Prayer Targets: Beth Moore; Pastors Standing!; Iran; Transgender Army, Kleins Stand, 10 Commandments

Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God; that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand… Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints… Ephesians 6:13, 18

Beth Moore began Living Proof Ministries in 1994 to teach women “how to love and live on God’s word.” Her international ministry is headquartered in Houston.  She and her husband Keith go to Bayou City Fellowship where their son-in-law is pastor. Their two adult daughters serve with them. Beth writes books, hosts a radio program and appears weekly on TV. These excerpts are from her blog post.

What do we do… In this climate of increasing hostility toward Christians? How do we glorify God and do people good in an environment where we’re colossally unpopular?

Bemoaning will not help us. Believing will. We here in the West have, generally speaking, gotten away with living out our Christianity selfishly, carnally, politically, lazily, and, forgive me and include me, sloppily… That’s not going to work now… These are days for sanctification… to walk in a manner worthy of [our] calling…

In my upbringing, practically everybody went to church whether or not they believed in God… But we didn’t speak much about Jesus outside those walls… My family wouldn’t have known to get down on the floor together on all our knees and cry out with one unified heart for God to come and rescue us from our destruction, our bitterness, our despair, our unforgiveness, our addictions and our hypocrisies. We’d never been taught or shown such a thing. Issues like rampant prejudice and sexual abuse never came up. Church didn’t sort through the trash… church was mostly about being proper… I don’t have anything against being proper… But it’s a new America and one the cross of Christ foresaw. The tide of Christ’s blood reached these banks way back then. He hasn’t moved off shore… we who live here are called to inhabit on purpose and serve well…

In all those years I never heard anyone pray like I hear people pray today… I heard sweet prayers and meaningful prayers and reverent prayers and, all of them, genuine prayers. And they were heard by God… But I never heard anybody pray under such an unction of the Holy Spirit that I had to open my eyes to see if they were lit up like a torch. I didn’t hear prayers like that at church until the last few decades. I don’t mean screaming and yelling. That doesn’t move me. I’m just talking about an atmosphere filled by the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit where the Word of God is not just taught, it is walked and stalked and pounded out on the pavement of our workplaces and social environments and under the roofs of our very own homes. An atmosphere not of convenience but of desperation where the Word of God has the power to break addictions and mend factions. When I was growing up, the only people who studied their Bibles were clergy…

Yesterday’s gone… Jesus longs to work here and now and among us in this world. A gift has come to us if we’ll receive it. Our old way of doing things won’t work anymore. We won’t get away with being lazy in our faith and in our spiritual disciplines… We won’t get away with virtual church. We can’t be equipped that way. We can’t fulfill our callings autonomously and self-contained. We won’t get away with all our fracturing and infighting over secondary issues. We’ll need each other too badly. The padding on the Body of Christ in America has been stripped away with the last threads of nominal Christianity… But make no mistake. Lean can be strong. Lean can run fast and hard with the gospel around the globe…

We won’t get away with all our carnality. It’s cheating us of the Spirit (Eph 4:4). We won’t get away with these things if we’re to walk worthy of our callings in a culture increasingly unwelcoming to Christians. Not if we’re going to love people who hate us. Bless people who curse us. Help people who hurt us. (Eph 4:22-24)…

Before we know it… we will stand before Jesus and look at His glorious face and marvel over His worthiness of every ounce of our devotion… We’ll have only had this one chance to do this thing with all our hearts. Let’s not go back… Let’s go forward… to the Bible… to prayer… to the Holy Spirit… The Spirit pouring. He’s doing something wildly significant today. Let’s congregate… so we can spread out and splash on a dry and thirsty land… For we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25). And the devil’s not playing out there (Beth Moore, Going Forward: What do we do in this climate of increasing hostility toward Christians? July 8, 2015, edited for length).

Denominations, Pastors, People and the Court – The Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage opinion brought more confusion, not less, to the issue.  Yet it is prompting believers to examine their commitments and make hard choices.  Thankfully, pastors across America are making bold, unequivocal public commitments to stand by biblical marriage no matter what the cost, and reports are that their people are standing behind them wholeheartedly and almost universally.  Others remain shamefully silent, and their silence signals consent.  The resultant sifting will continue and out of it will come a stronger church and a stronger individual people!

The stark reality is that some churches will pay a price for standing. Homosexual activists have already targeted Christian businesses for bullying and fines, but many have their sights on churches. Some in the insurance industry have indicated that churches will not be covered for lawsuits pertaining to same-sex marriage. Meanwhile new calls are coming for church tax exemption to be ended, and some experts predict that employment discrimination and other lawsuits related to the LGBT issue are imminent for churches.  The good news is that Congress’ First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) to protect Christians who believe in biblical marriage is gaining momentum, even as pundits debate the “limits of religious liberty.” (see Preacher’s Habit; Churches Ponder; Insurance; Audio/Video: Dr. David P. Murray on Court Ruling; Evangelical Strangers; Religious Liberty Bill; Limits of Religious Liberty; What Happened!).

May both houses of Congress move quickly to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) protecting Americans, who view marriage as a covenant between one man and one woman! (Gen 1:28-31; Pr 22:28; Mt 19:4-6; 2 Cor 6:1-3; Eph 5:11-17).

Iran Nuclear Deal Struck – The U.S. has struck a deal with the world’s leading terrorist sponsoring state – Iran.This despite President Obama’s promises to Naghmeh Abedini that he would make getting her pastor husband, Saeed’s release from prison a priority, and his promises to “leave no American behind” the deal was struck while three innocent Americans remain in Iranian prisons, each shamelessly to subjected abuse, even as negotiations were underway.  Iranian leaders have repeatedly promised to destroy the United States (“the Great Satan”) and Israel (“the Little Satan”). Our strongest ally, Israel, abhors the deal, which experts say will produce an arms race among Middle Eastern nations. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu warned that the deal would guarantee Iran a nuclear weapon sooner than later, resulting in great danger to the region and the world.

Meanwhile, even during the most furious days of the negotiations, President Obama hosted yet another Iftar Feast at the White House on June 23rd to celebrate the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting, a memorial to Mohamed’s first “revelation.” The guest list included imams, muftis, and prominent American Muslims. The agenda included Islamic prayers and a speech by the President honoring Islam and the achievements of American Muslims, which was a stark contrast to his chiding of Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast in February and again at Easter (see Nuclear Deal; Three American Abandoned; 16 Reasons Deal a Catastrophe; Netanyahu’s Response; White House Iftar Feast; National Prayer Breakfast; Easter).

Please pray that the U.S. will re-embrace its long-standing policy not to negotiate with terrorists. May Congress move quickly to reject any “deal” with a radical Islamist regime that is determined to destroy America and wipe Israel off the map (Jdg 2:1-3; Ps 2:1-6; Pr 12:6-19; 22:24-28; 26:24-28; Is 28:14-22).

Finally, please pray for these issues:  First, pray for our military. While morale among the troops is at an all-time low, the Pentagon has announced a plan that would end the prohibition against transgender military personnel (see FRC’s Responding to the Transgender Movement).  Pray also about the fact that activists are calling for the ouster of military chaplains. Pray for Aaron and Melissa Klein, who decided that they will not pay the $135,000 fine nor obey the gag order imposed by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian pertaining to their decision not to bake a same-sex wedding cake (see 10 Questions). Give thanks to God for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who will not remove the Ten Commandments in the wake of that state’s Supreme Court ruling. Thank you for praying!

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