Prayer Targets: God Revival; NDP; Supreme Court; Mozilla; Craig James; NYC Churches; Justina

Dear Praying Friends,

America in September 1857 was in spiritual, political, and economic decline. With deep division on the slavery question and a civil war on the horizon, a financial panic hit. Banks failed, railroads went bankrupt, factories closed, and joblessness grew. Amid the strain, Jeremiah Lanphier, a New York City layman, advertised a noon-time prayer meeting. Six people came. But the prayer meeting grew, spread, and then exploded across the city, then on to other cities across America and beyond. It was God’s doing ( Meanwhile, God-sent revival broke out across the Atlantic:

In 1856 in Ulster, Ireland, James McQuilkin was invited to tea. There a visiting woman skirted the civilities of discussing the weather and spoke openly on a subject McQuilkin found uncomfortable: the condition of the soul. After another guest at the tea party described the nature of her Christian experience, the visitor said, “My dear, I don’t believe you have ever known the Lord Jesus.” McQuilkin later wrote, “I knew that she spoke what was true of me. I felt as if the ground were about to open beneath me and let me sink into hell. As soon as I could, I left the company. For two weeks I had no peace day or night. At the end of that time I found peace by trusting the Lord Jesus.”

The following year McQuilkin felt burdened to pray for his neighbors. He asked three friends to join him. Once a week the four men gathered at the village schoolhouse to pray for each person in their community by name. The town was Ahogill, County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland. The date: September 1857. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, God was laying the same burden on many hearts, and similar prayer groups started throughout Northern Ireland. Pastors began preaching about revival. In December 1857 McQuilkin’s group rejoiced to see the first conversion in Ahogill. But widespread revival did not come. Still, God’s people prayed -for nineteen more months. Then one morning in the city of Ballymena, just six miles from Ahogill, a young man fell prostrate in the crowded marketplace and called out, “Unclean! Unclean! God be merciful to me a sinner!” The night of March 14, 1859, the McQuilkin group responded by inviting Christians to a prayer meeting at the Ahogill Presbyterian Church. The church was so crowded that they moved the meeting out into the street. There hundreds of people knelt in the mud and rain, confessing their sins and praising God. They were the first of one hundred thousand people God called to himself in 1859 in what became known as the Ulster Revival.

There was a great spiritual movement among young people. It was not uncommon for teenage boys to hold street meetings to reach their peers for Christ. At one such street meeting an Irish clergyman counted forty children and eighty adults listening to the preaching of twelve-year-old boys. The results of the revival were remarkable. In 1860 in County Antrim the police had an empty jail and no crimes to investigate. Judges often had no cases to hear. With their owners converted, pubs closed and alcohol consumption fell so drastically that whiskey distilleries were sold. Gambling at horse races fell off by 95 percent. A visitor to Ulster reported “thronged church services, abundant prayer meetings, increased family prayers, unmatched Scripture reading, increased giving, converts remaining steadfast.” The Ulster movement touched off similar revivals in England, Scotland, and Wales. God drew hundreds of thousands of people to himself, and it all began with a woman unafraid to speak spiritual truth over tea (Michael and Sharon Rusten, The One Year Christian History, 2003).

Like the woman Jesus spoke of in Luke 18, who persisted until she obtained justice, we must not cease to seek godly reformation: righteousness and justice in every sphere of society. Yet we cannot succeed without God-sent revival. Our churches need revival, and our nation needs awakening, now! Please join us in observing the National Day of Prayer, May 1. Pray for our Watchman on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 21-23, and urge your church to observe Call2Fall, Sunday, June 29. May God revive His Church and may we be the salt and light he made us to be!

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Prayer Targets: Finney; Nat. Day of Prayer; Military v. Faith; FBI & SPLC; MS RFRA; Justina; Repent!

