Weekly Prayer Update
Department of Education Praised For Pro-Faith Review
May 15, 2018

Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 5/7/18 to 5/14/18

Great news! “The U.S. Department of Education has announced plans to review restrictions on religious colleges and universities. The Department of Education’s goal is to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions placed on religious colleges that prevent students from getting grants or loans, or from participating in certain federally funded programs.” Read more here.

Prayer and Action

Living our faith means it impacts everything we do. Paul encourages unceasing prayer, and James makes a strong point that faith without works is dead. Have you considered how to positively impact your sphere of influence with the values and care that are derived from faith?

National Prayer Points  

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

India: State Anti-Conversion Laws

“India’s Freedom of Religion Acts or “anti-conversion” laws are state-level statutes that have been enacted to regulate religious conversions. The laws are in force in six out of twenty-nine states: Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh. While there are some variations between the state laws, they are very similar in their content and structure. All of the laws seek to prevent any person from converting or attempting to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person through “forcible” or “fraudulent” means, or by “allurement” or “inducement.” However, the anti-conversion laws in Rajasthan and Arunachal Pradesh appear to exclude reconversions to “native” or “original” faiths from their prohibitions. Penalties for breaching the laws can range from monetary fines to imprisonment, with punishments ranging from one to three years of imprisonment and fines from 5,000 to 50,000 Indian rupees (about US$74 to $735). Some of the laws provide for stiffer penalties if women, children, or members of scheduled castes or schedule tribes (SC/ST), are being converted.”

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. View a model school policy on invocations before games here.

AL: Freedom From Religion Foundation Calls For Removal Of Head Coach

From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is warning an Alabama public school district to put an end to a disturbing slew of constitution violations occurring in one of its football programs, and is calling for the removal of its head football coach. It was brought to FFRF’s attention that several instances of religious promotion have been occurring in the Davidson High School’s football program — part of Mobile County Public Schools — for several years. It has been reported that Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for South Alabama Dennis Hayford had been a chaplain for the team for four years at the request of the team’s head coach, Fred Riley.”

CA: AB 2943 – Take Action Now

“AB 2943 poses an imminent threat to civil liberties in California. It does little to protect LGBT persons and only limits the number of perspectives (and assistance) they have access to, while setting a dangerous, Orwellian precedent for government-mandated censorship…This expansive law would impose widespread censorship that could implicate authors, speakers, counselors, colleges and universities, and even religious leaders seeking to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion. The bill has passed the General Assembly and is in a senate committee. Use these Talking Points when calling your senator or the Governor

CO: Win! Ban on ‘Jesus’ and Bible References In Student’s Graduation Speech Overturned By University

“A university in Colorado has reversed its decision to remove religious references from the graduation speech of a nursing student who has been chosen to address her classmates at their pinning ceremony. Officials at Colorado Mesa University (CMU) had initially told Karissa Erickson to remove references to God, Jesus Christ and the Bible from her speech, but the school reversed course after they received a letter from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a nonprofit focusing on religious liberty cases.”

FL: UPDATE: Bayview Park Cross Appeal Hearing

“Nearly 11 months after a federal judge ruled the cross in Pensacola’s Bayview Park was unconstitutional, a federal appeals court in Atlanta will hear oral arguments on the case. A panel of three judges will hear arguments in the Bayview Park cross lawsuit on Wednesday at the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.”

IL: Freedom From Religion Foundation Outraged Over Bible Verses

From FFRF site: “FFRF has received information that McKeown regularly distributes flyers to teachers at staff meetings, and that the flyers often include bible verses and otherwise promote religion.”

MD: Fourth Circuit Calling For War Memorial In Shape Of Cross To Be Demolished 

“The case involves the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a memorial to area men who died in the First World War. It has stood since 1925 without bothering anyone until in 2014 the American Humanist Association felt that the monument violates the Constitution’s establishment clause…The district judge tossed the case, holding that the tiny amount of government money that is spent on upkeep does not endorse religion. But the Fourth Circuit…held 2-1 that this offends the First Amendment. On the petition for rehearing en banc the court declined by 8-6. Unless the Supreme Court takes this case and reverses, the precedent will spark a great many similar suits to expunge every trace of religion from public life. That isn’t what the Founders meant with the establishment clause.”

