Prayer Targets: Dave Butts; Netanyahu Warning; Charlotte SOGI; Alabama Court; SCOTUS & Obamacare
March 04, 2015
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith... 1 Peter 5:8-9
Dear Praying Friends:
Dave Butts is chairman of the National Prayer Committee (NPC), president of Harvest Prayer Ministries, and a leader in many other national groups. In 1991, Rev. Butts wrote A New Call for Extraordinary Prayer:
It is very easy to allow our attention to be diverted back to what we call "normal." Unfortunately, "normal" often means life without God and without a dependence upon Him in prayer. I believe it is vital for us to hold on to our first response...the response of prayer.
The Church desperately needs to both issue and respond to a new call for extraordinary prayer. Extraordinary prayer goes beyond the normal expectations of the past. It is prayer that can bring God's power to bear on a whole new world facing us--a world of uncertainty, fear and war.
The Bible records times of extraordinary prayer like this. One good example occurred in the Book of Esther. The crisis there concerned the lives of every Jew held captive in Babylon. A decree had been issued that would result in genocide for the Jews. Queen Esther was going to risk her life by going to the King on behalf of her people; however, before she went, she called her people to three days of prayer and fasting for her mission. Extraordinary prayer brought about extraordinary deliverance.
The Book of Ezra gives another good example of extraordinary prayer. Ezra... preparing to lead a group of the exiles back from Babylon to Jerusalem (realized the danger and) that they should not merely presume upon God's protection. So he called the people to humble themselves and pray and fast over the journey. God heard their prayers and gave them safe passage...
Charles H. Spurgeon, was used by God to bring many into the Kingdom and in the process, a large church was built in London. He challenged his people to extraordinary prayer... He wrote... "Have we not tried to preach without trying to pray? Is it not likely that the church has been putting forth its preaching hand but not its praying hand? O Dear friends! Let us agonize in prayer, and it shall come to pass that (we) shall witness the sighs and groans of the penitent and the songs of the converted"...
In the United States, the Great Awakenings came in response to Christians gathering for extraordinary prayer... Robert Bakke in his wonderful book, The Power of Extraordinary Prayer writes, "It was born out of convictions that say with certainty that, regardless of how bright or dark the hour we live in, God is about to do something greater than He's ever done before... A great and lucid vision of Christ's earthly reign was before their eyes--with (people in every nation) united... before the throne of God... It was a compelling vision that would not let Christians rest or let go of God until the rule of God held sway in every aspect of life." ...
Has your church made a decision to pray extraordinarily for the working of God's power? The key ... was for Christians to gather together for times of extraordinary prayer--as was the practice of the early Church (see Acts 2:42-47; 4:17-37).
We are living in times that are not "normal." What has been normal for us in our prayer life and experience of Christianity will not suffice for this hour. God is calling us to extraordinary prayer! How will you respond? (Dave Butts, A New Call for Extraordinary Prayer, 1991, abridged).
The urgency of Dave's timeless message has grown exponentially. May we all hear and respond!!!
Netanyahu Speech - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu navigated the strange response from President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and some 50 members (between the Senate and House), who either refused to receive him or attend his speech. Yet speaking to a packed chamber, Netanyahu was a gentleman in every way, praising the President for his help at key moments in recent history and assuring the American public that he had no political intention in coming to Washington, but only a feeling of "profound obligation to speak to you about an issue that could well threaten the survival of my country and the future of my people: Iran's quest for nuclear weapons."
Netanyahu received forty rounds of applause, from both sides of the aisle and 29 standing ovations as he laid out a clear and compelling picture of what will happen if the U.S. makes a deal with Iran akin to that has already been told the public. He noted U.S. concern with ISIS, but compared the ISIS problem to the Iran problem, saying: "The difference is that ISIS is armed with butcher knives, captured weapons and YouTube, whereas Iran could soon be armed with intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. We must always remember -- I'll say it one more time -- the greatest dangers facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons. To defeat ISIS and let Iran get nuclear weapons would be to win the battle, but lose the war. We can't let that happen."
He warned that Iran's Supreme Leader says openly that "Iran plans to have 190,000 centrifuges, not 6,000 or even the 19,000 that Iran has today, but 10 times that amount ... enriching uranium. With this massive capacity, Iran could make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal and this in a matter of weeks, once it makes that decision." And he spoke of Secretary of State John Kerry, who "confirmed last week that Iran could legitimately possess that massive centrifuge capacity when the deal under consideration expires." Netanyahu went on:
"If Iran's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program is not part of the deal, and so far, Iran refuses to even put it on the negotiating table. Well, Iran could have the means to deliver that nuclear arsenal to the far-reach corners of the Earth, including to every part of the United States. So you see, my friends, this deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That's why this deal is so bad. It doesn't block Iran's path to the bomb; it paves Iran's path to the bomb."
Netanyahu introduced Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, thanking Wiesel for his life and work that "inspires to give meaning to the words, 'never again.'" He appealed to the world, before any restrictions are lifted from Iran, that they "demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East. Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world. And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state."
Before Netanyahu concluded his speech some in the liberal press descended upon him with a rage, pounding him and expressing a degree of animus that was shocking. Nancy Pelosi said the speech was condescending and that she was "near tears ... saddened by (Netanyahu's) insult to the intelligence of the United States." I recommend that you read the transcript, pray, and lead your prayer group to pray over the speech (see C-Span Video; Transcript; WSJ; Credit to President; Pelosi; Perkins: "Netanyahu Hits the Right Note"; Radio: Tony, Rosenberg & more).
- Lord, you warn us not to make "evil alliances," nor to be "unequally yoked" with unbelievers! You promise us blessing if we bless Israel and curses if we curse Israel. May we be a nation that seeks your face and that stands by Israel in these end times! Look upon the strong support of Congress, the American people, and the multitude of American intercessors who are standing in the gap for Israel, and cause our President and the leaders of the "P5+1" nations to reject any deal that puts Israel, the Middle East, the U.S., our children, and indeed the entire world in jeopardy of nuclear holocaust now or ten years from now. Do not allow our President to kowtow to a knowingly untrustworthy Iran, which is the preeminent terrorist sponsor state on the earth! May your people rise up, now, as Esther did when the ancient Jews in Persia were faced with genocide! May we make our voices heard on high and in Washington, DC! May Congress demand their approval of the details in any "deal!" If not, may there be NO DEAL. May the U.S. do our part to protect Israel and to stand up to Iran, whose nuclear threat is far greater than that of ISIS (Gen 12:1-3; 2 Chr 18: all; 21:1-6; 26:24-26; Ps 5:8-9; Pr 17:15-18; Is 30:1-6; 31:1-3; 2 Cor 6:14; 2 Th 2: all).
More for prayer: 1) Praise God for the victory won in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose city council narrowly defeated (6-5) a Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Ordinance (SOGI) largely as a result of prayer and an overwhelming response by the churches and leaders like Dr. Mark Harris, David and Jason Benham, Franklin Graham, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, etc. 2) The Alabama Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses must stop; 3) The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in King vs. Burwell. The Court must decide whether the Obama Administration can continue to provide Obamacare subsidies to federal exchanges insurance customers when the law specifies that only state-run exchanges customers may receive subsidies. Experts including those inside the Administration say Obamacare will collapse if millions of enrolled customers must pay the unsubsidized price for insurance. As Dave Butts wrote 24 years ago, "It is time Christians to gather together for times of extraordinary prayer." Thank you for praying!