Prayer Targets: Unalienable; SCOTUS Opens Texas Clinics; Pastors Subpoenaed; Baghdad; iPledge

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:7-8

Dear Praying Friends,

In last week’s Prayer Targets, I introduced Rev. Richard Owen Roberts’ Unalienable Rights. He wrote, “God Himself instituted and regulated human government… designed to guarantee the unalienable rights of both the Creator and the created.” Our forefathers saw as self-evident the transcendent truths enumerated in the Declaration of Independence: 1) that we are the product of a Creator; 2) that the Creator rules by natural and revealed law; 3) that He alone grants unalienable rights, including Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness; <4) that He is the Supreme Judge of the World and thus the final arbiter to whom we appeal our cause; and 5) we should rely on His Providence completely. These truths provide the foundation of our nation.

Supreme Court Helps Texas Abortion Clinics Stay Open – On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court intervened to prevent Texas from implementing a new law that requires abortion clinic doctors 1) to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and 2) to meet the same building standards required of all other “ambulatory surgical centers.” Insiders say that, at least for Planned Parenthood, the decision to close clinics is strictly a business decision and that implementing the regulations would reduce profit margins — their real motive for operating abortion clinics. The Supreme Court reinstated a U.S. District Court ruling that declared these provisions unconstitutional. The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had overruled the District court, allowing the law to take effect while the state appealed the district court ruling. The Supreme Court reversed it again, sending it back to the Circuit Court for further litigation, but without any guarantee they would take up the case again if it found its way back.

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Prayer Targets: Godly Government; Despot Courts; Pastors; Jerusalem; Pentecost Walk; iPledge Sunday!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. Romans 1:18-19

Dear Praying Friends,

Richard Owen Roberts is founder of International Awakening Ministries (see R.O. Roberts Trust). He studied at Gordon, Whitworth, and Fuller Seminary and pastored churches in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and California. Since 1975, he and his family have lived near Wheaton College, Ill., where his collection of 9,000+ books relating to historic revivals and awakenings serves as nucleus of the Billy Graham Center Library. He has written extensively on these topics:

The sacred record makes clear that God Himself instituted and regulated human government… it was designed to guarantee the unalienable rights of both the Creator and the created.

The founding fathers… understood that government had the capacity to hamper or restrict the rights with which God Himself had endowed His people. Many… had personally experienced the destruction of their own rights by oppressive rulers. It was their profound conviction that when this happened, government should be either altered or abolished and replaced by a new government.

We need to realize that whenever government seeks to grant rights to individuals and classes that God Himself has not endowed, and whenever this granting of rights by humans to humans impinges upon the rights that the Almighty has reserved for Himself, that government ceases to be of God. Neither is it any longer truly for the people, for the best interest of the governed can never be served by a government which elevates itself to the stature of God. When this happens, either the people themselves will alter or abolish their corrupt government, or God will, in His own time and way, accomplish that nation’s destruction.

God has… revealed the specific areas in which He will… control the rights affecting man. These restricted areas were long weighed, regarded, and yielded to by the American people. They are set forth in the Ten Commandments which were, in the early years of our nation, a prominent part of every schoolroom. Their principles were incorporated into our national laws and into the laws of our several states. Included in the realms where God never endowed man with a right of choice are His restrictions on man’s relationship to Himself, the taking of human life, the use of sex, the appropriation of the private property of others, and the regulation of truth and falsehood.

God Alone Is to Be Worshipped – When God endowed man with certain unalienable rights, He did not include the right to worship any god he chose or no god at all. God never granted man the right to worship the god of his own imagination. The God who made man has always insisted that the creature worship and serve his Creator. There is but one true and living God. He, and He alone, is to be worshipped and served. This nation was built on the conviction that there is a Creator God whose mercy is necessary to the well-being of all its peoples. There is no reason to suppose that it was ever the intention of the founding fathers of this nation to grant the freedom to future generations of Americans to make gods of their own imaginations, to worship and serve what they made, and thus to turn this nation from Christianity to paganism. The religious freedom granted by our national documents was not freedom to be irreligious. What was guaranteed was the freedom of every denomination of Christians to practice Christianity according to the dictates of their own consciences. All that was to be required of them was that they demean themselves peaceably and as good subjects of the nation. Our fathers guaranteed that no sect or denomination should ever be established by law, but it was absolutely not their intent to guarantee the right of the godless to turn the nation away from the Christianity upon which it was founded and into a cesspool of iniquitous infidelity. (Unalienable Rights, 1993 – read more at Herald of His Coming).