MD: Governor Considering Bill That Would Infringe Upon Rights Of Counselors

“The Maryland State Senate has approved a bill prohibiting licensed therapists from subjecting minors to treatment designed to change their sexual orientation or gender identity…While the bill would prohibit the practice of conversion therapy on youth under the age of 18 by a licensed therapist or counselor, it would not prevent religious clergy or others acting in a pastoral role from providing counseling to youth struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity. Licensed therapists acting in a professional role who engage in the practice could be punished with the loss of license, certification, or could be subject to other penalties.” Call the Governor to encourage him to veto the bill. Consider using these Talking Points.

MN: FFRF Seeking To End Prayer

From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is insisting that a Minnesota city end its continuous endorsement of Christianity. A resident of Columbia Heights reported to FFRF that during a city council meeting last month, Mayor Donna Schmitt issued an unconstitutional proclamation designating May 1 as the official date of the Columbia Heights ‘Interfaith Prayer Breakfast.’ The order called upon ‘all citizens to join in quiet reverence and dedication as stated in the Declaration of Independence.’ The breakfast was held at John P. Murzyn Hall — which is owned and operated by the Columbia Heights Recreation Department — and tickets were sold by the City Hall administration office.”

NE: Freedom From Religion Foundation Protests Prayer

From FFRF site: “A concerned student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center recently contacted FFRF to report that on April 20 the medical institution held its yearly memorial service for anatomical donors. The program for the event shows that Justin Bell, a pastor at Grace Hill Church, spoke three times, giving an opening invocation and closing benediction, as well as a reading from Psalm 33:20-22…”

NH: Battle For Religious Freedom Underway

New Hampshire lawmakers seek to prohibit conversion therapy as it applies to licensed counselors or therapists acting in a professional capacity. Call your representative to encourage her/him to vote “NO” on this bill. Consider using these Talking Points.

NM: Freedom From Religion Foundation Denounces ‘Sectarian’ Flag

From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is expressing its dismay over a New Mexico city’s recent adoption of a blatantly Christian official flag. The city of Belen recently approved a flag that features the “Star of Bethlehem.” The Star of Bethlehem derives from the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, and is often depicted as a four-, eight- or 14-pointed star. The city has chosen a “Star of Bethlehem” with four points that strongly resembles a Latin cross. It is called “a natal star” and relates to the birth of Jesus. The flag will be flown at city hall, the Belen business center, the police department, and in many other city buildings and areas. 

OK: Sheriff Under Fire For Prayer

Opposition site: “A Sheriff’s department in Oklahoma is under fire for promoting the Christian faith ahead of all other religions, in violation of this country’s Separation of Church and State, by posting Bible quotes on its public website and leading prayer services on the front steps of the county courthouse. When confronted about it, an official offered to ‘say a prayer.'”

PA: Freedom From Religion Foundation Seeking Removal Of Cross

From FFRF site: “The Freedom From Religion Foundation is filing an appellate brief confident that its victory over an …Pennsylvania county seal will be upheld.  FFRF and four individual plaintiffs won in district court last September when the judge found that the Lehigh County seal, featuring a prominent cross,- was unconstitutional. The judge noted that the Christian cross, which both parties agreed is ‘the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity,’ dwarfs other symbols on the seal and therefore shows unconstitutional county endorsement of a particular religion. In a follow-up move two months later, the same judge ordered the county to stop using the seal

National Prayer Opportunities

Prayer for the American Prayer Caucus Network, Their Families, and Staff

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.

The American Prayer Caucus Network is a nationwide network of nearly 1,000 federal and state elected leaders who are standing for faith and impacting the culture. Please join us in praying daily for them, their families, and staff.

Pray for our President and all Those in Authority 

“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.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation

The Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization created to support government leaders who wish to partner prayer with legislative and citizen action to protect our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious freedom.  Please pray for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation team, our State Directors, legal team, Board of Directors, web developers, technical team, production team, design and graphics team, CPCF intercessors and donors.

Join the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation Prayer Team! 

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

Freedom From Religion Foundation
Secular Coalition for America
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

 For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.