Prayer Targets: Confidence Crisis; Persevering Saints; Churches Standing & Winning
December 16, 2020
Will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? (Luke 18:1-8)
Dear Praying Friends,
William J. (Bill) Federer, an accomplished speaker and best-selling author, is President of Amerisearch, Inc., and publisher of America's Christian Heritage. Bill's American Minute is aired daily nationwide. His Faith in History program is aired on the TCT Network and DirectTV. These excerpts are from Washington Crossing the Delaware:
After losing the Battle of Brooklyn Heights, August 27, 1776, the Continental Army was driven out of New York, across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania... In the six months following, Congress approving the Declaration of Independence, July of 1776, ranks dwindled from a high of 20,000 down to just 2,000 as of December of 1776. And these were planning on leaving at the end of year, as most had only volunteered for a six-month enlistment, needing to get back home to care for their neglected farms, shops, and families. General Washington rallied his troops to stay.
Philadelphia fell into a panic as fear set in that British troops would invade and occupy the city, which they did later the next year. Congress' last instruction to General Washington, December 12, 1776, was: "... until Congress shall otherwise order, General Washington shall be possessed of full power to order and direct all things relative to ... the operations of the war." Washington made the password for his military operation "Victory or Death. This reflected Washington's General Orders, July 2, 1776: "The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore to resolve to conquer or die."
On Christmas Day evening, 1776, Washington's troops crossed the ice-filled Delaware River in a freezing blizzard. Trudging through blinding snow in strict silence, with two soldiers freezing to death on the march, they attacked Trenton, New Jersey, at daybreak, December 26, 1776.Some historians suggest that the German Hessian mercenary troops may not have been on peak alertness due to the holiday (other historians refute this). The feared Hessian mercenaries had been hired by King George III. Skilled at fighting European warfare where enemies faced off in an open field, they were not prepared for Americans firing from behind trees, walls, and fence posts.
Captain Alexander Hamilton maneuvered his six-pound cannons into position and fired them down King Street, tearing into the Hessian ranks. Hessian colonel Johann Rall was shot; and without their commander, the remaining troops soon surrendered. The Americans captured nearly a thousand in just over an hour.
Yale President Ezra Stiles stated in an Election Address before Connecticut General Assembly, May 8, 1783: "In our lowest and most dangerous estate, in 1776 and 1777, we sustained ourselves against the British Army of 60,000 troops commanded by ... the ablest generals Britain could procure throughout Europe, with a naval force of 22,000 seamen in above 80 men-of-war ...... Heaven inspired us with resolution to cut the Gordian knot ... in the glorious act of Independence ... sealed and confirmed by God Almighty in the victory of General Washington at Trenton ...Who does not see the indubitable interposition and energetic influence of Divine Providence in these great and illustrious events? ...Who but a Washington, inspired by Heaven, could have struck out the great movement and maneuver of Princeton--that Christmas (Day) eve when Washington and his army crossed the Delaware? ...The United States are under peculiar obligations to become a holy people unto the Lord our God."
President Calvin Coolidge stated, October 28, 1925: "Military critics have described Washington's campaign of Trenton and Princeton as a military exploit of unparalleled brilliancy."
Washington wrote August 20, 1778: "The Hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in ... the course of the war that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations; but it will be time enough for me to turn Preacher when my present appointment ceases."
Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull wrote to General George Washington, August of 1776, in response to his plea for reinforcements: "In this day of calamity, to trust altogether to the justice of our cause, without our utmost exertion, would be tempting Providence ...March on... May the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, be your Captain, your Leader, your Conductor, and Savior." Earlier, Governor Trumbull told Washington, "Be strong and very courageous. May the God of the armies of Israel shower down the blessings of his Divine Providence on you, give you wisdom and fortitude, cover your head in the day of battle and danger."
Franklin D. Roosevelt stated January 20, 1941: "America has been the New World in all tongues, and to all peoples, not because this continent was a new-found land, but because all those who came here believed they could create upon this continent a new life--a life that should be new in freedom ...If the spirit of America were killed, even though the Nation's body and mind ... lived on, the America we know would have perished ...
Washington - The destiny of America was proclaimed in words of prophecy spoken by our first President in his first Inaugural in 1789 ...'The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered ... deeply ... finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people' ......
If you and I in this later day lose that sacred fire--if we let it be smothered with doubt and fear--then we shall reject the destiny which Washington strove so valiantly and so triumphantly to establish."
Crisis of Confidence & Perseverance of the Saints -- Christmas 2020 will not be the first Christmas in which America finds itself in crisis. On Christmas night 1776, the War for Independence could have easily been lost. Those who care about and understand the importance of election security are not impressed with how our courts hastily dismissed evidence of election fraud or simply refused to give important cases a hearing. Pressed for time, tired of the conflict, or partisan in motivation, the courts have shortchanged the American people who want to see the facts ferreted out, wrongdoing exposed, and those found guilty of fraud punished. In a word, people want to see justice. And if votes cast fraudulently made a difference in the outcome of the election, then only the legitimate winner should be certified. That would be righteous, just and would bring necessary peace to all who love truth.