And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 23:4

Dear Praying Friends,

Charles G. Finney, like Whitefield, Edwards and earlier Great Awakening preachers, called Americans to a radical repentance and faith. Like Jesus, Finney’s strongest words were directed to the religious leaders of his day, specifically pastors. He believed they were key to revival in the church and the nation’s moral health (Mt 15:14) or the primary reason for America’s decline. Finney’s revolutionary preaching helped pave the way for the end of slavery in America, much as the Great Awakening prepared the Colonies for Independence. Beginning in upstate New York, Finney’s preaching led over a half-million people to Christ, nearly 4% of the entire U.S. population. From Finney on “The Decay of Conscience”:

I have observed with pain that many ministers who write for the public press fail to reach the consciences of men… to go to the bottom of the matter and insist upon obedience to the moral law as alone acceptable to God… True faith in Christ will always and inevitably beget a holy life… To be sure, some of the Puritans were extremists. But still under their teaching there was a very different state of the individual and public conscience from what exists in these days. Those old, stern, grand vindicators of the government of God would have thundered and lightened till they had almost demolished their pulpits, if any such immoralities had shown themselves under their instructions as are common in these days… The universal literature of the present day shows conclusively that the moral sense of the people needs toning up, and some of our most fascinating preachers have become the favorites of infidels, sceptics of every grade…

Let us probe the consciences of our hearers, let us thunder forth the law and Gospel of God until our voices reach the capital of this nation, through our representatives in Congress… Let us give the reporters of the press such work to do as will make their ears and the ears of their readers tingle… Away with this milk-and-water preaching of a love of Christ that has no holiness or moral discrimination in it. Away with preaching a love of God that is not angry with sinners… Christ crucified for the sins of the world is the Christ the people need. Let us rid ourselves of…neglecting to preach the law of God until the consciences of men are asleep.

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the Church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation (Finney, Power From On High, Ch. 11).

Since 2004, FRC has served pastors to help them not only minister the gospel but also to preach God’s word as it pertains to the issues being debated in the public square – debates that will determine the future of our nation (Ho 4:6; 2 Tim 4:1-8). Please pray for our Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing in Washington, DC (May 21-23). May it be the most effective yet!

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Prayer Targets: Wurmbrand’s Stand; Religious Liberty & the High Court; World Vision, Elane Photography

If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch (Mt 15:14b); Choose… able men who fear God; men of truth who hate covetousness; make such their leaders (Ex 18:21, abridged).

Dear Praying Friends,

In 1967, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand (1909-2001; 1913-2000 – bios) founded Voice of the Martyrs, a worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians. Born Jewish and trained by the Russians as communist activists, Richard and Sabina met Jesus in 1938, and immediately dedicated themselves to His service. Wurmbrand’s Tortured for Christ is extremely relevant today:

Beginning August 23, 1944, one million Russian troops entered Romania… the Communists came to power in our country. Then began a nightmare that made suffering under the Nazis seem easy… In Romania [then a population of 24 million], the Communist party had only ten thousand members. [Yet the Soviet Union demanded that Romania]” appoint Communists to the government.” Our army and police were disarmed and … by violence … the Communists came to power. It was not without the cooperation of the American and British…. Americans must know that they…unwittingly assisted the Russians in imposing upon us a regime of murder and terror…

Once the Communists came to power, they skillfully used the means of seduction toward the Church. The language of love and the language of seduction are the same… Unfortunately, when the Communists came to power, thousands of priests, pastors, and ministers did not know how to discern between the two voices. The Communists convened a congress of all Christian bodies in our Parliament building. There were four thousand priests, pastors, and ministers of all denominations… These men of God chose Joseph Stalin as honorary president of this congress. [He was also] president of the World Movement of the Godless and a mass murderer of Christians. One after another, bishops and pastors arose and declared that communism and Christianity are fundamentally the same and could coexist. One minister after another [praised] communism and assured the new government of the loyalty of the Church. My wife and I were present …. Sabina told me, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ! They are spitting in His face.” I said to her, “If I do so, you lose your husband.” She replied, “I don’t wish to have a coward as a husband.” Then I arose and spoke to this congress, praising not the murderers of Christians, but Jesus Christ, stating that our loyalty is due first to Him. The speeches at this congress were broadcast and the whole country could hear proclaimed from the rostrum of the Communist Parliament the message of Christ! Afterward I had to pay for this, but it was worthwhile. Orthodox and Protestant church leaders competed with each other in yielding to communism. An Orthodox bishop put the hammer and sickle on his robes and asked his priests… to call him…”Comrade Bishop.” [Some] were more direct. They became officers of the secret police. [One Lutheran bishop] began to teach in the theological seminary that God had given three revelations: one through Moses, one through Jesus, and the third through Stalin… (Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ, 1967; Voice of the Martyrs).

