Weekly Prayer Update
President Appoints Ambassador-At-Large For International Religious Freedom
August 15, 2017

Read this and other attacks on faith from Weekly Prayer Update 8/7-8/14

President Trump has proven to be an advocate for religious freedom, repeatedly connecting his words with actions. With the full backing of the faith community, President Trump nominated Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to be the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department.

We thank Senator Lankford, co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, for his efforts on this matter; and agree with his endorsement for President Trump’s excellent pick. This issue has been a priority for Lankford. Read more.

National Prayer Points 

23 States Defend Biblical Monument In Case Headed To Supreme Court

“Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief Thursday signed by 23 other state attorney generals in defense of a New Mexico monument depicting the Ten Commandments.

A district court ruled in 2012 that the monument, set in the city hall lawn of Bloomfield, N.M., violated the First Amendment’s Establishment clause and ordered its removal, according to a press release issued Thursday by Paxton’s office. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals refused in February to reconsider the district court’s decision, spurring Paxton and the coalition of 23 states which Paxton leads to file the amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on Bloomfield’s behalf. The Alliance Defending Freedom asked the Supreme Court to rehear the case July 6.”

Undeniable: The Survey Of Hostility To Religion In America 

For anyone who thinks religious discrimination is non-existent in America, the attorneys at First Liberty Institute have a different story. First Liberty announced the release of Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America (2016). It is available online here, free of charge.  

International Prayer Points

India: Pastors Remain Behind Bars

“Lawyers in India are working to free a group of Christians who have been jailed for taking children to a church camp.”

Iran: Minority Religious Groups Suffer

“The Iranian government continues to persecute religious minorities, including groups supposedly given special recognition by the country’s constitution: Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) annual report for 2017, Iran’s government ‘engaged in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused.'”

North Korea: Canadian Pastor Released From Life Sentence

“North Korea has released a Canadian pastor who was convicted of attempting to undermine the regime of Kim Jong Un.”

Russia: ‘Anti-Missionary Punishments

“More than 180 cases to punish individuals and communities for violating Russia’s “anti-missionary” restrictions are known to have reached court in the year since they came into force on 20 July 2016. Prosecutions under Administrative Code Article 5.26, Parts 3, 4, and 5 have steadily increased throughout this 12 month period. Activities as diverse as holding prayer meetings in private homes, posting worship times on a religious community’s website, and giving a lecture on yoga have all been interpreted by police and prosecutors as ‘missionary activity’, due to the broad definition now enshrined in the Religion Law.”

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.

ME: Freedom From Religion Foundation Asks Criminal Justice Academy To End Prayers

From FFRF Website: “FFRF sent a letter of warning last month to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro after it was brought to the state/church watchdog group’s attention that an instructor of the academy had been conducting group prayers with trainees before meals. The prayers have been occurring during group meals, creating a divisive environment in which those who do not wish to participate in the religious ritual must either sit quietly or leave the room, singling them out.”

MS: Prayer Walks Draw Protest In School District

“The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation is tangling with Mississippi schools again, this time over “prayer walks.'”

NC: Commissioners Still Deciding Whether To Appeal Case 

“After first being told by a court they could pray based on their faith – and then being told they couldn’t – commissioners in Rowan County, North Carolina, are considering whether to take their case to the Supreme Court…Rowan County commissioners have 90 days in which to decide whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Lund v. Rowan County.” Contact the Commissioners to let them know you stand with their right to pray in a public setting, and encourage them to appeal the case to the United States Supreme Court.”

VA: FFRF Has Religious Edict Covered

“Amid scaffolding, blueprints, exposed brick walls and chipping paint dispersed through the Nelson County Circuit Courtroom, 33 recently uncovered letters stand out. Painted on the horizontal wood structure above Tuscan columns that support the balcony, the off-center, unevenly spaced letters form five words: Virtus — Keep God’s Commandments — Veritas. Though the Latin words meaning ‘virtue’ and ‘truth’ and the English imperative — located directly across from seats for the judge and jury — likely hold the stories of nearly 200 years of history, whether they will remain in place remains to be seen.” Read the latest from the FFRF Website.

VT: Doctor Seeks Conscience Protections

“Every person’s life has worth and meaning, regardless of life expectancy. That’s a principle that guides Dr. Rachel DiSanto in her medical practice. So, when Vermont passed a law that was being interpreted to require healthcare professionals to counsel patients that physician-assisted suicide was an option for their care, she knew that this law was a major threat to her conscience.

She could not reconcile her beliefs about the sanctity of life, and her oath to do no harm, with the mandate to offer suicide as an option to her six-month terminal patients. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) stepped in to defend Dr. DiSanto and other healthcare professionals in Vermont who simply want the freedom to practice medicine consistently with their moral and ethical beliefs.”

National Prayer Opportunities

Prayer for the Congressional Prayer Caucus, 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. Learn more.

There are nearly 100 Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus, that is spearheading a strategic movement of national, state and local leaders and citizens who are working together to promote prayer, protect religious freedom and restore, upgrade and popularize America’s founding spirit and the principles related to faith and morality that shaped this Great Republic. Please commit to 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.

PrayUSA – Government Leaders Calling The Nation to Prayer

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

Join the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation Prayer Team! 

Sign up here to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Upon joining you will receive insider prayer requests about once a month, and invitations to weekly prayer calls.

Prayer for Others on the Religious Liberty Front

There are many organizations on the front lines that need our prayers. 
National Legal FoundationAlliance Defending FreedomACLJBecket LawLiberty CounselFirst LibertyFamily Research CouncilThe Heritage FoundationChaplain Alliance For Religious Liberty and any others that come to mind.

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.