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Prayer Targets: Political Sermons; VVS; Rising Church; HHS Mandate Again; ENDA; Baghdad Christians

For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord’s, and He hath set the World upon them. 1 Sam 2:8

Dear Praying Friends:

Dr. Ellis Sandoz is Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies at Louisiana State University, his alma mater (B.A, 1951; M.A, 1953). The first sermon from Sandoz’s collection of political sermons from the founding era, entitled, “Government the Pillar of The Earth,” was delivered on August 13, 1730 before the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Jonathan Belcher, by Boston Pastor Benjamin Colman. The text was from 1 Samuel 2:1-10:

Hanna could not have spoken with more loftiness and majesty; more authority and command — to the nobles, rulers, captains and mighty men; … She celebrates the Lord God of Israel, his unspotted purity, his almighty power, his unsearchable wisdom, and his unerring justice…

“He maketh poor and maketh rich, He bringeth low and lifteth up: He raiseth up the poor out of Dust, and lifteth up the Beggar from the Dunghill; to set them among Princes, and make them inherit the Throne of Glory; For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord’s, and He hath set the World upon them.”

Thus my text is introduced as a reason for those dispensations of God towards a person, a family, or a people… We see then that the natural earth has no pillars, in any proper sense; Neither has the moral earth, (i.e. the inhabitants of it) any, but in a metaphorical sense: And so the princes and rulers of it are called it’s pillars… the text explains it self… speaks of the Bows of the mighty Men, and of the Thrones of Princes, and then adds — the Pillars of the Earth… We are to understand this to mean governors and rulers among men; but not the persons that bear rule, so much as the order itself, government and magistracy. For the persons may be weak and slender reeds, little able of themselves to bear up anything…

The Great God has made the governments and rulers of the earth it’s pillars, and has set the world upon them… Magistrates need be strong, for government is a great weight; and it is laid upon their shoulders. Pillars are also for ornament…those in power and magistracy are to be adorned with superior gifts, powers and beauties of mind to adorn the offices which they sustain… by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill and prudence, discretion and judgment for the public good… Wisdom is both strength and beauty, a defense and ornament.

But then, is the pillar for ornament only? Integrity, uprightness, faithfulness added to knowledge and wisdom, makes men strong and beautiful pillars, whether in church or state. Every man is ready to proclaim his own Goodness; but a faithful Man who can find? Pr 20 … David, that pillar of Israel, came into the government with that noble purpose and resolution, Ps 75. When I shall receive the Congregation, I will judge uprightly. So he fed them in the integrity of his heart, and led them by the skillfulness of his hands. God’s righteousness and faithfulness, justice and judgment, are the foundation of his everlasting government, the habitation of his throne (The entire sermon may be read online at The Belcher Foundation Website. See Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, 2 vols., Ellis Sandoz, 1998).

Those who govern are vitally important in God’s economy. Scripture charges us, as Jethro did Moses, to select people: “such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex 18:21). We must know the candidates and consider supporting those we believe meet God’s test. How must God look upon nearly half of all American Christians who do not vote in presidential years and even less vote in the midterms like this year – the consequences of their inaction being the election of officials who impose upon our nation abortion, same-sex “marriage,” anti-Christian oppression and other evils? As Election Day approaches, we must make sure we are registered to vote, make sure at least two friends are registered, get to know the candidates, help inform our friends and families on the issues, and this time, vote biblical values! Visit 123Vote.com for more and take the 1-2-3 Vote pledge!

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Prayer Targets: Webster & Jay: Vote! iPledge Sunday; Values Voter Summit; Meriam; U.S.-led Coalition

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2

Dear Praying Friends

Election Day is November 4, 2014. Noah Webster, the author of the renowned Dictionary that bears his name and whom some refer to as the “Father of American Education” (see last week’s Prayer Targets), had much to say about American citizenship and the Christian’s stewardship responsibility to vote:

In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character as a man of known principle, of tried integrity, and undoubted ability for the office… Scriptures teach… that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. But if we had no divine instruction on the subject, our own interest would demand of us a strict observance of the principle of these injunctions. And it is to the neglect of this rule of conduct in our citizens, that we must ascribe the multiplied frauds, breaches of trust, peculations and embezzlements of public property which astonish even ourselves; which tarnish the character of our country; which disgrace a republican government…

When a citizen gives his suffrage (vote) to a man of known immorality, he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country. Nor is it of slight importance, that men elected to office should be able men, men of talents equal to their stations, men of mature age, experience, and judgment; men of firmness and impartiality… It may be held as generally true, that respect spontaneously attaches itself to real worth; and the man of respectable virtues, never has occasion to run after respect (Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing his Education, 1823).