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Prayer Targets: Hobby Lobby; Israel; Transgender; Mississippi; Military Religious Liberty; SPLC; UN

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Cor 3:17

Dear Praying Friends,

Dr. Erwin Lutzer has served as Senior Pastor of Chicago’s Moody Church since 1980. His three radio programs are broadcast across America and around the world. Author of 30 books, Lutzer, in his When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany, documents shocking parallels between German society in pre-WWII Germany and America today:

In the People’s Republic of China in 1985, we asked a tour guide about freedom of religion. She replied, “The people in China have freedom of religion … they can be as free as they wish within their own minds!” Freedom of religion, then, has a new definition: we are free to practice our religion with our thoughts and perhaps in private conversation. In our own country one of our chief justices lamented that the court would have religion be like “pornography,” indulged only in private. When God is ousted from government, transcendent values are replaced by: 1) the raw use of power; 2) eroticism 3) arbitrary judicial rulings; and 4) the morality of personal pragmatism. Without overarching absolutes, the unity of society is threatened in the face of fragmentation and the quest for personal “rights.” Civility, long a characteristic of American life, has degenerated into name-calling and a desire to destroy the opposition… Political correctness has now affected the general culture and created an aura of censorship and a climate of fear…Malcolm Muggeridge said, “The whole structure is now tumbling down, dethroning its God, undermining all its certainties. All this, wonderfully enough, is being done in the name of the health, wealth, and happiness of all mankind.” [Under current federal] hate crimes [laws] certain classes of people receive special treatment…

From “Hate Crimes” the next step is for the courts to prosecute those who are deemed guilty of “Hate Speech” … stating an opinion that the government thinks should not be expressed… Europe has already lost the freedom to criticize Islam… As the state encroaches on our liberties, the spiritual “sphere” will continue to shrink, and our freedoms will be slowly curtailed. Statism, the notion that there is no power above the state to which it must be subject, will always work toward the diminishing of individual freedoms. No one is able to run and hide… Today our government has tools of manipulation that the world has never known before, from mass communication resources to faceless computerized bureaucracies to the ability to nationalize banks and companies… C. S. Lewis was a prophet when he wrote: “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive… We must face the possibility of bad rulers armed with a Humanitarian theory of punishment…. One school of psychology already regards religion as a neurosis. When this particular neurosis becomes inconvenient to government, what is to hinder government from proceeding to “cure” it? Such a “cure” will, of course, be compulsory; but … it will not be called by the shocking name of Persecution” (Erwin W. Lutzer, When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn From Nazi Germany (2009); Ch. 1).

If you missed it last week see the brief video about Arlene’s Flowers. See also “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” and “Clear and Present Danger.”

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Prayer Targets: Life, Death & the States; Religious Freedom v. Obamacare; States; WOTW; Call2Fall

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Dear Praying Friends,

George Washington, the “Father of our Country” set an example for all Americans by his extraordinary prayer life — an hour of Bible study and prayer each morning and again, each evening. He made this a priority amid his tireless labors as a planter, businessman, military officer, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, statesman and President of the United States of America. His first year in office, President Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation, which reads in part:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor… Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be — That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks [for many of the unique blessings God afforded America] — and particularly the national One [the Constitution] — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually — to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed — to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord — To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us — and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best… the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789 (see Proclamation of National Thanksgiving; underlining and bracketed items added).

The First Amendment declares “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Founders made religious liberty the cornerstone of our enumerated liberties. God commands us to stand fast in Christian liberty. We must pay any price to do so.

Life & Death in the States - Our friends in New York City are pleading for prayer for the unborn children there. In NYC, 40 percent of all pregnancies end in death by abortion; 60 percent of unborn black babies are aborted. Blacks and Hispanics account for 73 percent of all abortions in the city. Yet Mayor Bill de Blasio is working with Planned Parenthood to expand the number of abortion clinics in the city and promises to close down pro-life pregnancy resource centers. De Blasio is continuing former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s requirement that doctors who intern in NYC hospitals must perform abortion as part of their routine training. He also promises to expand state-funded abortion coverage via Obamacare. Last year, N.Y. Senate Republicans succeeded in stopping Governor Andrew Cuomo’s legacy bill to make abortion a “fundamental right” in N.Y. during all nine months of pregnancy, establishing New York as a pro-abortion state permanently, even if Roe v. Wade should be struck down.

