush Limbaugh on Sunday returned to the argument that allowing concealed weapons in classrooms -- not demonstrations or blaming the NRA -- is the way to stop school shootings, speaking three days after 17 people were killed in a Florida high school.
"The solution is we need concealed carry in schools," Limbaugh told "Fox News Sunday." "We need a mechanism to be defensive. It's better to have mechanisms in schools to stop it when it breaks out."
"We have armed security at every public entity except schools," Limbaugh said.
5. Florida school shooting survivors plan march demanding end to gun violence - Fox News
Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who lived through last week's deadly shooting at their Florida school called for more discussion on gun control and announced on Sunday a march planned for next month. Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Alex Wind and Jaclyn Corin spoke to "Fox News Sunday" about the need for more discussion on gun control after 17 people were killed in Wednesday's deadly shooting.
"Please stop allowing us to be gunned down in our hallways," Gonzalez, a high school senior, told "Fox News Sunday." "People are telling us that we should run for president, but we want an education." Kasky, a junior, said nationwide demonstrations called the "March For Our Lives" have been planned for March 24 to bring more awareness to gun control.
"One of the things we've been hearing is it's not the time yet to talk about gun control. And we respect that. We've lost 17 lives, and our community took 17 bullets to the heart, and it's difficult to come back from that. So here's the time we're going to talk about gun control," Kasky said.
Organizers urged people to join them in Washington, D.C., or march in their own city in an effort to end gun violence. "The 'March For Our Lives' is going to be in every major city and we are organizing it so students everywhere can beg for our lives. Because at the end of the day, this isn't about the red and blue, the GOP and the Democrats, this is about adults and kids," he added. (Read more)
- Father, we understand that this call for a national march to protest school shootings has been birthed by the pain and the anguish in the hearts of these students. We ask that You protect the marchers, and to draw a bloodline around each event, for their protection. We also ask that a CLEAR and a COMMON vision be realized for these marches, so that all extraneous groups are set aside. And finally, as relates to the issue of gun control, Father we ask for Your wisdom to prevail, even as our own right to bear arms is preserved. Let this be a time of healing, amen.
- "For I will restore you to health And I will heal you of your wounds,' declares the Lord, 'Because they have called you an outcast, saying: "It is Zion; no one cares for her."' (Jeremiah 30:17)
6. US Gun Lovers Defend Rights amid Debate for More Restrictions - Newsmax
Every mass shooting reveals the deep fissures in American society between those who favor fewer restrictions on guns and gun ownership, and those who demand greater controls. The "right of the people to keep and bear arms" is guaranteed under the US Constitution's Second Amendment, which was adopted in 1791.
"The focus on gun control is an error and it won't stop someone determined to commit crimes," said Vallone, raising a common argument among pro-gun advocates.
"I own guns, I choose to own guns, I choose to carry guns. That's my choice. It's not for everyone, I absolutely agree with that. Everybody needs a background check, I'm having a background check right now," he said, pointing at the gun vendor who was looking at a laptop.
In the US, adults with a clean criminal record can generally buy a gun, as was the case with Nikolas Cruz in Parkland. Regulatory loopholes also allow for certain gun sales without background checks. (Read more)
7. A Prayer from Anne Graham Lotz
I am at a loss for words. What else can be said about the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida? So many shattered lives have left me numb, with a nauseous knot in the pit of my stomach. I want to gather every one of those mothers, every one of those fathers, every one of those siblings, every one of those classmates, every one of those teachers and coaches and administrators, every one of them, and place them in the arms of Jesus.
O God, hear our sobs! Our screams! Our silence! Our pain is white-hot. We are angry. We are broken. We are oppressed. Please, comfort the grieving. Speak peace to the fearful. Draw near to those who are crushed in spirit. Bind up their wounds.
Give us all an abhorrence of evil. Expose the plots and schemes of the wicked before they are carried out. Protect our children and our grandchildren. Guard us. Heal us. Make us whole again. We look to You . . .
Please join me in praying for the families, friends, and classmates of all 17 victims, who are named here.
-- Anne Graham Lotz
Focus on Israel
1. Israeli Air Force Strikes Six Gaza Targets Following Border Attack- Jerusalem Post
A home in the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council was directly hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip Saturday evening following an attack on the border in which four soldiers were wounded. A bomb was detonated against their jeep as they patrolled the border fence on Saturday. In response, the air force and army attacked numerous terrorist targets.
Two soldiers were in serious condition, one was moderately wounded, and one was lightly wounded, the army said. They were evacuated by helicopter to Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba. (Read more)
2. Hamas says it used anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets over Gaza - Times of Israel
Amid escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Hamas's military wing, Izz ad Din al Qassam, claimed on Saturday night that it had used anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets flying over the coastal territory.