John Jay, first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote:

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers (Letter from John Jay to John Murray, Jr., October 12, 1816). Whether our Religion permits Christians to vote for infidel rulers is a question which merits more consideration than it seems yet to have generally received, either from the clergy or the laity. It appears to me that what the prophet said to Jehoshaphat about his attachments to Ahab affords a salutary lesson… “Shouldest thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?” 2 Chr xix, 2 (Letter from John Jay to Jedediah Morse, January 1, 1813. Johnston, Correspondence of Jay from The Founders on Religion, James H. Hutson, 2005).

Congress has recessed until after Election Day allowing members time to devote to their re-election campaigns. Voters will decide who will occupy all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats. Whom we elect will be highly consequential, given the troubles our nation faces and the perilous times in which we live.

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Prayer Targets: Rev. Joshua Thomas; Obamacare Abortion; ISIS Strategy; China, IRS, Ebola, VVS, More

God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Psalm 75:7

Dear Praying Friends,

Star Spangled Sunday, our 200th anniversary celebration of the National Anthem and the turning point in the War of 1812 was powerful. In September 1814, after burning the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and Washington, D.C., the British Army and Navy targeted Baltimore with all their firepower. But a sniper killed the leading British General and the Maryland Militia and U.S. Army effectively resisted. The Royal Navy then attacked Fort McHenry. Beyond reach of U.S. cannon, British warships barraged Fort McHenry with hundreds of tons of cannonballs, bombs, and rockets. Francis Scott Key, aboard a British ship on diplomatic business, slept lightly amid cannon fire, rose early and rushed to see if our flag “was still there,” flying over the Fort. Against all odds, it was. The fleet ceased fire and moved speedily out of Baltimore Harbor and down the Chesapeake Bay. Key was moved to pen what is now our National Anthem. As in previous and subsequent American wars, God’s Hand was evident. But a Maryland preacher named Joshua Thomas played an important role in this lost episode in our history. The Methodist circuit rider traveled by canoe from island to island on the Chesapeake Bay to preach the gospel. It was on Tangier Island, Thomas’ home, that the British fleet made their headquarters.

Before they left Tangier, they sent me word to be ready to hold a public meeting, and exhort the soldiers… I thought and prayed over the matter, and it came to me that I must stand up for Jesus as a good soldier… It was arranged to be on their last Sunday… Early that morning, the flags were hoisted, the drums beat… the soldiers were all drawn up in solid columns, about twelve thousand men… I stood on a little platform … nearest the shore, all the men facing me with their hats off… As I looked around on my congregation, I never had such feelings in my life; but I felt determined to give them a faithful warning, even if those officers… would cut me in ‘pieces… After singing and prayer… all fear and embarrassment were taken away… I said, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.’ I told… how He saved me from sin… and thanked them and their Admiral for the kindness they manifested to us… but I could not bid them God speed… I warned them of the danger and distress they would bring upon themselves and others by going to Baltimore with the object they had in view… that God said, “Thou shall not kill.” If you do, he will judge you at the last day; or, before then, he will cause you to “perish by the sword.” I told them it was given me from the Almighty that they could not take Baltimore, and would not succeed in their expedition… to prepare for death, for many of them would in all likelihood die soon, and I should see them no more till we met at the sound of the great trumpet before our final Judge.”

The service concluded, many stepped up… and said they hoped it would not go so hard with them as he had foretold. He shook his head, and said he felt that many that day had received their last call… (With) steady persistence… he predicted the defeat… The army had hitherto met with but feeble resistance… Bladensburg…Washington… Alexandria capitulated without resistance, and now with concentrated force, the whole squadron pours its flushed and confident thousands on Baltimore… In the face of all the probabilities… Joshua Thomas expressed a conviction… You cannot take it! …Perhaps he remembered that thousands in that city were on their knees, morning, noon, and night, interceding with God! That some of his acquaintances… who by their success in prayer… had displayed power with God, were in the city, and formed its rampart and defense, in unseen agency with the Lord Jehovah! …The proud fleet weighed anchor, and with pennants streaming, decks bristling with the machinery of war, stood up the Bay, and left the anxious islanders awaiting the issue (Adam Wallace, The Parson of the Islands, Ch.9 1861).

