ANOTHER POWERFUL ANSWER TO PRAYER – AB2943

California’s controversial AB 2943 has been withdrawn by its author, Assembly member Evan Low.

This is an answer to much prayer. The consequences of this Bill becoming law would have been catastrophic for Christian leaders as I pointed out in recent posts, particularly the post that included this video of Dr Michael Brown addressing the issues raised by Senator Ricardo Lara in support of the Bill.

Assembly Bill 2943 would have made it illegal to sell any service intended to change an individual’s sexuality or gender identity.

“I knew this was an emotionally charged issue, so I spent the past few months traveling up and down the state meeting with a wide variety of faith leaders,” Low said in a statement released on his website. “I was heartened by the conversations.”

Luis Javier Ruiz, a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016 and a former member of the LGBT community, has served as a staunch opponent of AB2943 in recent months.

“This allows people to become aware that change is possible,” says Ruiz, now a spirit-filled Christian. “All the false narratives about conversion therapy camps and their horror stories are not who we are. For me, nothing was forced. I can speak for many that it was a love story. It has allowed our voices to be heard and prayers to be answered. It’s time to come out of silence for what we believe in. We know that the battle is already won.

“I just want to thank Evan Low. We are praying for him and we know how big of an impact this will have and the backlash he might get. We want him to know that we are by his side on this.”

Bethel Church in Redding, California, released this statement, praising Low for his change of heart:

“We are grateful for Assemblyman Low’s courage and humility in his willingness to dialogue with California pastors and once-gay people these past months. He took time to hear how AB2943 would impact people of faith and particularly once-gay people, and has shown commitment to creating opportunities for further dialogue.”

After meeting personally with pastors, professional counsellors, and former homosexuals who lead ministries to others in the LGBT community, Low decided to continue the dialogue beyond this legislative session.

PEOPLE WHO MAKE A LASTING DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD PRAY

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Prayer needs to be the first thing we think of, for things to succeed, not the last thing we do when all else fails. The people who make a real and lasting difference in this world are people who first and foremost pray. They pray because they understand who God is and His capabilities (omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent). He is our creator, He loves us and made us in His image to be in communion with Him. Many will choose to trust God more when they realise that not to trust God is to distrust Him. To distrust God is to distress yourself and disconnect from others.

“And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39 

Timing of this event: 11 pm-2 am – Jesus leaves the disciples and goes to pray for three hours. Goes back to the disciples twice, wakes them, calling them to prayer. During the third hour, the sweat was pouring out of him “like blood”. The angels come to his aid, and Jesus is in charge of his body once more, despising the coming shame and trauma he is about to endure (“like a sheep before the shearers is dumb, he does not open his mouth”).

The objective of prayer is not to inform our Saviour and Lord of our needs (God knows everything), but to transform our situations and lives in our time of need (God knows we need it).

God designed prayer to be an effective spiritual muscle that we can freely exercise, in Jesus name, anytime, anywhere and for anything.  The Bible tells us how that “….the effective, heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man – a believer, can accomplish much when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and has tremendous power. 

HOW DO YOU PRAY?

DO YOU BELIEVE ?

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:12

God is able “to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or thinkEphesians 3:20

Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8

You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2

Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace” Hebrews 4:16

But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” Matthew. 17:21

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.John 15:7

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What are you petitioning God for in this new year? Are you desiring to go into the land promised to you by the Lord? Whatever you are taking to the Lord in prayer, refuse to advance without His presence and intimate fellowship with Him. Refuse to view other people as a structure to build your own platform. Value the relationships God has cultivated in your life. Give honour to them without idolising them, all the while maintaining that deep personal relationship with God, giving thanks to Him in everything.

Moses understood that unless the Lord went with them there was no point going anywhere. Same goes with us, unless we know we are hearing rightly from God, then spend more time in prayer, prayer and fasting if necessary until breakthrough comes. It will, if you are serious and have a humble and contrite heart.

If your presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how will it be known that I have found favour in Your sight, I and your People? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we will be distinguished, I and Your people, from all the people who are on the face of the earth?Exodus 33:15-16

Remember also, vague prayers are inferior to specific ones.

THE POWER OF PRAYER TO CHANGE NATIONS

Some prophetic voices believe the United States of America shifted, spiritually, Oct. 21, 2016, on what may go down as one of the most important days in American history. Did this National Day of Prayer for First Nations affect the outcome of the November Presidential election? Does America get another chance to repent and change its course? Yes is does, under Trump. Under Hilary Clinton its course was clear, further moving away from God and increased marginalisation and then persecution of Christians.

Largely unnoticed, 1,000 Native American Indian tribes from the United States and Canada collectively forgave the U.S. government for breaking treaties with their ancestors during a public ceremony on the National Mall.