Meanwhile, Texas and other states have moved boldly in the opposite direction. Texas’ tightened abortion restrictions have made a difference. Two years ago, there were 44 abortion clinics in Texas and now there are only 24. Some expect the number to decline further. Last week, the Alabama House passed four pro-life bills to: 1) ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected; 2) inform women who abort due to “lethal fetal anomalies” that “perinatal hospice services” are available; 3) extend abortion waiting period from 24 hours to 48 hours; 4) require a birth certificate to identify parents giving abortion consent for their underage daughters. Senate passage is expected. While there are radically pro-abortion states like California and New York, the majority of states are moving decidedly pro-life! A new CNN poll shows 58 percent of Americans to believe abortion should be restricted to very few situations, or always illegal. De Blasio’s War on the Unborn; Cuomo’s War on the Unborn; TX Clinics: 3 More Close, More to Come; Alabama Challenge; “Close-minded“; SCOTUS on TX Law; CNN Poll)

  • May God stir the people in “pro-abortion” states! May they choose leaders, who like America’s Founders will uphold the right to life as an unalienable right given to all by our Creator. May He distinguish from among the states those who seek to honor God and His laws. May Roe v. Wade be overturned! (Ex 20:13; Lev 20:1-7; Is 5:20; 10:1-3; Mt 18:6; Mk 10:14; 1 Tim 1:9)

Religious Freedom v. Obamacare – On March 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments over Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius. Both challenge Obamacare’s mandate that employer-provided health care plans offer the morning-after pill, a drug that can kill a human embryo, to their employees at no cost. Ninety-three lawsuits against the mandate are at various stages of progress within the federal court system, among them two class action lawsuits. The new idea being advanced in federal and state RFRA cases is that when business people enter the market place to make a profit, they give up their religious liberty rights and must submit to regulations others are subject to. Similarly, corporation does not have religious liberty rights that the Constitution affords individuals (see Underlying Hobby Lobby, Information Central, FRC Amicus Brief, Where’s the Brief?)

  • May God guide and bless those arguing in Court for religious freedom and the Constitution. May the Supreme Court profoundly reaffirm religious freedom for all Americans and the institutions in which they participate (Acts 23:1; 24:6; Rom 2:15; 9:1; 2Co 1:12; 4:1-3; Gal 5:1; 1 Tim 1:5-7; 1 Pet 3:10-16 ).

Religious Freedom in the States - The bill that Arizona Gov. Brewer vetoed would not have been controversial had the controversy not been manufactured by pro-homosexual activists. Other states have been (or are in the process of being) bullied into tabling or defeating similar legislation. Whether it is homosexual activists or abortion activists (as in the case with the Obamacare mandate with Hobby Lobby and others), both challenge the right of Christians to live out their faith in their businesses. Both insist that when Christians enter the marketplace to make a profit, they give up their rights to religious freedom. They must submit to whatever rules federal, state and local jurisdictions create, even if their most deeply held religious convictions are violated and their First Amendment rights trampled. Activists in other states either already have or will raise the “they want to deny service to homosexuals” accusation to prevent measures intended to protect religious liberty (view The Barronelle Stutzman Story — the florist who would not take part in a same-sex wedding, under legal assault by the Washington State AG, faces financial ruin and closure of her 30-year old business. Arizona Just the Beginning; Caution – some links lean left: AZ; OH; KS; MO; IL; SD; TN; OR; HI).

  • May God send another Great Awakening, like the one that swept America and made the many states one people in spirit, and paved the way for an era of liberty unprecedented in human history. May God’s people stand up for religious liberty and use it to proclaim the Gospel! (Is 61:1; Jer 34:13-20; 2Co 3:17; Gal 5:1, 13; 2 Pt 2:18-20)

Finally, please read tonight’s Washington Update for more on Religious Liberty. Please continue to pray for FRC’s Pastors Briefing, Watchmen on the Wall, May 21-23, and the annual Call2Fall, June 29th, the Sunday before Independence Day!

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Prayer Targets: Franklin; Whitefield, Arizona, Religious Liberty; the Romeike Family

Wilt thou be angry with us forever? Wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Show us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation. Psalm 85:5-7

Dear Praying Friends,

Self-educated and brilliant, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was an elder statesman among the Founding Fathers, revered for his knowledge, wisdom and maturity. Franklin lived a colorful, worldly life, yet considered himself a Christian. However, his beliefs were more closely aligned with Unitarianism. A Freemason at 25 and Grand Master of Pennsylvania at 28, he edited and published the Western Hemisphere’s first Masonic text. Franklin died a Freemason, after 59 years in the secret society.