Yet after the Supreme Court's rejection of the Texas lawsuit and the vote by the Electoral College, that is not likely to happen. Readers of the Prayer Targets must come to grips with the growing likelihood of a Biden administration in January and pray accordingly. While Joe Biden has already promised a mask mandate and federal tax increases, even more concerning is the fact that he has declared his intention to immediately reinstate Obama's transgender bathroom mandate in public schools and make the dangerous Equality Act a top legislative priority. Various factions within Biden's proposed government have declared their intention to suppress religious liberty in favor of LGBT rights. They also promise to expand taxpayer-funded abortion, reversing some of the restrictions of the Trump administration. So, standing up for our faith and religious liberty now is just a preface to what we must do over the long haul.
- Father, you charge us to have nothing to do with works of darkness (Eph 5:8-14) but rather to expose and reprove them. You also charge us to pray and keep on praying like the little widow who was repeatedly turned away by the "unjust judge," but persisted in coming back until the judge granted her request even though he did not care about her or justice. Turn us back to you as a people. Teach us to persist in prayer until you answer! May we and all our leaders humble ourselves, pray, seek your face, and turn from our wicked ways. Lord, please expose! Bring to justice monied racketeers who have funded fraud and manipulation, and those who paid street thugs to turn legitimate rallies and protests into street riots. I pray that you will expose all election interference and voter fraud engineered by foreign enemies. May we never have another election in which untested, insecure, untrustworthy computers or software are used. Lord, you are our Judge, you are our Lawgiver and you our King. You will save us! (Lev 19:35-36; Dt 25:15; Ps 43:1; Pro 11:13, 13:12, 16:11-13; 18:17, 19:9, 28:6; Jer 9:3-6, 17:7-10; Zech 8:16-17; Lk 18:1-8; 1 Tim 2:1-2; Gal 6:9; Heb 12:1-2; Ja 1:12; Heb 10:35-36)
Churches: Stand Fast in Your God-Given Liberty -- Praise God that several successful vaccines against the coronavirus are already in the pipeline and the first doses have been given this week. It is without a doubt one of President Trump's signature achievements. No other leader could have brought all the forces of the government and the private sector together with such speed and effectiveness. Yet we still must deal with the reality of the virus and all the restrictions for several more months before distribution becomes more complete.
As you will recall, most everyone was cooperative with President Trump's Coronavirus Task Force and the CDC, which had encouraged citizens everywhere to social distance, wear masks, wash hands frequently, avoid crowds, etc. But when calls came for the president to issue nationwide requirements, he deferred to the states and local leaders to determine guidelines appropriate for their unique jurisdictions. Some governors and mayors were even-handed in recommending guidelines, but others were less fair and issued dictates to government, schools, private business and industry, calling for closings and strict requirements that crippled some industries and innumerable small businesses and non-profits, including churches.
In fact, churches were considered "non-essential" in many liberal states and were either closed or subjected to tight restrictions ranging from limited attendance, social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer, and other requirements. Most complied for months out of concern for their own members and for the community. Yet when COVID numbers went down, the restrictions remained. As a result, some small startup churches died, shutting their doors never to reopen, along with the many small businesses who couldn't hang on.
Meanwhile, some states meddled even further into the faith practice of churches banning singing during worship and dictating how communion should be observed. Some have ordered families to limit their Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners to the immediate members of their household. But churches are finally balking. Some realized earlier than others that they cannot subject their biblical faith and practice and their obedience and faithfulness to God to satisfy the unconstitutional whims of progressive political authorities. They realized as Jesus taught in Mark 12:17, we must: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And as the Apostles replied to the Jewish governmental religious leaders in Acts 5:29: "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Thankfully, in just the last few weeks, courts have ruled in favor of churches over COVID-19 restrictions in New York, California, Nevada, and Colorado. Yet now, with Christmas just a week away, the Archdiocese of Washington is suing the mayor of D.C. for limiting attendance in America's largest Roman Catholic Basilica to just 50 persons, while it will accommodate thousands, a restriction far out of line with secular venues. And some jurisdictions have met church resistance with harsh police power to enforce their uncivil dictates.
California's Governor Newsom issued harsh restrictions, including "no singing." Thousands of churches, independently or in concert, already uncomfortable with inappropriate government orders, felt the line had been crossed. Pastor Steve Riggle, pastor of Woodlands Church in Houston, launched Sing it Louder USA and urges churches everywhere to revive outdoor Christmas caroling, a wonderful way to share the gospel and Christmas cheer at Christmas time.
- God, you order us to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free so that we are not entangled again in the yoke of bondage. Give every Bible-believing church in America the will to do so. Help us, Lord, to do right! And may we give you the praise and glory in song! (2 Chr 20:20-22; Ps 33:3, 59:16, 67:4, 68:6; 71:23, 89:1-2, 95:1-2,96:1, 100:1-5, 104:33, 105:2, 132:7-9, 147:1, 150:1-6; Is 35:10, 42:10-13, 44:23; Zep 3:17; Jn 4:23-24; Acts 16:25-26; 1 Cor 14:15; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Heb 2:12; Ja 5:1; Rev 5:9, 15:3-4)
The Prayer Targets will be on hiatus until the first Wednesday in January. Thank you for standing with us. Use your prayer time to visit PrayVoteStand.org. Search the FRC website for hundreds of current blogs, updates, radio interviews, and news about current issues you need to know and that desperately need your prayers. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year. May you sing heartily to the Lord throughout this season!
Thank you for the privilege of serving you this past year and thank you for praying!