A brief statement issued by the terror group said that its aircraft targeted Israeli jets as they were launching airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
"This came in the frame of confronting the ongoing Zionist aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip," the group claimed without elaborating. The IDF declined to comment on the claim, citing its policy not to respond to "external reports." (Read more)
3. Waving piece of downed drone, PM threatens direct military action against Iran - Times of Israel
Brandishing a fragment of an Iranian drone downed over northern Israel a week ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned that Israel could strike the Islamic Republic directly and cautioned Tehran not to "test Israel's resolve."
"Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? You should, it's yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran - do not test Israel's resolve!" proclaimed Netanyahu at the Munich Security Conference, which was also attended by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The Iranian drone, which entered northern Israel from Syria near the Jordan border last Saturday, was shot down by an Israeli attack helicopter. In response to the drone incursion, Israeli jets attacked the mobile command center from which it was operated, the army said last week. (Read more)
4. Jerusalem: Demonstration in support of Netanyahu - Israel National News
About 100 people took part on Saturday evening in a demonstration in support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu outside his Jerusalem residence.
Likud Youth chairman David Shain, one of the organizers of the demonstration, said, "We all felt it was important to come here to embrace the prime minister and to express our support for him despite the rain. We are here to say to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - go forward, the people behind you."
The demonstration was attended by Likud MKs Amir Ohana and Nava Boker, as well as citizens from all over the country. Despite the weather, buses with young Likud activists and concerned citizens from all over the country left the city centers and headed to the protest.
"No incitement and no weather will move us from the truth - the Likud government was elected by the people and only they have the right to deprive the Likud of it. Despite the well-funded campaign of defamation, we support the prime minister's innocence and stand by his important work for the people of Israel," added Shain. (Read more)
5. Caroline Glick: Israel's 'Deep State' Targets Netanyahu with Bogus Charges - Breitbart
During the prime time news broadcasts Tuesday evening in Israel, the dramatic news was announced that Israel Police investigators are recommending that Israel's Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery and breach of trust charges in two investigations. Since Netanyahu served his first term as prime minister from 1996 until 1999, he and his wife Sara have been the subjects of 19 police probes and or investigations. The endless stream of criminal investigations against Netanyahu has involved investigating witnesses across the globe, and has cost tens of millions of shekels to Israeli taxpayers.
At the end of this long, 22-year road, what we have are just two charges - which, if anything, show that Netanyahu is probably most worthless bribe-taker in history. Some commentators claimed on Tuesday night that the police deliberately threw every possible charge at Netanyahu to pressure the Attorney General into indicting him for something. The bias against Netanyahu that Alsheich revealed so extravagantly in his interview last Wednesday night, and the thousands of hours and tens of millions of shekels that the police have invested over the past 22 years in their endless pursuit of Netanyahu and his family, now stand in the balance. If Netanyahu is cleared - and given the weakness of the charges against him, it's hard to see how he can be indicted - then the police will lose their credibility and the public trust. (Read more)
6. Israel Thwarts Second Attempt in Two Days to Blow up the Samaria Military Court - Bridges for Peace
Thursday, 15 February 2018 │ Israeli security forces yesterday thwarted an attempt by a trio of Palestinian terrorists carrying pipe bombs to blow up the Samaria Military Court-the second such attempt at terror in as many days.
According to a statement by the Israel police, a border police officer doing security checks at the entrance to the facility in Salem in northern Samaria noticed the three Palestinians acting suspiciously. . .
Yesterday's incident marked the sixth failed attempt by Palestinian terrorists to bomb this particular target since October last year, the third attempt this week and the second in as many days.
- Praise God for the many Israeli lives that were saved thanks to the security forces' alertness, vigilance and the bomb squad's expertise Pray that God will continue to guide the steps of all Israel's security forces and the IDF and pray for wisdom to know how to combat bombing attempts.
- Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken. (Psalm 34:19-20)
(Prayers offered by Bridges for Peace)
7. Israeli Security Forces Continue Seeking Killer of Rabbi Who Was Murdered Last Week - Bridges for Peace
Monday, 12 February 2018 | The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) remains on high alert across the West Bank [Judea-Samaria] over the weekend, as the search continues for Abed al-Karim Adel Assi, the Israeli-Arab man who stabbed and killed Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal on last week in Ariel.
The IDF increased its deployment of soldiers in the West Bank last week after concluding that two recent terrorist attacks could potentially inspire similar attacks. Security agencies are also concerned that protests following Friday prayers could result in increased violence.
- Lift up the IDF this week, asking for strength (both mental and physical), energy, wisdom, selfless service, personal courage and integrity as they search for the killer of Rabbi Ben Gal and prepare for increased protests and clashes. Ask God to protect each one of them as they are often targeted as victims of terror-stabbing attacks and rock throwing.
- "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him." (Psalm 28:7)
(Prayers offered by Bridges for Peace)
8. Bridges for Peace: Israel Prayer Update
Friday, February 16, 2018
To read this alert, please go here.
9. Intercessors for Israel - Friday Prayer Points
Friday, February 16, 2018
To read this alert, please go here.
