Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 1/22/18 to 1/30/18
“A Christian student group at a university in the Midwest is taking a stand for their beliefs, even after being kicked off campus for choosing those beliefs over the school’s standards.” Read more here.
National Prayer Points
1. Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop
“The justices heard oral arguments in Jack Phillips’ right-of-conscience case on December 5. The day after oral arguments, the justices met in their closed session, voted on the case, and assigned an author to write a majority decision. We don’t know how the justices voted or who is writing the majority decision. The justices will announce their decision sometime before the end of the term in late June. This will be one of the most-watched cases of the term.”
2. Will the Supreme Court grant review in the Rowan County legislative prayer case?
“ADF is watching what the justices do with this important follow-up case to ADF’s 2014 victory at the Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway, where the Supreme Court upheld the practice of opening town meetings with prayer given by a rotating list of local clergymen and other residents. The county board of Rowan County, North Carolina varied this practice by rotating through the members of the board. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged this practice, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit initially upheld the practice, but on further review agreed with the ACLU that the practice violated the Establishment Clause. All 15 judges on the Fourth Circuit heard the case and ruled against it 10-5. But in a second case, the federal appeals court for Michigan, the Sixth Circuit, also heard a case raising the same issue and upheld the practice of county board members praying to open a meeting, by a 9-6 vote last September. Although only two federal appeals courts have heard this issue about prayer by the members of a county board since Town of Greece was decided, it is extremely rare for two full courts sitting en banc to rule opposite ways on the same legal issue, and by nearly identical votes. Look for the Supreme Court to take up this petition in January. If the Court grants review, oral arguments will likely be in April, with a decision in late June.”
3. NIFLA v. Becerra has huge implications for free speech, religious freedom, and the pro-life cause.
First Liberty created a cumulative compilation of recent documented instances of hostility toward free religious exercise. It is often cited by lawmakers, educators, opinion leaders, and the media.
International Prayer Points
The Chinese government is fining two house church pastors more than $1 million in donations it described as “illegal income ‘’ – the entire amount of the offerings collected from their congregation.
State Prayer Points
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty. Also, pray that bills and resolutions that undermine our First Amendment Rights will be unsuccessful.
The CPCF legal team has researched best practices legislation and provided talking points on various religious freedom topics to assist legislators. Download their Report here.
From FFRF site: “A local resident contacted FFRF to report that football coaches at East Alton-Wood River High School, in Wood River, Ill., were regularly participating in prayers with their students. A Facebook post from this past September pictured several coaches praying during a football game with players from both East Alton-Wood River and Dupo high schools with the caption, “E. Alton Woodriver asked our boys (Dupo) to pray with them after the game.” The photograph shows coaches with their heads bowed, placing their hands on students who are kneeling in prayer.”
“According a CNN report, the Webster Parish school at the center of a lawsuit, is no longer broadcasting the Lord’s Prayer before the start of classes. In December, the ACLU of Louisiana, filed a federal lawsuit, to stop daily prayers in Webster Parish Schools. The suit was filed on behalf of Christy Cole, a parent of a Webster Parish student, and her daughter, K.C., who attends Lakeside Junior and Senior High in Sibley.”
“Two Christian filmmakers are asking a federal appeals court to reinstate their lawsuit and prevent the government from controlling their stories.”
From FFRF website: “It was brought to FFRF’s attention that New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs was displaying numerous crosses in public spaces, including the main reception area of the school’s student center and in several offices. The crosses were easily visible to anyone visiting or passing by the offices as evidenced by pictures taken of the violation.”
“Bradley Central High School is facing controversy after allowing prayer to be broadcast over the loudspeaker to help kick off a football game…The complainant, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a current employee of Bradley County Schools.”
From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation has ensured that teachers in a Texas school district will stick to secular décor during its arts and crafts festivities.It was brought to FFRF’s attention that this past December, Sunray Independent School District hosted a Christmas Open House event that featured elaborate holiday-themed wall decorations throughout the building, including hallway walls and classroom doors.”
“A lawsuit over invocations in a Texas courtroom will set a precedent for all Americans, says an attorney involved in the case. Judge Wayne Mack, who serves as justice of the peace in Montgomery County, allows voluntary chaplains to open courtroom ceremonies with an invocation and the pledge of allegiance. The volunteer chaplaincy program included leaders from multiple faiths, including Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim religious leaders, but the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit to halt the prayers.”
“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to hear the case of a Washington state high school football coach who was punished for taking a knee at the 50-yard line for a post-game prayer. He is planning on appealing to the Supreme Court”
“The Washington State Supreme Court yesterday ruled in favor of a former Spokane fire captain who was fired for refusing to self-censor his religious expression. The court held that the Spokane Valley Fire Department committed unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination when it admonished and ultimately terminated Sprague. At issue were the SVFD’s e-mail and electronic bulletin board systems. The bulletin board had been used by other employees to seek babysitting and sell concert tickets, but supervisors ordered Sprague not to announce religious meetings via the same forum. The SVFD had also shared newsletters by e-mail dealing with social topics like substance abuse and conflicts with children, but Sprague’s attempts to share Biblical perspectives on the same topics got him fired.”
National Prayer Opportunities
Congressional Prayer: Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol. There are nearly 100 Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, an official bipartisan and bicameral caucus of the U.S. Congress. Please commit to praying daily for them, their families, and staff.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
In 2015, government leaders spearheaded an effort to call America back to God and prayer. Be part of the Movement — If you are a government leader, church or organization, you can add your name to the list of leaders who are committed to this Call to Prayer for America. Churches and Organizations can contact CPCF to be added to the list. Government Leaders will be automatically added when you sign the Proclamation (document or online). Sign the Proclamation or host a PrayUSA Sunday.
Email me to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Commit to praying for the Members and families of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, The American Prayer Caucus Network, and the CPCFoundation.
Prayer for Anti-Faith Groups
For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.