And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment. Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart. 1 Chronicles 12:32-33
Dear Praying Friends,
Tomorrow, Thursday May 7th, is the National Day of Prayer. The United States of America was born in and through repentant, wholehearted prayer. Prayer was the key to every major turning point in our history. Thomas Jefferson’s 1774 call to prayer to “implore the Divine Interposition for averting the heavy Calamity, which threatens Destruction to our civil Rights, and the Evils of civil War; to give us one Heart and one Mind firmly to oppose, by all just and proper Means, every Injury to American Rights…” united and readied Virginia to stand with the New England patriots in opposition to the British Crown. After the first shots were fired in April, 1775, the Second Continental Congress’ June call for united prayer brought all thirteen colonies to their knees before God. Their repeated “Appeal to Heaven,” 15 times over the eight year conflict, spiritually solidified the diverse colonies and made possible their united Declaration of Independence and miraculous victory over Great Britain. It could also be argued that it laid the foundation for the Constitution and Bill of Rights and the framework for what has been the freest, most blessed nation in history, all due to God’s grace. Too many Americans have forgotten the Source of America’s blessings (see Dt 8). Sadly that unity, foundation and blessing have been unraveling at lightning speed.
The late Dr. J. Edwin Orr, in his booklet, Prayer and Revival, quoted Dr. A.T. Pierson as saying that every spiritual awakening is born out of concerted, united, sustained prayer.
John Erskin, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, wrote a pamphlet, pleading with God’s people to unite in prayer for the revival. He sent a copy to Jonathan Edwards in New England, mightily used of God in the first Great Awakening. Edwards responded by writing a book: “A Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of all God’s People in Extraordinary Prayer for the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth, pursuant to Scripture Promises and Prophecies….”
But after the Revolutionary war, the effects of the first Awakening had all but disappeared and America found itself in a state of profound moral decay. Drunkenness and shocking profanity were epidemic. Women would not go out at night for fear of assault. Bank robberies occurred daily. Once vital Christian denominations were all in decline. U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote James Madison, that the Church ‘was too far gone ever to be redeemed.’ Voltaire predicted and Thomas Paine agreed, that “Christianity will be forgotten in thirty years.”
A poll at Harvard found not one believer in the student body. Two were found at Princeton, but only five students did not belong to the “filthy speech movement.” Students rioted. A mock communion was held at Williams College, and anti-Christian plays at Dartmouth. They burned down Nassau Hall at Princeton, forced the resignation of Harvard’s president, stole the Bible from a New Jersey church and burned it in a public bonfire. Christians met secretly on campus and kept minutes in code so that no one would know. But prayer changed things!
In 1794, when things were at their worst Baptist pastor Isaac Backus addressed another urgent plea for prayer for revival to pastors of every Christian denomination in the United States. Pastors grasped the urgency and adopted his plan. America became interlaced with a network of prayer meetings, and churches set aside the first Monday of each month to pray. Before long, revival came, and the Second Great Awakening ensued. Dr. Orr asks, “Is not this what is missing so much from all our evangelistic efforts: explicit agreement, visible unity, unusual prayer? (See Prayer and Revival)
Christianity is again in moral decay. Our faith is under assault by our federal and many state and local governments. Ought not each of us to observe the National Day of Prayer this Thursday, Call2Fall on Sunday, June 28th, and other efforts throughout the year to facilitate explicit agreement, visible unity, and unusual prayer?
Military Sexual Assault, Low Morale Pandemic, Women in Combat – Before the overturning of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” a major policy objective of the Obama Administration, sexual assault in the U.S. Military had been a problem, but since DADT was repealed, sexual assault has become pandemic. Even groups like FRC, which warned of the consequences of overturning DADT, are shocked that the number of male against male sexual assaults now substantially exceeds male against female assaults in the services. If the percentage of homosexual enlistees mirrors the general population, they would compose fewer than 3% of the troops.
Two weeks ago, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a group of ROTC cadets, “Last year, we estimated that at least 18,900 service members… 10,400 men and 8,500 women — experienced unwanted sexual contact.” He went on to say that the figure was low because men are less likely to report sexual assault (about 13% of men report v. 40% of women). This is extraordinary! And reports announced this week show that if the number of sexual assaults by military servicemen against civilians were included, the numbers would double.
Despite serious problems with sexual assault in the military, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is expected to begin integrating women into the Navy Seals. The U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command has declared that it has “found no barriers” to integrating women. “We don’t see anything that will prevent us from moving forward with our integration,” the source said. The Washington Times reports that Army Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, will make recommendations to Secretary Carter on the Military’s other exclusively male units such as the Army’s Green Berets, Rangers and Delta Force. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revoked the ban on women in direct ground combat in June of 2013. Then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said regarding the combat bar for women: “the military better have a good reason for not lowering it.”
Meanwhile, the Marines, which have similarly experimented with women in combat roles, reported in April that of 29 women, who attempted to graduate from the Infantry Officers Course, none were able to graduate and only four made it through the first day’s combat endurance test. FRC Senior Fellow Robert Maginnis, retired Army officer and author of the book “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat” said “The pressure is on the services from the White House’s politically correct crowd… [President] Obama’s Pentagon appointees…will force the services to accept [a] degraded standard.” Secretary Carter will make a final decision by January.
It is little wonder that more than half of our soldiers are pessimistic about their future in the military and a similar number say they are unhappy with their jobs; this despite a six-year-long, $287 million campaign to make troops more optimistic and resilient. And soon, “there may only be atheists in the foxholes,” writes The Washington Times from an interview with FRC Ally Michael Berry from Liberty Institute. Christians are leaving the U.S. military or are discouraged from joining in the first place because of a “hostile work environment” that doesn’t let them express their beliefs openly (see 10,400 Men Sexually Assaulted; Victims Neglected; Carter Video; Double Number; Super-Low Morale; Christians Leaving, not Joining; Panetta Lifts Ban, 2013; Pressure on Marines; Hostile to Christians).
- Cry out to God for our military men and women, our military readiness and our national security! May our next President reverse the damage the Obama administration has done! May Congress act to make changes now to mitigate the damage, even before the next Election! And may God protect our military men and our nation’s Security during this extremely vulnerable time (1 Sam 2:1-10; Ps 20:7-9; 75:5-7; 118:8-12; 146:3-10; Pr 3:34-35; Lk 14:31-32).
Finally, please continue to pray for the Supreme Court as each Justice makes his or her marriage decision (see FRC Select Panel: What happens after the Decision); Remember Anne Graham Lotz’s: Mayday, Mayday! Call to Prayer; Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6): Israel’s Prime Minster Netanyahu is still facing challenges from within; Meanwhile U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, won’t rule out advancing anti-Israel U.N resolutions. Thank you for praying!