The Daily Brief
1. U.S. officials: Trump, Netanyahu to meet at White House on March 5 - Jerusalem Post
US President Donald Trump will host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a meeting at the White House on March 5, two US officials said on Friday.
"The president has a great relationship with the prime minister and looks forward to meeting with him," a White House official said.
The meeting will be the fifth between Trump and Netanyahu since Trump took office in January 2017 and comes as Netanyahu faces a legal firestorm at home. (Read more)
- Abba Father, we bring forth to Your heavenly throne room the leaders of these two nations which are close to Your heart: Israel and the USA. We pray that You will prepare their minds, spirits and hearts to continue to speak with respect and dignity towards each other. We seek Your guidance for them as they work out the details to establish a peace agreement that will protect the sovereign boundaries of the land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This peace agreement would allow Israel and her neighbors to dwell beside each other without having to endure constant striving, acts of violence and terrorism. Abba, we know from previous history that this sought-after peace is only possible when Your truth and justice prevail. Let it be as You would have it be, with Your timing and plans, praying this in Yeshua's Mighty Name, Amen and Amen.
- "The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD." (Proverbs 16:1)
2. US and Iran call on each other to withdraw from Syria - Jerusalem Post
Iran must remove its military from Syria, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday while visiting Jordan as part of a week-long regional trip to discuss threats to the stability of the Middle East. "We think Iran needs to withdraw its military, its militia from Syria, and allow the hope for a peace process to take hold in Geneva," Tillerson said.
The Islamic Republic immediately shot back that it was the US that had to leave the Syrian theater. Just one day before his arrival on Sunday, Israel shot down an Iranian made drone that was launched into its airspace from Syria. Israel attacked the launch site in Syria, and an Israel Air Force F-16 jet was shot down. Its two crew members ejected in Israel. "We are quite concerned about the recent incident involving Israel and Iranian assets inside of Syria, and I think this again illustrates why Iran's presence in Syria is only destabilizing to the region," Tillerson said.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said in response, "Iran's military presence in Syria was based on invitation of the Syrian government. "Those should leave Syria who are there without the permission of the Syrian legal government," Velayati was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Tillerson, who heads to Beirut on Thursday (2/15), told reporters that Iran plays a destabilizing role in Lebanon as well. "I will be going to Beirut tomorrow to meet with leaders in Beirut about Lebanon's future. We support a free, democratic Lebanon free of influence of others, and we know that Lebanese Hezbollah is influenced by Iran. This is influence that we think is unhelpful in Lebanon's long-term future," Tillerson said.
In New York, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley attacked Iran, and defended Israel, during a Security Council debate on Syria. "Iran was once again doing what it does - risking conflict, and testing the will of its neighbors and opponents to resist its aggression. Israel rightly took action to defend itself. The United States will always stand by our ally when confronted with provocations from Iran, Hezbollah or the Assad regime," Haley said. (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, this report reflects a festering long term conflict rising up to a crisis point which could be destructive for many people groups. Israel has already 'stood its ground' regarding their sovereign right to protect their nation and its people. Abba Father, we ask for You to intervene and do what only You can do, so that the confrontation that is building will fall into Your timeline and plans for each nation involved. We pray for You to intervene to diffuse these confrontations. We lift this up to You in the Mighty Name of Yeshua, Amen and Amen.
- Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. They have said, "Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more." (Psalm 83:1-4)
3. Jewish groups urge resignation of Rep. Keith Ellison over ties to Louis Farrakhan - World Israel News
Major Jewish groups, including the leading organization representing Jewish Democrats, are strongly criticizing Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) over his previously undisclosed contacts with Rev. Louis Farrakhan, head of the anti-Semitic political and religious movement Nation of Islam. Some Jewish leaders are urging Ellison to step down as deputy chairman of the Democratic Party.
When Ellison first ran for Congress in 2006, he insisted he had severed all ties with Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, which Ellison had belonged to in the 1990s. Similarly, when Ellison ran for chairman of the Democratic Party in 2016, he reiterated that he had long ago distanced himself from Farrakhan.
But a series of reports in The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Caller in recent days revealed that Ellison has participated in at least three meetings with Farrakhan since entering Congress.
Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, said that Ellison "demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment by participating in a meeting with one of America's most notorious anti-Semites and the leader of a regime that has called for Israel's annihilation," and therefore "should resign as deputy chairman of the Democratic Party." (Read more)
- Father God, we thank You that these American citizens are speaking up and demanding that a key leader of their political party resign, due to his continued affiliation with Louis Farrakhan. Lord God, Farrakhan is a dangerous zealot, and his anti-semitism cannot be tolerated in our society. We pray that Rep. Ellison or the party he serves will hear this warning, and take heed, in Your name, amen.
- "Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." (Ephesians 5:11)
4. Red State Democrats Sink Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill - FreeBeacon
The Senate returned to square one on immigration Thursday afternoon, rejecting three proposed plans to resolve the plight of recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and address the future of America's immigration system. The whirlwind round of voting was prompted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who announced that he would allow open debate on the Senate's floor to see what plan, if any, could reach the requisite 60 vote threshold to invoke cloture and pass the Senate.
