Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! I apologize for the week’s lapse in this prayer. I was away with family for the holidays and unplugged, which was actually very nice. Although not coming out with an online presence, I did keep up with news events. There has certainly been a lot going on. I have also tried to refocus and spend time in the Lord’s presence to hear and connect with Him and pray for discernment in this coming year. I am hesitant to make this statement because of the connotation it might have to some people, and I do not desire for it to be in any way an official “word.” Stirring in my heart is that we should use caution to not overreact, or underreact, to what is happening at present. I do believe we are in a time of shifting, both in the natural and spiritual world. I think if we only go by what has so far been revealed, we are only seeing part of the overall picture. So in this we must patient and diligent in prayer as events unfold.
Four events that stirred my heart to prayer are 1.) U.S. position with Israel-the U.S. abstained from the vote when the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution condemning Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. 2.) Michele Obama’s interview with Oprah Winfrey stating that Americans now have no hope. 3.) Trump’s statement that he will dissolve his charitable foundation amid efforts to eliminate any conflicts of interest before he takes office. 4.) U.S. relations with Russia.
Most heartbreaking in the news was President Obama’s decision that the U.S. abstain from the vote that basically allowed this new resolution to pass that condemns Israeli settlements. President Obama, of course, communicated his decision for the United States to take this action after several rounds of discussions with Ambassador Rice, Ambassador Power, Secretary Kerry, and members of his national security team. On record, to clarify the points of this decision Mr. Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications stated, “So again, that explains that abstention, those two issues — the U.N. as a future venue for final status issues, given its history, and the emphasis in this resolution being more focused on Israeli activity than some of the concerning activities that are addressed in the resolution with respect to the Palestinians but I think could have been addressed at greater length.”
Then you have Mr. Trump’s statement: “The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed. As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations. This puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
Speaking at the State Department, Kerry said the U.S. decision was aimed at “preserving the two-state solution,” He further states, “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths. And friendships require mutual respect. . . . We cannot be true to our own values or even the stated democratic values of Israel . . . if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our eyes.”
Obviously, there has been a whole lot said about this resolution concerning Israel. We can basically cut out all the rhetoric and go to the source as to what our position should be towards Israel.
I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you. (Genesis 12:2-3)
Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you. (Numbers 24:9)
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. (Psalm 122:6)
Father, first and foremost, receive the glory, Lord, for what You are doing in our nation. Etch into our hearts both a love and compassion for Your chosen people and the nation of Israel. God, You have not abandoned Israel, and may we purpose to not abandon that which you have deemed holy. We pray, aligned with Your Word, for the peace of Jerusalem. Keep America under Your protection as we stand united and acknowledge Your sovereignty in Israel and all the world. Give us pure motives as we work towards negotiations of peace. Prosper America as a voice reconciled to You that we may influence others towards peace. Give us favor, Lord, in our transactions and dealings that promote peace. May we be a nation governed by You and living by Your Word. Forgive us, Lord, for our involvement where we have shed blood and for the times we have not acted with honor. We pray, Lord, that You touch the leaders of this land and make them strong and confident in You. Guide and direct them to observe Your laws that set us, as a nation, upon a firm foundation. Father, give us wisdom concerning the United Nations and its relevance. We pray also for the Prime Minister of Israel, Netanyahu, that he uphold the best interest of Your people and that he serves You. Father, above all, be our God. May we love You as we love Israel. Keep us safe as we pray for the safety of those in Israel. Receive the glory Lord. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
And in other news we had Michele Obama on national television saying, “I think that we feel the difference now. See, now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like,” Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept.”
America, we do have hope. It is not based upon any man, but our hope and our faith is in the one true God. An alternative would have been to encourage Americans as a new president takes office. We all do not have to agree on everything, but we can hold our tongues and not cultivate an atmosphere that intentionally both demoralizes us and maliciously misaligns our trust and hope in the future of America.
Father, our hope is in You. Our trust is in You. May we speak and pray in faith that Your will be done in this land. Lift up those who will speak life and multiply their voice and efforts for You. Give us ears to hear and eyes to see Your truth. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
Not the biggest news, was Trump’s statement that he will dissolve his charitable foundation amid efforts to eliminate any conflicts of interest before he takes office. He tweeted: “My wonderful son, Eric, will no longer be allowed to raise money for children with cancer because of a possible conflict of interest with my presidency. Isn’t this a ridiculous shame? He loves these kids, has raised millions of dollars for them, and now must stop. Wrong answer!”
I thought of Trump’s statement in regards to all non-profits and our personal responsibility. Has it become too easy for us to throw money at a cause and let others do the work? Is it convenient for us, and does it absolve us from getting involved, interacting with others, and acting as true disciples? Do we expect others to do what we are unwilling to do ourselves? It’s a new year, and many Christians take this opportunity to pray and fast. I am reminded of this Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-8
No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. (Isaiah 58:6-8)
Father, please hear our petitions and intercessions for our nation. Thank you for financial blessings so that we may bless others. Thank You that You have given great responsibility to some to dispense benevolence among your people, but let us not be blind to the needs around us. Let us each be ready and willing to help others in need. Give us health, vitality, and resources to reach out to those closest to us and make a difference in Your name. Bring awareness of where and how we can be used to bless others. May we be Your vessels to bring hope to those who are oppressed. May we have renewed hearts to make room at our table to serve others. May we give as freely as we receive. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
President Barack Obama announced a decision to expel the 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying and to impose sanctions on the two Russian intelligence agencies over their alleged involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.
President Vladimir Putin ruled out on Friday expelling anyone in retaliation for Washington’s decision to throw out 35 Russian diplomats and impose sanctions on two of the country’s intelligence agencies.
I think we would be amiss in not praying for our relations with Russia. Perhaps we slightly slapped the face of a known country grasping to become a superpower and at present there is no obvious retaliation. But should we be on guard that perhaps there will be a calculated, timed response from them? Are they friend or foe to America? I think we should err on the side of caution and be prudent in our prayers. Most leaders and nations will indeed protect their own. While we should not live in fear, we should be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.
Father, protect America and thwart any schemes of the enemy. Bring everything concealed into the Light. Give our leaders wisdom and discernment regarding all of our foreign relations. Give us victory Lord over those who oppose You. Make us more ready for peace than for war. Enhance our negotiations to promote peace. Give us authority as given by You. Go before us, Lord, to prepare the way and be our rearguard protecting us from behind. Set us on a straight path that honors You. Be with us, Lord. Be our God who delivers us from evil. May we love and serve You. Receive the glory Lord. May we be a nation determined to do what is right in Your eyes and by Your standards. In Jesus’s Name we pray. Amen.
For God and Country,