Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle— My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?
George Washington believed in liberty and the essential defense of his country. Against all odds, he turned ordinary citizens who were poorly equipped and poorly armed into a force that, with God’s providential assistance, defeated the mightiest nation and strongest military power in the world. Washington was a humble, devoted Christian who prayed for hours each day, early in the morning and late at night, both during the war and as president, putting the modern church to shame. Historians who harvest from the few false narratives from Washington’s day attempt to sully his reputation and make his memory more in line with the contemporary politicians. The truth is few today could hold a candle to Washington’s faith or character.
After having been unanimously chosen by Congress as commander of the Continental Army and leading us to victory, then having faithfully executed his charge as President of the Constitutional Convention that produced our governing document, Washington was elected to the presidency by acclamation. He humbly thanked the leaders and people of Philadelphia, giving credit to Almighty God, saying,
When I contemplate the interposition of Providence as it was visibly manifested in guiding us through the revolution, in preparing us for the reception of a general government, and in conciliating the good will of the people of America to one another after its adoption – I feel myself oppressed and almost overwhelmed with a sense of the divine munificence: I feel that nothing is due to my personal agency in all these complicated and wonderful events, except what can simply be attributed to the exertions of an honest zeal for the good of my country” Journal of American History, Volume 8, Issue 2, p. 199; see also Dr. Kenyn Cureton’s’ Lost Episode’s, p. 449)
After his re-election, always giving God the glory and honor to whom it was due, Washington gave his “Fifth Annual Message” (State of the Union Address). In it was a stern warning for then and now:
There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war” (Washington, 1793, Avalon Project).
Our Founders gave us a Democratic Republic that has given religious liberty to millions and served as a model for nations. But our Founders repeatedly warned that the American experiment would fail without God, biblical faith and character. May God’s people arise in this pivotal election year, pray for godly candidates to step forward, and get involved in the process to elect God-fearing men and women to public office. May they choose people of faith and character who meet the qualifications God gave to Moses for civil leaders at every level (Ex 18:21).
Defunding Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare: The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today, January 6, 2016, on the Budget Reconciliation bill, which includes defunding of a large part of ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood. When voters gave the GOP control of both Houses of Congress in 2014, conservatives had high hopes that the new Congress would put an end to many of the unconscionable White House initiatives. But, 1) 60 votes are required overcome a filibuster in the Senate, and 2) too many Republican Senators saw little sense in passing laws they knew in advance the president would veto. Rank and file conservatives were angered when the leaders of either chamber failed to guide their respective chambers to stand up to the president and when they chose not to debate and vote on bills they knew the president would veto. When before his resignation, John Boehner brokered an Omnibus budget deal with the White House, and bi-partisan majorities in both houses passed it after he was gone, leaving Obamacare and Planned Parenthood untouched, many Christians and conservatives were incensed. Indeed, Rev. Franklin Graham publicly announced his decision to leave the GOP and become an Independent. Even now, the Republican Party is in the “dog house” for many conservatives.
Yet under the radar, the House and Senate took the extraordinary measure of dealing with Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare via the budget reconciliation process. The Senate voted to defund ObamaCare and Planned Parenthood before Christmas, and the House scheduled a vote on January 6th, right after they returned from the Christmas break. They knew full well that the president would veto it in any case. The House, certain it will prevail in the vote today, has already scheduled a vote to override the president on January 20th. It is very unlikely that the Senate will get the 67 votes needed to override the veto. But this is not in vain. The vote will draw public attention to the veto and will set the stage for a new, pro-life president to sign a revived bill next year. Moreover, from a spiritual perspective, this will be the first time Congress has passed and delivered a bill defunding Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare to the president’s desk. As the elected representatives of the people, Congress will be transferring the guilt of that body’s former inaction from themselves and the American people and placing it squarely where it lies, on President Obama. (see Vote Marks Testy Start to 2016; Pre-Christmas Senate Vote; Parliamentarian’s Ruling)
- May God’s people everywhere pause from their duties to pray for the members of the House today as they vote to approve this reconciliation bill, which will greatly reduce taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and large parts of ObamaCare. May the president be rebuked for his shameless veiled scheme to circumvent the law prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortion, and may the American people cease to be deceived by this evil racket that has been engaged not only in abortion but the wholesale marketing of aborted baby parts for a profit. May those involved in the many crimes of Planned Parenthood be brought to justice before the hand of God’s justice is brought upon all Americans.
Franklin Graham’s 50-State Tour: Having begun in Des Moines, Iowa, yesterday (see dates and places HERE), Graham’s prayer, evangelism and culture-challenging events at state capitols will run until Election Day. In addition to preaching the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ (as did his father did)., he will explain to America the consequences of our personal and societal sins, urge believers to participate in the national, state and local elections and to exercise their sacred duty to vote. Graham will make plain the moral and spiritual precipice upon which our nation teeters and the catastrophic consequence that will come if we elect bad men and women to lead us (Visit Decision America Tour).
- May God’s people rally to these events in support and may God bless Franklin Graham with His presence and power as he leads. God grant an Awakening all across our land!
Death of a National Prayer Leader: Vonette Bright, cofounder of Campus Crusade for Christ (now, “Cru”) with her husband, Dr. Bill Bright, passed away two days before Christmas at the age of 89. Mrs. Bright lobbied Congress to pass a measure to observe the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May each year, signed into law by President Reagan. Since then the NDP has become an anchor to the burgeoning national prayer movement. She was founder of the National Prayer Committee, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and, up until a few months ago, continued to be involved in all of these ministries.
- May the family of Mrs. Bright be comforted and encouraged by her legacy and may God raise up others like her and Shirley Dobson to carry the torch! (1 Kgs 8:35; 2 Kgs 24:4; 2 Chr 7:14; Eze 3:19-20; Joel 2:13, 17-18)
Finally, pray for FRC President Tony Perkins, who will deliver the 2nd Annual “State of the Family Address” next Monday, January 11, at 7 PM ET. Also, pray for us as we host on Saturday, January 16 (National Religious Freedom Day) a nationwide event called Free to Believe, a hands-on, fast paced four-hour training to help pastors and local churches develop “Culture Impact Teams” (CITs) – local church ministries that help local churches make a powerful impact in their communities and states and to help preserve and advance Religious Liberty in America. I urge you to forward this to your pastor. Please pray over these special productions, and as always, especially for 2016, thank you for praying!