Up next was a bill authored by Sen. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.). Unlike the other three, Toomey's bill was not focused on resolving the DACA issue, but instead aimed at restricting federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, which refuse to enforce federal immigration laws within their jurisdiction. That vote failed 54 to 45, picking up the Democratic backing of Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.). All four are considered prime Republican targets in 2018. (Read more)
- Dear Lord, we seek to have laws that are wise in Your eyes and that are fair to our country and those who were brought here unlawfully. Only You can sort out the emotion from legality, sympathy from lawlessness. We pray that our lawmakers would love our country enough to protect us from those coming here to harm us, unfairly use our welfare system, or change our Judeo-Christian culture. Lord, please bring this issue of sanctuary cities into Your focus for the citizens of each city. We know that You can make a way where there is no way.
- "Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:19)
5. Keep immigration simple, Republicans, and get it done - Washington Examiner
Congressional Republicans are treading into dangerous immigration territory where there are many ways to fail. Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley's proposal is a good one, offering a path to genuine reform. If they stray from that path Republicans could easily blunder into one of several pitfalls.
Republicans need to tailor immigration reform as narrowly as possible. Not everything needs to be fixed at once. There will be time to sort out other problems or improve on other policies. For now, the bill should create a fund for the wall and border security, which was President Trump's core campaign promise; end the visa lottery, for which there is bipartisan agreement; curb chain migration, which is the biggest hole in our legal immigration system; and provide permanent relief for young immigrants who were brought in illegally as minors, the so-called "Dreamers." (Read more)
- Father, we pray You will move in the hearts of our lawmakers to craft the best legislation possible at this time to bring sanity to our immigration laws. We come against the spirit of lawlessness and pray that all in Congress will put our country's welfare ahead of currying the favor of potential voters for their own party. We have faith that You can work out solutions where there seems to be no way. Thank You for reform in this most needy area.
- "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbriadeth not; and it shall be given him." (James 1:5)
6. Trump's Immigration Reform Would Actually Help Hispanics, According To Immigration Activist - Daily Caller
President Donald Trump's immigration reform would help legal Hispanics, according to an immigration activist. Tom Broadwater, president of the nonprofit Americans4Work, compared Trump to an athlete who people might not like, but who gets the job done, in a conversation with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Americans4Work, which advocates for black, Hispanic, young, veteran, and disabled Americans, has previously argued that Silicon Valley is displacing American minority workers with H-1B visas.
Broadwater branded the Democrats racist for allocating time and energy to illegal alien initiatives instead of unemployed African-Americans who have been wronged by the courts. The Americans4Work president also addressed the impact of his ideal immigration reform on the education system. "No one planned for our schools to be overrun by millions and millions of illegal aliens and their kids," said Broadwater. "Urban schools . . . have been so severely drained of resources and also required resources that you can go into each of those communities and see that the schools have either been populated with temporary classrooms or capital improvement projects have been started to completely rehabilitate the school." (Read more)
- Father, we pray Your plan on immigration reform. You have the answer we need to this issue. May our officials seek Your face and pray to You for answers.
- Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. (I Chronicles 16:11)
7. State Department Nominee Confirms FBI Was Blocked From Arresting Chinese Security Officials - Free Beacon
The nominee for a key State Department Asia policymaking post confirmed Thursday the State Department took part in preventing the FBI from arresting Chinese intelligence officials for conducting illegal activities in New York recently, but asserted she did not take part in the decision. Susan Thornton, a career foreign service officer widely viewed among Republicans as favoring conciliatory policies toward China, testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that if confirmed, her policies toward China at State would closely resemble the soft-line policies of the Obama administration. Thornton, currently acting assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs was nominated for the key China post by Trump in December.
While acting secretary, she has taken positions toward China that sought to avoid upsetting relations with Beijing, according to administration officials who have taken part in interagency discussions with her. Under questioning from Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) Thornton said the State Department was among several agencies that decided to block the FBI arrests of Chinese officials. Under questioning from Rubio and other committee members, Thornton expressed policy views that were nearly identical to the policy toward China adopted under President Barack Obama.
Thornton's nomination represents a victory for liberals in the Trump administration who favor softline, pro-business policies toward China, and a defeat for conservatives advocating tougher policies. Her nomination was opposed by ousted presidential strategist Steve Bannon and is widely viewed as a victory for pro-China advocates such as Gary Cohn, National Economic Council director and former Goldman Sachs president. (Read more)
- Father God, America needs help in remaining "One nation under God." Please remove the scales from the eyes of all those in authority in our nation. Sara Thornton and others are blocking the FBI from doing their job regarding Chinese officials and in other situations. You, Lord, are the only true God. Take down Buddha and all false gods. Open the eyes of people that all will see You and become workers for the Kingdom of God.
