Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September 25, 2013 - On Watch in Washington - The Informer


Obama administration officials, facing criticism that they are behind schedule in

Obamacare is before the U.S. Supreme Court again. On Thursday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyers filed the first viable petition for Supreme Court review involving Kathleen Sebelius' HHS Mandate, which requires employers to provide abortion-related insurance coverage, even if those employers have a religious objection to abortion.


There is nothing brand new here for seasoned intercessors. We know that "praying into the news" is often a complex process, so we must persevere and be patient. First, we pray for the headline issue (see above). But we are also free to intercede for multiple related issues. Thus, we not only have the healthcare concern; with that come questions of how much government control is good for the nation, whether this is a righteous law, concern for the elderly, the future of Medicare, a crying out for national righteousness, and more. This is a difficult issue at a critical time in U.S. history. Please pray as you are led by God's Spirit.


"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." (Prov. 12:34)

"For lack of guidance a nation falls,
 but victory is won through many advisers." (Prov. 11:14)

"He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit."

(Prov. 12:17)



A House bill being introduced Thursday seeks to protect the religious freedom of individuals, institutions and businesses that are increasingly being punished or harassed for their beliefs on marriage.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act is intended to "prohibit discrimination through the federal tax code" against citizens and institutions who think marriage is the union of one man and one woman, said Rep. Raul R. Labrador, Idaho Republican.

The bill does not address state tax rules or laws, and therefore would not have affected, for example, recent state actions against a New Mexico photographer or the Oregon bakery that each refused to participate in gay marriages.


This article clearly defines its own prayer points, and we won't insult intercessors by belaboring the obvious. Father God, help us to think clearly as we intercede and to discern Your purposes. We repent for our country that this issue is even considered for judicial review. We ask You, our mighty God and heavenly Father, to intervene at a deep level. We pray in unity that You remind and warn every Supreme Court justice to tread very cautiously around (not on!) freedoms men and women have by Your endowment. What we desire-for our own hearts and for those who lead in each branch of government and at every level-is a new release of the fear of God. A great battle is looming, and we need Your help to preserve our nation. You gave us hope in your Word that those who are with You are greater in spiritual power than those who would squelch our freedom to believe and worship You without intervention or prejudice.


"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..."(Psalm 33:12)

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you ... But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake... He who hates Me hates My Father also...But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'" (John 15:18-25)

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)



A bill banning abortions in Albuquerque after 20 weeks of pregnancy will be put to voters in New Mexico's most populous city in November and could become the first municipal abortion ban in the nation.

The city council voted 5-4 late on Monday to put on the ballot the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Ordinance," which contains few of the standard abortion exceptions seen in many states.


This is not new ground for intercessors. But there is an emerging trend, and those committed to praying against the evil forces driving the abortion industry may now mix thanksgiving with intercession. Why? The battleground is shifting to the states and, with this report, to cities. True, even when local votes are won, lawsuits will proliferate, eventually to the Supreme Court. Still, some historians believe that a return to Constitutional government and the overturn of many bad legal decisions will be pioneered in state legislatures. Let us not forget William Wilberforce, England's great emancipator of the slave trade. In an 18-year battle, the final straw was a relatively obscure shipping law that broke the back of that demonic enterprise. As revival comes, a Christian's vote in local and state elections may be God's instrument in a breakthrough. As you pray, note the relationship between "unity" and "Life forevermore" (Ps. 133).


"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them." (Psalm 139:13-16)

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7)

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing-Life forevermore." (Psalm 133:1-3)



Big majorities of both Republicans and Democrats agree that not raising the federal debt ceiling would seriously hurt the economy. But the public is nonetheless divided along partisan lines over whether Congress should increase the borrowing limit, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The government's authority to borrow more money will run out sometime in October. Before then, Congress must deal with legislation to fund the government. At this point, President Obama and congressional Republicans are far from agreement on how to avoid a potentially chaotic outcome.


We have watched a photographer frame a picture before snapping the shutter. The primary action is turning the lens to the ultimate point of focus before pressing the button in hopes of getting that perfect photo. Polls are like snapshots, a capture of action at the instant (only). What would the same questions tell us today? No one knows. Nor, in this case, does it matter. The key to this item is in the final paragraph: "But distrust of the opposite party is a prime factor in shaping overall opinion." Opinions change; truth does not. And intercessors know that our nation is severely divided on many levels. Let us pray guided by Scripture and conscience. Intercessors are optimistic, not because we forget that human nature is sinful, wicked, and innately selfish and greedy, but because we believe God's purposes will prevail as the Church unifies, stands together in repentance and prayer, and desires only the glory of God in our nation's destiny.


"But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: 'Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.'" (Matthew 12:25)

"The lot is cast into the lap [very old way of seeking guidance, based chance], but its every decision is from the Lord" [meaning that His purpose, not men's whims, will prevail]. (Prov. 16:33)

"Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you." (Hosea 10:12)


An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from carrying out any activities in the country and ordered the seizure of the group's funds, widening a campaign to debilitate the Islamist movement of deposed President Mohamed Mursi.

"The court bans the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood organization and its non-governmental organization and all the activities that it participates in and any organization derived from it," said the presiding judge Mohammed al-Sayed.


As intercessors in (for) America, our main concern about Egyptian affairs has to be for the cruel persecution being suffered by Christians, including-most notably-members of the ancient Coptic Church. Christians are being decimated by violence, as are many pockets of believers all over the planet. Sadly, it is nothing new (think China). We are glad for the subduing of violence promoted heavily by the Muslim Brotherhood, but Islamist terrorism is a worldwide time-bomb (by any name) that will not be defused until God sovereignly intervenes. Let us, of course, pray for the persecuted Church, brothers and sisters everywhere who are suffering for no reason other than being followers of Jesus Christ. In such cases "the battle is the Lord's," and we must rest in the assurance that God will avenge, as He sees fit, every martyred life. Let us pray accordingly.


"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." (Psalm 116:15)

"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." (Hebrews 13:3)


"When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?' Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been." (Rev. 6:9-11) 



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, stepping up his effort to blunt a diplomatic offensive by Iran, plans to warn the United Nations next week that a nuclear deal with the Iranian government could be a trap similar to one set by North Korea eight years ago, according to an Israeli official involved in drafting the speech.

Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to address the General Assembly next Tuesday, a week after President Obama and Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, are to speak at the United Nations.  


International "diplomacy" has more twists and turns than a mountain road in the Alps, and if we try to follow Middle East details according to the press, we may easily be praying contradictory prayers today from those we prayed yesterday. Instead, since intercessors seek to be guided by the Word of God as illuminated by the Holy Spirit-and most likely all pray regularly for the peace of Jerusalem, which today does not rest peacefully in terms of the world scene-let us put no trust in today's headlines. Instead, we must intercede as biblical knowledge and conscience inform us. Mr. Netanyahu fears that Iran is setting a trap, and that President Obama, eager to be a peace-negotiator, may be fooled. Let us continue to ask, seek, and knock. Our Scriptures are not "comfortable" promises, but our Lord seems to be describing the days we live in. As we observe, we must be guided by "the whole counsel of God."


"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these signs are the beginning of birth pains."  (Matthew 24:6-8)

 "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."  (Matthew 24:9-14) 



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