Despite his errant doctrinal beliefs and questionable associations, Franklin had genuine reverence for Christian faith and morality. When delegates to the Constitutional Convention reached an impossible impasse, it was Franklin who called the delegates to seek God daily in prayer before proceeding to business. While he never became an evangelical Christian, he was fascinated by the preaching of George Whitefield and the phenomena of the Great Awakening. He wrote in his first autobiography:

In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refus’d him their pulpits, and he was oblig’d to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much they admir’d and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of them, by assuring them that they were naturally half beasts and half devils. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seem’d as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro’ the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street…

He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly, that he might be heard and understood at a great distance, especially as his auditories, however numerous, observ’d the most exact silence. He preach’d one evening from the top of the Court-house steps, which are in the middle of Market-street, and on the west side of Second-street…. Both streets were fill’d with his hearers to a considerable distance… I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards the river; and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front-street…. Imagining then a semi-circle… fill’d with auditors, to each of whom I allow’d two square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty thousand. This reconcil’d me to the newspaper accounts of his having preach’d to twenty-five thousand people in the fields… (Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, 1771, p. 95).

Whitefield, a great man and preacher, was not without flaw. His ministry to the slaves in the South was unique in his day. He believed blacks were equal to whites, and treated them as brothers. He was beloved by a multitude of black people, slave and free, who came to know Christ through his ministry. Yet he advocated legalization of that “peculiar institution” and owned slaves himself. God uses imperfect men. Surely He can anoint imperfect preachers in our day and use them to usher in the Great Awakening we need in America! Let us pray!!!

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Prayer Targets: Whitefield; Movie; Religious Liberty; IRS; Obamacare; Prison, Colleges, Israel

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord… Acts 3:19

Dear Praying Friends,

George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a pivotal leader in the Great Awakening in America and Great Britain. From a working-class home, Whitefield traded work for tuition at Oxford University, doing menial labor for the school and fellow students. He found Christ at Oxford and became a founder of the Methodist movement along with John Wesley. The two were life-long friends despite major theological differences. Whitefield graduated in 1736 and left for America to preach in 1738. His journals reveal a consecrated young man with an amazingly mature Christian temperament. Detained for two weeks in Gibraltar, he used the time to preach. From his journal:

Had near, if not more than, a hundred at morning exposition; and it being the last day of my sojourning at Gibraltar, many came to me weeping, telling me what God had done for their souls, desiring my prayers, and promising theirs in return. Others both gave and sent me tokens of their love, as cake, figs, wine, eggs, and other necessaries for my voyage, and seemed to want words to express their affection. The good Lord note their kindnesses in his book and reward them a thousand fold!

About twelve, went to church according to appointment, and made a farewell exhortation as God gave me utterance, to a great number of weeping soldiers, women, etc. After which, we kneeled down, and having recommended each other to care of God, I left them, and went and took my leave of the two generals; visited the confined prisoner; dined at a gentlewoman’s house of the town; left near fifty letters to be sent to England; and, about four, went on board, accompanied to the seaside with near two hundred soldiers, women, officers, etc., who sorrowed at my departure, and wished me good luck in the Name of the Lord. Surely I may now expect greater success abroad, having such an addition of intercessors in my behalf. O Lord put their tears into Thy bottle, and let their cry come unto Thee!

Sampson’s riddle has been fulfilled at Gibraltar. “Out of the eater came forth meat; out of the strong came forth sweetness.” Who more unlikely to be wrought upon than soldiers? And yet, amongst any set of people, I have not been where God has made his power more to be known… This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. May he give a blessing to the books disbursed amongst them, and perfect the good work begun in their hearts, till the day of our Lord Jesus! May they be my joy and crown of rejoicing at the last day, and may God’s mercies to me in every place make me more humble, more zealous, more thankful, and more steady to do or suffer whatever my dear Redeemer have allotted for me (George Whitefield’s Journals, March 6, 1738).