- ". . . then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment, for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed, They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,"
(2 Peter 2:9-10)
8. FBI investigating Confucius Institutes - Washington Times
The FBI is investigating scores of Chinese government-funded Confucius Institutes around the country over concerns the institutes are part of covert spying and influence operations. The centers, mainly located on American college campuses, ostensibly were set up to teach Chinese language and culture. But they have become centers for spreading pro-China propaganda and influence activities, including organizing Chinese communist student groups that challenge human rights activists and others.
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told a Senate hearing this week the FBI is investigating the institutes. Mr. Wray warned that Beijing is using Chinese students and others for spying. "I would just say that the use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting, whether it's professors, scientists, students, we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country," he said. "It's not just in major cities; it's in small ones, as well. It's across basically every discipline." The FBI director criticized what he said was "naivete on the part of the academic sector" about the threat. (Read more)
- Lord, bless the FBI director and the agents for bringing forth results of their investigations of Chinese Confucius Institutes in America. We ask that You stop the abuse and duplicity shown by the Chinese of the reasons they were welcomed into in educational institutions in our country. Send the Chinese "packing" and return them to China. Protect professors, students and anyone under the evil influence of the Chinese. Our prayer is for these, Your Chinese children, to hear and see Your light and turn evil to good in Your name, Jesus.
- "Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 'Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good." (Jeremiah 18:11)
9. Threats quadruple against EPA chief Pruitt, family - Washington Examiner
EPA chief Scott Pruitt, under fire for riding in first class out of security concerns, has faced four times more threats to him and his family than the preceding agency administrator. What's more, the EPA has opened some 70 probes into threats against the administrator and the agency in the past year, nearly double under former Obama-era Administrator Gina McCarthy. But in Washington the question has been are the threats enough to justify added security costs?
According to Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Patrick Sullivan, threats against Pruitt are up. He told E&E News, "He has had significantly more threats directed against him. There's absolutely no question about it." And Pruitt has said that even his family is being threatened. "The quantity and the volume - as well as the type - of threats are different," Pruitt told Bloomberg News. "What's really disappointing to me as it's not just me - it's family."
In interviews, Sullivan has suggested that some of those threatening Pruitt and EPA have "mental issues." But the media's dislike of Pruitt's policy moves might also be driving the threats. Some, for example, have pointed to a column on SFGate.com, part of the San Francisco Chronicle network, endorsing the threats. "When you send death threats to the world and all who live on her, the world will, quite naturally, send them right back," said a late October column that described Pruitt as a "pallid, oily anti-environment corporate shill." (Read more)
- Abba Father, Scott Pruitt, EPA chief, seems to have many enemies. If he is innocent of the reasons for the threats being made toward him, we ask You to protect him from these threats. If he is walking outside the bounds of the law in selfishness, greed, and arrogance, let these be revealed and handled in the proper way. If this man does not know You, send the Holy Spirit to him that he will repent and become Your servant. Lead him in Your ways to use his position of authority to lead others to You. Thank You for Your mercy and love. Amen
- "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
10. Lawmakers Turn to GROW to Avoid Pension Crisis - FreeBeacon
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is hoping to head off a looming union pension crisis by expanding options for retirement benefits. On Tuesday evening, Reps. Phil Roe (R., Tenn.) and Donald Norcross (D., N.J.) introduced the Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act, which would allow multiemployer pensions to transition from traditional defined benefit plans-in which fixed payments are delivered to retirees-to a hybrid that combines existing plans with 401(k)-style defined contribution plans, in which workers and employers contribute money to investment accounts. Roe said the reform is needed to preserve pension systems for future generations of workers.
"In a time of financial uncertainty, it is crucial that we give workers more flexible and sustainable options for creating stable retirement security," he said in a statement. "The GROW Act offers a fiscally responsible way forward, and this structure will enable pensions to maintain fiscal solvency in the future." (Read more)
- Father God, we ask passage of this act, in Your name, amen.
- "Ask, and ye shall receive . . ." (Matthew 7:7)
11. Steve Scalise Smacks Down Mainstream Media For Mocking The Power Of Prayer - Daily Caller
Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise slammed lawmakers for politicizing the Broward school shooting Thursday, and called out the mainstream media for dismissing the power of prayer. "Any time there's any kind of tragedy, I mean a shooting, a bombing whatever - immediately you've got a group of legislators that go run out and start calling for gun control to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens," Scalise said on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle." "Look at their bills. Read their bills, they have nothing to do with these kinds of shootings."