The National Day of Prayer for First Nations, held near the Washington Monument, included intercessory petitions, proclamations and declarations of forgiveness by leaders from All Tribes D.C., a fellowship of Christians representing 1,000 American Indians from the U.S. and Canada.

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A full-blooded Euchee (Yuchi) Indian, Negiel Bigpond coordinated the first-ever national prayer gathering of Native Americans in the nation’s capital.

Like the annual May observance of the National Day of Prayer, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, First Nations intercessors will convene again in 2017 during the third week of October.

Dr. Billy Graham, whose son and daughter have served on the National Day of Prayer Task Force, is a prophetic voice who believes that forgiveness by Native Americans might be part of a spiritual awakening within the nation.

“The Native American has been a sleeping giant,” Graham writes. “He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ. Remember the forgotten people.”

Bigpond agrees that Native Americans have taken a good first step toward aiding national awakening by extending forgiveness to the nation.

“We chose to forgive the U.S., whether it asked for it or not,” said Bigpond, a fourth-generation pastor who offered forgiveness and spoke blessings over the nation alongside other tribal prayer warriors.

Bigpond, who has evangelised on 143 reservations, believes the U.S. has suffered spiritual consequences for breaking treaties with Native Americans.

In Scripture, breaking a vow or treaty brings a curse on the land, and the U.S. government broke every treaty it made with the Native American tribes, according to prophetic voice Rick Joyner, who called the prayer event one of the most important in the nation’s history from his ministry headquarters in North and South Carolina.

“This is very real,” Joyner said. “National injustices are a major issue we’re facing now, whether we want to or not, and this is a big one.”

Bigpond is an apostle at Morning Star Evangelistic Center in Oklahoma, which is affiliated with Joyner’s MorningStar Ministries.

The nation’s crises parallel conditions on the reservations, according to Bigpond, a certified drug- and alcohol-abuse counsellor.

“We don’t want the nation or our people to suffer further,” said Bigpond, who holds a doctorate in divinity and is a Euchee tribe chief.

Mary Faus, who represented the Ojibway and Cree tribes at the prayer event, said the unity and power of forgiving a nation that’s never apologised or asked for it was amazing.

“We believe this has shifted the nation and we are already feeling the effects of what was accomplished in D.C.,” said Faus, who is the director of a house of prayer in Pennsylvania and lead intercessor with husband Jon at Hope of Nations Christian Centre.

Joyner agrees that forgiveness and love are major weapons in waging spiritual warfare on behalf of the nation.

“This is one of the most noble acts of true Christian charity I have ever heard of by any people group,” Joyner said. “Very few may even know that anything special happened.

“Some of the greatest things happen that way, and only a very few who have their eyes open looking in the right direction, see them,” Joyner said.

Portions of a proclamation posted on the All Tribes D.C. website were read by tribal leaders gathered on the National Mall.

The proclamation reads in part, “We forgive every atrocity and broken covenant ever designed to destroy us as a race of people. We break every curse and renounce every lie purposed to decimate us as human beings.

“We forgive the government, the church and the educational system for the use of residential schools that attempted to destroy our culture and silence our voice as people by stealing our language.

“We stand in the gap for those who are unable or unwilling to forgive, and call upon the Master of Life, to forgive us for harbouring unforgiveness, resentment, hatred, bitterness and rage.

“We repent of every curse spoken over America by our ancestors and we release the power of forgiveness to bring healing and the peace of Creator God to this land.

“We declare and decree that our voice will no longer be silenced and that this nation and the world will hear our voice as we speak life and blessings over the Americas and the world.

“We stand in faith believing that our citizenship lies in heaven, and we too, all await the return of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Being all of one mind and heart, having compassion for one another, we declare our love as brothers; not returning evil for the evil perpetuated against us, but on the contrary we choose to release a blessing, knowing that the Father of us all has called us as his children to bless and not curse, that we may inherit a blessing. Amen.”

God is doing something in Australia as well, our Christian Aboriginal brothers and sisters are planning a Solemn Assembly Gathering in Canberra, hopefully in 2017, to join with Christians from all denominations to ask repentance from God and to forgive one another for past sins.

PRAY AS JESUS AND PAUL DID – FOR UNITY

JESUS PRAYED THIS PRAY FOR ALL BELIEVERS BEFORE  HE WENT TO THE CROSS

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved MeJohn 17:20-23

PAUL PRAYED THAT WE MAY GLORIFY GOD TOGETHER

“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.         Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the Glory of God” Romans 15:5-7

Listen to Craig Groeshel deliver a great sermon on “Unity” and see what a church can achieve when it embraces Jesus command. Unity is not the same as uniformity. Unity with diversity.