Numerous parallels exist between America in 1814 and today.

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Prayer Targets: Noah Webster; Common Core; 9/11 Anniversary; Benghazi; Vote to Curtail Free Speech

Except the LORD shall build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD shall keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain. Psalm 127:1, Webster Bible

Dear Praying Friends,

Noah Webster (1758-1843) believed American children should read American history and learn from American, not British books. His grammar-speller-reader, popularly called the “blue-backed speller” was used to teach American children for over 100 years. The book was selling a million copies per year, 20 years after his death. Royalties from that book afforded Webster time for public service; to produce the first New English Bible translation in 250 years; and, over 27 years, to expand his first American Dictionary to over 70,000 words. Webster, known as the “Father of American Education,” helped create a common American language.

Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country; he should lisp the praise of liberty, and of those illustrious heroes and statesmen, who have wrought a revolution in her favor.

A selection of essays, respecting the settlement and geography of America; the history of the late revolution and of the most remarkable characters and events that distinguished it, and a compendium of the principles of the federal and provincial governments, should be the principal school book in the United States. These are interesting objects to every man; they call home the minds of youth and fix them upon the interests of their own country, and they assist in forming attachments to it, as well as in enlarging their understanding.

“Montesquieu observe, that the laws of education ought to be relative to the principles of the government.” In despotic governments, the people should have little or no education, except what tends to inspire them with a servile fear. Information is fatal to despotism…

In our American republics, where (government) is in the hands of the people, knowledge should be universally diffused by means of public schools. Of such consequence is it to society, that the people who make laws, should be well informed… I do not mean merely a knowledge of spelling books, and the New Testament. An acquaintance with ethics, and with the general principles of law, commerce, money and government, is necessary for the yeomanry of a republican state…

This school should be kept by the most reputable and well informed man in the district… The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head… (Noah Webster, “On the Education of Youth in America,” The Founders’ Constitution).

Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) contains six thousand Bible references. He wrote, “Education is useless without the Bible” (Webster’s Dictionary 1828)

With the exception of Ronald Reagan, every President since FDR has proposed sweeping federal reforms to fix public education, yet our children are farther behind and less prepared than any time in modern history. Morals, too, are at a low. Is it time, yet again, for new politically correct federally enforced standards and controls?

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Prayer Targets: Floyd on Fasting; Christian Genocide; Hope for Marriage; a Holy Fast; Israel; More

Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:21

Dear Praying Friends,

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, current President of the Southern Baptist Convention, in his 2009 book told how prayer and fasting changed his life and his congregation. What he learned has helped pastors and churches of many denominations. His message is needed now, more than ever.

Forty-Day Corporate Fast – On several occasions in our history, we have led the church to be a part of a forty-day fasting journey. I am not talking about individuals doing forty days by themselves, but the church going for forty days. Individuals would be challenged to fast one day during that forty days or however many days they desired during that period of time.

Our church has done forty-day corporate fasting for evangelistic events. In 1993… we were praying and fasting for one thousand people to come to Christ over a seven-day period of time… Miraculously… in that one week we witnessed more than twenty-six hundred people come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. All for Jesus! God heard our cry in prayer and fasting and did what only God could do. It was incredible!

We have done forty-day corporate fasting for revival, and … for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be upon our church… Our heart has always been for America so this was also in relationship to our nation as well. Prayer and fasting really give me the heartbeat that God is going to bring a mighty revival to America that will cross over all cultural, racial, ethnic, and denominational lines. Before Jesus returns, I believe we will see it occur…

A guide is important when you are leading your church in prayer and fasting….

Spiritual Goal - Fasting is abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind. The prayer guide defines the goal specifically and leads everyone to pray toward that goal… Oneness - a guide helps create a sense of unity. It promotes unity of spirit and oneness of heart. There is something unusually dynamic when we focus on the same thing together… Just knowing someone else, or twenty people, or five hundred people are praying at the same time for the same thing can elevate the entire church… Specificity - Powerful praying occurs when you pray specifically. Can you imagine your entire church praying for the same spiritual goal in complete oneness with one another and even with specificity over each request? Powerful! Life changing! God-sized results! Consistency - When you have a spiritual goal before you, knowing others are praying with the same specific prayer guide, you will be consistent in the journey… we organize most things, but at times we do not organize prayer. The Holy Spirit can lead you in the plan (and) the process.