Scalise then turned his criticism to the media and said their dismissal of prayer was uncalled for. He believes faith and prayer helped him recover after he was shot by gunman James Hodgkinson back in June. "What I first think we need to do is pray for the people that died. And there were unfortunately way too many people who died. But the families too, and all of these kids, Laura. There were a lot of kids that witnessed this, that are going to have this with them the rest of their lives," Scalise said. "The prayers helped me tremendously, and unfortunately, there are some on the left that actually mock praying for people. I needed those prayers," he added. "Those prayers helped me and my family at a really difficult time and you could feel them. These families need prayer, they need counseling, they need help." (Read more)
- Lord God, how wonderful it is to hear people like Steve Scalise defend the power of prayer, because prayer comes from the hearts in need of God and God hears and answers their cries for help. When help comes, and sometimes in a miraculous manner, there is no denying its power originates from the throne room of God. Father, touch the hearts of the bereaved regarding the Broward School shooting. Bring hope to the hopeless, divine Light to the terrible darkness, and righteousness to the unsaved who need Jesus as Savior. In His mighty Name we pray and believe the Lord for the answers.
- "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still, and know that I AM God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:1,10)
13 Indictments . . . and Investigations
13 Indictments . . . and Investigations
1. Mueller indicts 13 Russians for interfering in US election - The Hill
Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections. The explosive new charges allege that the Russians created false U.S. personas and stole the identities of real U.S. people in order to interfere with the 2016 presidential election, an assessment previously reached by U.S. intelligence agencies. "The indictment alleges that the Russian conspirators want to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy."
President Trump, who has repeatedly cast doubt on whether Russia interfered with the election, has been briefed on the indictments, the White House said. The efforts, which began in 2014, were connected to the so-called Internet Research Agency, a shadowy Russian operation based in St. Petersburg that leveraged Facebook and other social media platforms to spread divisive messages leading up to the 2016 election. Rosenstein noted that there is no allegation in the indictment that Americans had any knowledge of the operation. "There is no allegation in the indictment on the outcome of the election," he also stressed. (Read more)
> > > To read the actual text of these indictments, please go here.
- Father, we pray against the spin and ask You to help the American people understand these people were trying to sow division and strife to undermine our nation. May this stand as a warning that our enemies want us divided, so we must unite to strengthen our nation.
- "Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease." (Proverbs 22:10)
2. Rick Gates reportedly finalizing plea deal with Robert Mueller - Washington Times
Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign adviser, is finalizing a plea deal with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reported. Mr. Gates has been in plea negotiations with Muller's team for about a month and spoke with the special counsel's team about his case and other criminal activity he may have witnessed in what criminal lawyers call a "Queen for a Day" interview.
The impending deal indicates Mr. Gates is "poised to cooperate" in the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, CNN reported, citing "sources familiar with the case." Mr. Gates was indicted along with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort on Oct. 27 on 12 counts related to his consulting work with Ukrainian political figures. He pleaded not guilty. (Read more)
- Father God, we pray that all the plea bargaining will be successful and that there be found no adverse actions on the part of Rick Gates, and that his final stance will continue to be not guilty. Father, by Your almighty power stand against all trumped-up lies and charges against Mr. Gates. Put the evil schemes of wicked men and women who have withstood Mr. Gates to end up lame and useless from the roots up so that they receive no audience from the Court. We pray for an acquittal and he be set free by judgment of the Court. We pray in the Name of Jesus.
- "Through God will we push down our enemies: through Your Name will we tread them under that rise up against us." (Psalm 44:5)
3. The Michael Flynn guilty plea stinks to high-heaven - Washington Times
According to two sources familiar with the meetings, Comey told lawmakers that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe that Flynn had lied to them, or that any inaccuracies in his answers were intentional. As a result, some of those in attendance came away with the impression that Flynn would not be charged with a crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview. Nine months later, Flynn became the highest-profile scalp in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election and accusations of collusion with the Trump campaign.
Meanwhile, former Asst. US Attorney Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review about the curious events surrounding the guilty plea and the possibility that Mueller's team did not reveal all exculpatory discovery to Flynn when they accepted reached their plea deal: Flynn's case was reassigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. We now know that one of Judge Sullivan's first actions on the case was to file an order directing Mueller to provide Flynn with any evidence in the special counsel's possession that is favorable to Flynn, whether on the issue of guilt or of sentencing.
Significantly, the order stresses that if Mueller has such evidence but believes it is not "material" and therefore that Flynn is not entitled to disclosure of it, Mueller must show the evidence to the court so that Judge Sullivan may decide whether to mandate its disclosure. Could this provide General Flynn with factual grounds of which he was previously unaware to seek to have his plea vacated?
McCarthy surmises that Flynn pled guilty for one of three reasons. "perhaps because he was guilty or perhaps because he lacked the resources to sustain the legal fight or perhaps because he feared Mueller's team would otherwise prosecute his son." (Read more)
- Almighty God, we stand in prayer before the throne room of our God to petition You to send Your Word down into the courts where Michael Flynn's case is being tried. Vindicate him, Lord. Clear him from all criticism, guilt, suspicion and uphold him by the evidence and arguments brought before the Court. We bind under the power of the Blood of Jesus all those who have testified against him and bring their accusatory words to naught, we pray in the Name of Jesus Who is all-powerful against the works of the devil.
-"If you be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." (I Pete 4:14)
4. Exclusive: CIA Ex-Director Brennan's Perjury Peril - RealClearPolitics
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump -- including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it. In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community's publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election "to help Trump's chances of victory."
Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document (excerpt here), even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance "abuses" by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump's ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying "intelligence" supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies - a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications.
Nunes plans to soon release a separate report detailing the Obama State Department's role in creating and disseminating the dossier -- which has emerged as the foundation of the Obama administration's Russia "collusion" investigation. Among other things, the report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, sources say.
"Those are the first two phases" of Nunes' multipart inquiry, a senior investigator said. "In phase three, the involvement of the intelligence community will come into sharper focus." The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as President Obama's first CIA director, Leon Panetta, along with the former president's intelligence czar, James Clapper, and national security adviser, Susan Rice, and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, among other intelligence officials. "John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier," the investigator said. "He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump." (Read more)
- Righteous Father, we pray You guide Chairman Nunes' next plans to investigate the role of John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials who used Steele's dossier against Donald Trump. May all these lies be doused by the Blood of Jesus as useless, unfounded, jumbled, weakened and turned to dust to the point of being ignored by all peoples everywhere. God, lay the axe to all funding by Hillary Clinton which has fed heinous, base, poisonous, and voracious media against President Trump. May God's Truth prevail and the hordes of devilish demons be cast into a bottomless pit until the day of judgment through the mighty all-prevailing Name of Jesus we pray and believe.
- "Fear not; I AM the first and the last: I AM He (Jesus) that lives and was dead; and behold, I AM alive forevermore, Amen'; and have the keys of hell and of death." (Revelation 1:17-18)
5. Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election? - American Conservative
Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the "Steele dossier," it's important to look at how Christopher Steele was able to guarantee that the information in it would play a significant and ongoing role in American politics.
Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare.
Steele's skill is revealed by the now familiar Nunes and Grassley memos, which show he used the same set of information in the dossier to create a collaboration loop, every intelligence officer's dream, which is his own planted information used to surreptitiously confirm itself, right up to the point where the target country's own intelligence service re-purposed it as evidence in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court.
While seeding his dossier in the media and around Washington, Steele was also meeting in secret with the FBI (he claims he did not inform Fusion GPS, his employer), via an FBI counterintelligence handler in Rome. Steele began feeding the FBI in July 2016 with updates into the fall, apparently in the odd guise of simply a deeply concerned, loyal British subject. "This is something of huge significance, way above party politics," Steele commented as to his motives. Steele further manipulated the American media to have his information amplified and given credibility. By working simultaneously as both an anonymous and a cited source, he got his same info out as if it was coming from multiple places. (Read more)
- Father God, Omniscient One, only You know all the "ins and outs" in this report. We bring this news before Your Throne of Grace and lay it upon Your altar. We pray in the Spirit over this report, asking only that Your Kingdom would come in our nation, amen.
- "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the Lord." (Psalm 107:43)
The Daily Jot
Friday, February 16, 2018
Of gun control and evil
Inevitably, the leftists use every crisis to shamelessly promote their agenda. Once again, the cries for gun control can be heard before the mourners are even mourning. It's disrespectful and it is without merit. How about looking at this another way? By making schools gun-free zones, and having liberal-minded and mandated programs that prevent common sense protection of our youth in schools, they are the ones who make the children easy targets of nut cases and terrorists. Where there are criminals, there will always be guns. Banning guns only disarms the law-abiding. Look at the examples. In countries where there are gun bans, there are coups; dictatorships, communism, tyranny. It goes with the territory.
Baltimore, Maryland should be the poster city for gun control. Maryland has one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. It's one of those non-common sense laws where even law-abiding citizens who want to target practice in neighboring Virginia or Pennsylvania can properly transport their gun across state lines, but it is illegal for them to bring the guns back home. Baltimore had 343 murders last year. It's not a safe place to be. Illinois is another place where gun control is on the lips of every leftist. In Chicago, where police confiscate sometimes 600 guns a month, there are over 250 victims of shootings-a month! This is proof positive that taking guns away only emboldens those who will use them.
It is also amazing that in this day and age when someone posts on social media that they intend to do others harm, and they are reported to the FBI, that nothing is done about it. Perhaps, the FBI should get back to its original intent of crime solving and protecting the people it serves rather than trying to undermine presidential candidates and spy on people politicians seem to think are threats to their fiefdoms. Those who are critical of government officials and higher ups are put on watch lists and secret courts are asked to allow surveillance of them, but, hey, somebody threatens to do a mass attack, its just some nut case trying to get a rise out of someone. Gun control, what about doing your job?
Now all the crazies are busting on the Trump Administration for these deaths in Florida. They should be looking at their own failed policies and have an understanding why we all have the right to protect our lives. But then again, these are the same people who fight for the right to kill babies in the womb--something wrong with this picture. Life is precious. Joshua 24:15 says, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Kind of simplifies things. If we choose, love and serve the Lord, we're not perfect, but we are less likely to be double-minded, mean spirited, and death-cultured like the gods others serve.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Our Weekly Bible Study
Our Weekly Bible Study
Week of Sunday, February 18 - Saturday, February 24, 2018
What Happens to Israel Happens to Messiah ~ What Happens to Messiah Happens to Israel
> > > To listen to this study, please go here.
