Prayer Targets: Dr. King; The Reconciled Church; First Pro-life Vote; March for Life; Much More
January 21, 2015
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off…were persuaded ofthem, and embraced them… And… having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:1, 13, 39-40
Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, writes about Dr. Martin Luther King’s amazing accomplishments during the ten short years between his 25th and 35th birthday. King’s personal faith and the power of his dream live on despite his untimely assassination at the age of 39. Excerpts:
When Martin Luther King Jr. accepted the ministerial call from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, he was just twenty-five years old…1954. What King accomplished over the next decade would radically reshape American society… So what was his secret?
A year after he arrived in Montgomery, Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on a public bus, and King led the Montgomerybusboycott to end segregation. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with the boycotters in 1956.
A year later in 1957 King formed and led the Southern Christian Leaders Conference, which helped organize the burgeoning civil rights movement. He also spoke before his first national audience and made the cover of Time magazine.
But that was only the beginning. King’s organizing and protest work continued in the late fifties and early sixties with sit-ins and protests, culminating in the events of 1963.
In April King was arrested in Birmingham for disobeying a ban on demonstrations. When he came under fire from local ministers, he responded with one of his most important and memorable works, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
A few months later, he led the March on Washington, attended by over 200,000 people. 1963 was the hundred year anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and King gave his stirring “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
The demonstration galvanized nationwide support for civil rights. Earlier that summer President John F. Kennedy introduced the nation’s most sweeping civil rights legislation to date, and the impact of the march and King’s advocacy was instrumental in its passage in 1964…
Time picked King as its man of the year, and the Nobel committee made him the youngest-ever recipient of the Peace Prize. All in ten years!He was just thirty-five years old, and there was more work to do, but he’d already turned the world upside down…
That’s what “I Have a Dream” was all about. He could see it, regardless of what some people said or believed. He could visualize the victory and knew in his bones that he would someday realize it as well. Those liberating truths freed him to act with determination (read the rest of Hyatt’s article HERE, another King sermon, his Nobel Lecture).
This week we remember both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy as well as the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. There are many parallels between the civil rights and pro-life movements. Despite the safeguards of liberty and justice built into our Republic, injustices exist. Both movements demonstrate the power of the people to right wrongs in our system, with faith, prayer, votes, and by peacefully resisting those who misuse the power of government to do evil. Neither movement has fully succeeded, but both have seen tremendous gains. God gives every human being value and dignity. May our prayers prevail in the causes of righteousness and justice!
“The Reconciled Church: Healing The Racial Divide” – Incidents in Ferguson, MO, and New York City, in which black men died as a result of police action, were flashpoints for a nationwide eruption of racial hostility between primarily disaffected blacks toward whites. The protests awakened Americans to the distance that remains before the goal of racial reconciliation will have been reached, despite huge strides in the sphere of civil rights. Last week a diverse group of Christian leaders from across America gathered at Potters House Church in Dallas, Texas to agree that only the Church, not civil government, is going to provide the leadership that will effect real reconciliation. Leaders included: T.D. Jakes, Harry Jackson, Ken Blackwell, Samuel Rodriguez, Tony Perkins, Lon Solomon, Tony Evans; Jim Garlow, Alveda King, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (USA Ret.), and many others, who together considered seven "Bridges to Peace" 1) reconciliation and prayer forums; 2) education policy reform; 3) community engagement forums; 4) community service and compassion outreaches; 5) personal, marriage and family development; 6) engagement with the criminal justice system; and 7) economic development strategies. Fresh dialogue was a first step. Bishop Harry Jackson, primary organizer of the dialogue, followed up with a letter to President Obama requesting he take action to reform the nationwide prison system. Jackson also appealed that this gathering in Dallas be “not just a meeting but the start of a movement” (Hear Blackwell & Perkins on Dr. King; read Legacy Fit for a King; C.P. Report; view Evening Service; Jackson Letter re. Criminal Justice System).
Heavenly Father, You teach that where Your people dwell in unity, there You command the blessing! You have called us from a world divided by race, language, culture and national identity to make us one in Christ. You command us to love one another and teach the nations to obey all that you have commanded us. Heal Your Church of racial division so that we can be used to heal our nation! Forgive us, Lord, and help us to forgive one another, even sins, hurts and wounds from past generations. Grant us unity in Your Word, which alone holds forth hope for our nation. Knit our hearts: Black and White and all ethnicities. Help our identity in You to transcend all other identities. May the dream Dr. King called us to, that one day a man would not be judged by the color of his skin, but the content of his character, come to pass in our day. May our pastors lead the way! (Ps 33:12; Ps 133; Pr 14:34; Mt 12:25; 1 Cor 12:12-27; Gal 3:26-28; Eph 4:1-6)
New Congress’ First Pro-life Vote: Tomorrow – Congress has scheduled a vote on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 36, to coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The bill, introduced by Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), passed the House by 228-196 in 2013. However, like other pro-life legislation passed in that chamber, it fell victim to then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who prevented debate and a vote. President Obama has already promised to veto the pro-life bill should which should pass both Houses of Congress. This is not unexpected from a President who, when he was a State Senator in Illinois, was the only one to speak in opposition to a partial birth abortion ban that was being considered at the time (Obama Threatens Veto, Life Support for Pain Ban, What Science Reveals about Fetal Pain).
Lord, end the tyranny against and murder of the preborn in our nation. Intervene to stop the President from thwarting the majority in Congress and the majority of American who favor life. Grant us new leaders in every branch who will honor the Declaration and the Constitution to protect Life. Be mightily with those coming to Washington tomorrow and May the news media report the truth about hundreds of thousands who come to DC every year to March for Life! (Dt 19:10; Ps 54:3;110:3;139:13-19; Lk 4:17-21; Jn 10:10)
Among pro-life events surrounding the annual March for Life, Thursday January 22, 2015:
1) Tonight, OneVoiceDC, local churches, local and national pro-life orgs will conduct a nondenominational praise and prayer meeting on the eve of the annual March. Thursday March.
2) Tomorrow morning, FRC’s ProLifeCon, live and on the Web, will connect professional bloggers and online activists to learn the latest technologies and strategies that are winning! Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), Rep James Lankford (R-OK);
3) In early AM, The National Memorial for the Pre-Born will gather a multi-denominational group of clergy and laypeople for a semi-liturgical prayer and worship service.
4) March for Life–At Noon tomorrow, perhaps hundreds of thousands will travel to Washington to March in support for Life. If you come, drop by and see us at FRC – 801 G. Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Whether you can attend or not, please pray over these important events and thank you for praying!