In two weeks, God mightily moved upon the soldiers and townspeople who came to hear Whitefield (apparently mostly women) at Gibraltar. They wept like the Ephesian elders who said their last goodbyes to the Apostle Paul at Miletus (Acts 20:17ff). Whitefield’s listeners pledged to pray for his ministry in America. He blessed them in response, and he firmly expected “greater success” because of their prayers. Many American pastors rejected Whitefield, fearful of the emotion they heard took place in his meetings. Their rejection drove him to the streets and fields, where crowds of 25,000 would gather to hear the message of Jesus Christ. In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin refused to believe Whitefield’s voice could carry far enough to reach such crowds until he heard for himself (more next week). Whitefield was just 26 years old when God brought him to America. As at Gibraltar, may God hear our prayers and raise up leaders to usher in another Great Awakening! We must persevere, stand in the gap, and battle the evil in our land without fainting, until the tide of revival changes our hearts and the hearts of our countrymen.

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Prayer Targets: Integrity; A Man of Prayer; ACA, Lawlessness; Patriot Pastors, College Prayer

The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them (Pr 11:3); Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool (19:1); The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him (20:7).

Dear Praying Friends,

In 1879, Congress declared George Washington’s birthday, February 22, a federal holiday. Because Abraham Lincoln was born on the 12th, some states have combined both birthdays into “President’s Day.” Other states continue to observe both days. Pressured by retailers, Congress changed the observance to the third Monday of February in 1971.

While George Washington’s confession, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa… I did cut it [the cherry tree]” may have been a legend, born in the heart of Parson Weems, Washington’s unimpeachable integrity was at the foundation of his great legacy. He reportedly often spent two hours daily – one in the morning, one in the evening, in prayer and Bible study, even as President.

The famous quote, “I cannot tell a lie,” was also attributed to Abraham Lincoln. His was a marked Christian pilgrimage. Some Christian historians believe Lincoln, though a serious student of scripture, may not have been born-again until late in his life, perhaps following the death of his son, Willie. Lincoln, too, is remembered for his integrity.

Abraham Lincoln [was] born in 1809 in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Long before he became president, Lincoln’s friends and acquaintances called him “Honest Abe.”

When he was a boy in Indiana, he borrowed a book about George Washington from a neighbor, Josiah Crawford. After rainwater ruined it, he went straight to Crawford, owned up to what had happened, and spent three days in Crawford’s cornfield working to pay for the book.

When Lincoln was a young storekeeper in New Salem, Illinois, he accidentally shortchanged a customer by six and a quarter cents. As soon as he discovered the error, he closed the shop and walked six miles to pay the money back.

Lincoln’s store was not a success. He and his partner, William Berry, went into debt trying to make a go of it. The store “winked out” anyway, as Lincoln put it, and left him owing a great deal of money, especially after Berry died. He could have done what so many others in similar situations did — simply head west for new frontiers and leave the debt behind. But he resolved to stay. For a young man of his means, it was a large burden. He called it, with grim humor, his “national debt.” It took him several years, but he paid it all back.

His reputation as a lawyer caused people to say, “He’ll be fair and square.” One time he forced a law partner to give back half the fee the man had charged a client. “That money comes out of the pocket of a poor, demented girl,” he said, “and I would rather starve than swindle her.”

It is no coincidence that one of our most beloved presidents was a man who held himself to the highest standards of truthfulness (William J. Bennett & John T.E. Cribb; The American Patriot’s Almanac, 2008)

How desperately America needs the lift that comes from godly leadership — not of men with swagger, power, pomp, even influence, or command — BUT INTEGRITY. Such men move children, teenagers, and adults of every age to aspire to integrity. Our prayers for “all men,” including “those in authority” per 2 Tim 2:1-8 will result in Awakening and better future leaders.

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Prayer Targets: Calvinism; Watchmen; Prayer Accord; Obama on Liberty?; Graham; Terrorists; More

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Psalm 94:16

Dear Praying Friends,

No force shaped the worldview of our Founding Fathers more than Christianity, and in particular, Calvinist Protestantism. The “Puritan work ethic” made America the hardest working, most productive and innovative nation in world history. But our Forefathers’ views on Providence, morality, justice, grace, and liberty contributed far more to our nation and the world.