Torah portion reading for the week of February 19th
Tetzaveh ~ You Shall Command
Torah portion: Exodus 27: 20-30:10
Haftorah portion (Prophets): Ezekiel 43: 10-27
Gospel/New Testament: Matthew 5:13-20
Asking for your help . . .
Asking for your help . . .
Tax Receipt Letters Bouncing Back to our P.O. Box!
Dear Friends, We need your help! About 2 weeks ago, we were able to send all of you donor receipts for your tax purposes. We send these letters to the addresses that are on your checks, or listed at our online site.
As of now, almost one dozen of the several hundred that went out . . . have come back!
And more keep coming back every day.
SO . . . if you need a receipt and have not heard from us, this may be why. PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO THE ADDRESS BELOW so we can help you!
Give us your name, your p.o address, and phone number (please). Thank you for your help.
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Sara Ballenger, President Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
More Daily Features
More Daily Features
(See below . . .)
- The Persecuted Church
- The Good News Corner
- Worship with Us Today!
Prayers for the Persecuted Church
"Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body." (Hebrews 13:3)
Please visit the website for International Christian Concern to lift up prayers for the persecuted around the world, every day. Their link is: www.persecution.org -- or go here to connect. Thank you for interceding for our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Asia, the Islamic World, and the Far East.
The Good News Corner
American Airlines Agent Named 'Miracle' Saves Teens from Suspected Human Trafficking Incident
Two teens were saved from becoming victims of a human trafficking by nothing less than a miracle - literally. The two young girls had approached an American Airlines ticket agent - whose name is Denice Miracle - at Sacramento International Airport, trying to board a flight to New York with no identification or return tickets. Miracle, however, felt something was wrong.
Miracle immediately notified sheriff's deputy Todd Sanderson, and the two are now being celebrated as heroes for saving the 15- and a 17-year-old female from a possible human trafficking incident, Fox 40 reported.
"I fully believe she probably prevented these girls from becoming victims," Sanderson told the outlet of the Aug. 31 incident.
Worship With Us Today!
I LOOK TO YOU BY SELAH
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About Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
Our Mission Statement
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners (CHPP) is a ministry which is positioned on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., helping members of the Body of Christ to "pray for those in authority over us" in our federal government. Our primary purpose is to offer intercession on site for the members of Congress and their staffs each day that the Senate and the House of Representatives are in session; and our chief prayer focus is that "God's will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." [Matthew 6:10].
Because Jesus Christ has shed His blood for all, we, too, pray for ALL, in a nonpartisan manner. Also, because the scriptures indicate that "the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 4:17), we are confident that fervent prayer, offered in the halls of the highest chambers of government in our land, can avail much for America. Capitol Hill Prayer Partners welcomes those who feel called to join us, engaging in this strategic work of intercession for our nation: "For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God." [Romans 13:1]
Friends may participate by receiving our daily prayer alerts. You may contact us at email@example.com for more information. CHPP is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt ministry. Thank you and God bless you!
Note: You may also learn more about CHPP by going here to visit our blog. Thank you!
We Welcome Your Gifts
We Welcome Your Gifts
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners (CHPP) is a 501(c)(3), tax- exempt, faith-based, ministry, dedicated to praying for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-4). CHPP relies solely on the gifts of our readers to continue this work; thus we greatly appreciate your help in supporting this publication. Offerings may be sent to: Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, P.O. Box 5152, Herndon, VA 20172-1970. Please make checks payable to: CHPP. THANK YOU!
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"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." (Philippians 4:23)
Join our Bible Readathon!
Our Bible Readathon Continues
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)
Our numbers of readers continues to grow over time. All are welcome to join!
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The access code is: 350430#. Please call at any time from midnight to 6:00 a.m. EST. WELCOME!
[Note: we are reading from these versions of the Scripture: King James, New King James, New American Standard, and NIV.]
Pray for America!
Now you can join the Salt & Light Council, praying for our nation six days each week on a conference line!
Repentance and Restoration Prayer Line
For many years now, the Salt & Light Council has sponsored this outstanding half-hour of prayer, six days per week, with additional time available for Bible reading and fellowship.
We are delighted to make this "hidden treasure" available to all of you who make up our CHPP family.
You can also view their daily prayer calendar by going here.
The following press release was issued by the Salt and Light Council. Praise the Lord!
This is a 30 minute national conference prayer call offered Monday through Saturday. We pray daily for our President, Cabinet, Supreme Court, one or two state legislatures, preambles, plus a moral topic and Israel. All are welcome to participate in prayer for our nation. Fellowship and Bible reading is optional for those who would like to remain on the line. The call is hosted by The Salt & Light Council.
605-468-8015 / Access Code 338083#
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