RISING UP – I am not sure anything is more powerful than the church rising up to pursue God through the disciplines of prayer and fasting. While the walls around us seem too high, too deep, and too thick to overcome, through prayer and fasting each wall can be crushed and destroyed. When the church comes together in prayer and fasting, a mighty army is rising up to ascend the hills toward God, and NOTHING can stand in its way. For too long the world has seen what the church can do. Now is the time for the world to see what God can do through the church! … Prayer and fasting are God’s gateway to spiritual breakthroughs. Prayer and fasting will lead your church to experience God (Floyd, Power of Prayer and Fasting, 2009).

Dr. Bill Bright challenged Ronnie Floyd to fast for 40 days and it changed his life. Now he is calling for a trans-denominational prayer and fasting movement as the greatest hope for revival in our churches and nation (listen to Tony Perkins’ Interview with Dr. Floyd).

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Prayer Targets: Marriage War Continues; Common Core; Israeli Conflict; In God We Trust Campaign!

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12

Dear Praying Friends,

We should strive always to be peaceable and civil in speech but bold to speak “the truth in love” (Eph 4:14-15). Many martyrs, even as they submitted themselves to the stake, repeated Jesus’ words: ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:24). All eyes are upon us.

Their bold proclamation of God’s truth, spoken in love, despite the cost, was at the center of the martyrs’ testimony. We, too, are called to speak the word of God boldly to one another, to the lost around us, to those in power, to this “evil generation!” (Mt 12:34). We will face hostility, deception, danger, “the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14).” Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mt 10:16).

Thus, we must be bold to speak “the truth in love” even if “evil men and seducers” grow “worse and worse.” In our backslidden nation, many “lie in wait to deceive.” Lies and deception have become rampant in the American public square: in government, politics, the media. In the White House, our executive agencies, even the halls of Congress, lying has become an art form. Distinguishing lies from the truth has become a full time job for the American people, including those called to be Christ’s Ambassadors. The Church must be grounded in the Truth in order to speak it in love vigilantly, boldly, and winsomely. If truth does not prevail in the public arena, our Republic cannot survive. Darkness will instead prevail. Hostility toward those who believe will increase. Persecuted Christians will likely go into hiding as many have done in other nations (Pr 28:12). But if God’s people in America will arise now, go on the offense, and boldly speak the truth, refusing to allow lies and liars to prevail, there is hope.

Words are not enough! Paul points to the unseen world, where God’s praying people must wrestle and prevail against “principalities,” “powers,” and “spiritual wickedness in high places.” These powers will bring our nation down (Pr 14:34; 16:12). Only God’s people can pull down these wicked spiritual strongholds (2 Cor 10:4). Spirit-led, bold praying will beget Spirit-led, bold preaching, bold witnessing, and bold truth speaking in the public square (Jer 1:10; Mt 9:38; 28:18-20; Lk 10:19; Acts 4:23-31; Heb 10:16; Jas 5:14-18; Rev 12:11). As FRC and our allies are assaulted with lies, deceit, and dishonesty on every side, only the prayers of God’s people will enable us to make the impact we must make. And it will not be with words alone. Paul wrote, “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (1 Cor 4:20). Your prayers multiply the power with which we accomplish His work in Washington, the State Capitals, and your community (PB).

Circuit Court to Decide on Marriage in Four States - A three judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals in Cincinnati heard cases today that challenge traditional marriage amendments in four state Constitutions: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Each of the Amendments, duly passed by a majority of voters in each state according to their own Constitutional process, was ruled unconstitutional in federal district courts. The Appeals Court will consider all four as a single case. In nearly every federal jurisdiction, it seems activists can find liberal district judges who agree with the argument that same-sex “marriage” is a fundamental right by expanding the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Christians are tired of this fight, and many, including prominent pastors, have given in (Read FRC’s Dr. Chris Gacek’s recent article in the Cincinnati InquirerNo Fundamental Right to Same-Sex Marriage” to understand why they are wrong).

  • Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever! Your design for marriage is not only divine law and points to the union between Christ and the Church, but it has tremendous social benefits. Man may try to change it, but to do so it is to invite the sad consequences. May your people stand, proclaim truth lovingly, and refuse to bow to the lie, however craftily presented. Please move the Appeals Court to reverse these tyrannical and immoral rulings that usurp the clear intention of God, the expressed will of the people, their duly enacted state constitutions, their history and heritage! (Pr 22:8; Jer 18:14-18; Mt 19:4-6; Acts 4:31; Eph 5:32; Heb 13:8; Rev 3:8)

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Prayer Targets: City upon a Hill, Israel, Middle East; IRS & Churches; House to Sue President; More

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 15:13-14

Dear Praying Friends,

On January 25, 1974, California Governor Ronald Reagan delivered his famous “City upon a Hill” speech. John Winthrop, future Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, had penned the phrase that echoes Matthew 5:16 on the Arabella, sailing across the Atlantic with the wave of English Puritan Christians in 1630. His Model of Christian Charity set forth the principles and spirit by which citizens of “New England” were to live. Winthrop outlined a society built upon a covenant with God, the rule of law administered with justice and mercy, and God’s promised blessings of life, liberty and prosperity. Winthrop wrote:

First, in regard of the more near bond of marriage between Him and us, wherein He hath taken us to be His, after a most strict and peculiar manner, which will make Him the more jealous of our love and obedience. So [as he told Israel] therefore will I punish you for your transgressions.

Secondly, because the Lord will be sanctified in them that come near Him. We know that many corrupted the service of the Lord [and were punished - some swiftly, some more slowly].

Thirdly, when God gives a special commission He looks to have it strictly observed in every article… [Saul failed to keep his commission and lost the Kingdom]…

Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work…. He will expect a strict performance of the articles contained in it; but if we shall neglect the observation of these… dissembling with our God … [if we] embrace this present world and prosecute our carnal intentions, seeking great things for ourselves… the Lord will surely break out in wrath against us, and… make us know the price of the breach of such a covenant.

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. For this end, we must be knit together, in this work, as one man. [If we do this] The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us… and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways … we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work… and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world. We shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God… Beloved, there is now set before us life and death, good and evil… Therefore let us choose life, that we and our seed may live, by obeying His voice and cleaving to Him, for He is our life and our prosperity (Colonial Gov. John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity, 1630).

I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage… John Winthrop said, “We will be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. . . .” We cannot escape our destiny, nor should we try to do so… Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.” We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth (Gov. Ronald Reagan (CA), The City upon a Hill, 1974).

America’s broken covenant with God, our retreat from the vibrant Christian life and witness, our retreat from citizenship responsibilities that determine who will decide and what direction of our nation will take, have led to the greatest crisis in our churches, nation and world we’ve seen in our lifetime. Rev. Richard Owen Roberts gives us answers in his address, Something Must Be Done, delivered at FRC on Tuesday. I urge you to watch the video online. Afterwards, Roberts prayed that God would help us be willing to lay down our lives in prayer for the Church and our nation. See the Webcast message here and forward the link to others!

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Prayer Targets: Weeping Prophets; Christian Holocaust; ENDA; Israel, More

From that time Jesus began to preach… Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mt 4:17

Dear Praying Friends,

Rev. Richard Owen Roberts’ good friend, Dr. Henry Blackaby (bio), wrote the foreword to Roberts’s 2004, Repentance, the First Word of the Gospel.” Here are excerpts:

Have you ever heard the voice of the “weeping prophet”? … Every true prophet of God shares with Him the pain of a broken heart for the people of God. First, he cries toward God, and with God, in the knowledge of what could have been. Then, he laments with Him over the peoples’ terrible blindness and hardness of heart, with its accompanying tragic loss amid the immeasurable blessings that are assured by God Himself.

Given the nature of sin, God, in His justice, could simply judge His people completely and immediately. But He, in love, desires to extend His mercy, forgiveness, and restoration to all of His people in the hope that they will repent and return to Him… “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” … The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are working all the time to call and to draw people back from their sin to a full relationship with Himself.

This word “repentance” [must] become the first word from God to this generation. It must be clearly and persuasively taught and preached and urged among God’s people, and then, to an eternally… lost world. Roberts…is a true prophet to our generation… To me, true theologians are those who have been in the awesome presence of God and have a clear word from the immediate heart of God to their generation. Richard Owen Roberts is, in my judgment, such a spokesman for God. …

We desperately need men of integrity and spiritual power before God and men. When leaders depart from an intimacy with God, the people soon follow… Their ears become dull of hearing from God and their hearts become hard and heavy, so they will not hear, “lest they… should understand with their heart… be converted, and I should heal them” (Mt 13:15, Is 6:10).

(Henry T. Blackaby, Foreword, Richard Owen Roberts’ Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel).

Rev. Richard Owen Roberts, the “weeping prophet Blackaby describes, will speak at FRC headquarters next Tuesday, July 29th at 12 Noon (see rortrust.org). We would love to have you join us in person for his hour-long lecture or to view the webcast live via the internet. Please register here, and spread the word to praying friends!

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