Calvinism came to America in the Mayflower, and Bancroft, the greatest of American historians, pronounces the Pilgrim Fathers “Calvinists in their faith according to the straightest system.” John Endicott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Winthrop, the second governor of that Colony; Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut; John Davenport, the founder of the New Haven Colony; and Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island Colony, were all Calvinists. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots [French Calvinists]. It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed… Episcopalians had a Calvinistic confession in their Thirty-nine Articles; and many French Huguenots also had come to this western world… about two-thirds of the colonial population had been trained in the school of Calvin. Never in the world’s history had a nation been founded by such people… [They] came not primarily for commercial gain or advantage, but because of deep religious convictions. It seems that the religious persecutions in various European countries had been providentially used to select… enlightened people for the colonization of America… Let it be especially remembered that the Puritans… the great bulk of the settlers in New England… were truly devoted to the doctrines of the great Reformers, that they had an aversion for formalism and oppression whether in the Church or in the State…

With this background we shall not be surprised to find that the Presbyterians took a very prominent part in the American Revolution. Our own historian Bancroft says: “The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster.” So intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty that the war was spoken of in England as “The Presbyterian Rebellion.” An ardent colonial supporter of King George III wrote home: “I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians… They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchial spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere.” … [English] Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, “Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson” (he meant John Witherspoon, president of Princeton and signer of the Declaration of Independence).

History is eloquent in declaring that American democracy was born of Christianity and that that Christianity was Calvinism. The great Revolutionary conflict which resulted in the formation of the American nation was carried out mainly by Calvinists, many of whom had been trained in the rigidly Presbyterian College at Princeton, and this nation is their gift to all liberty loving people (Rev. Loraine Boettner, Calvinism in America).

John Knox, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, William Carey, Charles Hodge, Abraham Kuyper, J. Gresham Machen, D. James Kennedy, and other great men were Calvinists. But America needs all Bible-believing pastors and leaders today, regardless of their views on the “Doctrines of Grace,” who like those patriot pastors of the founding era, will preach the word boldly and lead the church to stand against evil and evildoers in the public square. Praise God they are arising!

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Prayer Targets: Prayer Breakfast; College Vigil; Abortion Funding; US & Israel; IRS Targeting; SPLC

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1Timothy 4:12

Dear Praying Friends,

With a few exceptions, America’s colleges and universities have become left wing indoctrination centers. Popular youth culture and classroom instruction combine to steep our young people in atheism, false religion, religious relativism, socialist economics, infatuation with sex, hostility toward traditional Christian and American values, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian sentiments, radical environmentalism, global warming, and other radical liberal views that plant doubt and cynicism into their hearts. The young men and women who will lead the nation are being systematically indoctrinated into an anti-Christian worldview. Is it any wonder so many students abandon their faith in college? Enter the Collegiate Day of Prayer, America’s first national college prayer movement. From CDOP:

The early records of many of our foremost universities read like a virtual history of spiritual revival. No other nation has ever enjoyed as many student awakenings for as many consecutive years as the United States of America. These student revivals emerged during the First Great Awakening in the eighteenth century. But it was the Second Great Awakening (1790-1845) that produced our most powerful student revivals and the prayer movement that sustained them. This outpouring of grace was born out of the Concerts of Prayer in the mid-1780s. The awakening began in the Northeast in the early 1790s and spread to the western frontier by 1800. It touched nearly every corner of our nation into the mid-1840s. For half a century America experienced genuine revival in one part of our nation or another.

As our Students Go, So Goes the Nation – Church leaders began to apply the proven principles of the Concert of Prayer movement to the needs of college students. By 1815, the Concert of Prayer for Colleges had become a regular feature on the campuses of Yale, Williams, Brown and Middlebury. By 1823, nearly every major denomination and university in America was observing a concerted day of prayer for colleges. The churches viewed these student communities as the future of their congregations, culture, and society. They believed their churches and the nation would follow the spiritual bent and character of the college students…

Transforming Morals in America’s Universities – By the end of the 19th century, repeated student awakenings had radically transformed the culture and moral climate of many of our largest universities. Many of America’s ministers encouraged their congregations to send their children to college, believing they would be safe and soundly converted.

The Collegiate Day of Prayer Today – For nearly a hundred years the Church in America observed a day of united prayer for God to awaken and revive our colleges. In this time of great spiritual need, should not this historic day of prayer be continued? One who witnessed these historic events, but later saw the spiritual decline among America’s students, expressed a conviction that it was “due almost entirely to the fact that we no longer observe the Day of Prayer for Colleges… There used to be long seasons of prayer in the college chapel and all-day meetings for fasting and prayer in nearly all of the churches. We asked God to raise up ministers and missionaries among the students and He did! … ‘You have not because you ask not.’”

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