Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
This discussion will continue the posts from the Presidential Prayer Team website.
It's tempting when praying for our country to focus our prayers more on politics and people than on God and His purposes. Whether we're praying for a reversal of the moral decline at all levels of our society, or for wisdom and integrity for our leaders, or for America's place in the world, there are spiritual realities that underlie all that we see (and pray for) on the surface.
If we really believe that God answers prayer, then praying for our country and for our leaders has far more impact than lobbying for bills, boycotting organizations, or campaigning for candidates. God will call some of us to activities like that. But he calls us all to pray. Who knows but that God might be in a similar place with America that he was with Israel in Ezekiel's day:
"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one." -- Ezekiel 22:30
We pray to a God who longs to bring healing to our wounds and unity to our division. Many believe this promise made to Israel still applies today (though America is not "my people" to God in the same way that Israel was):
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." -- 2 Chronicles 7:14
It is up to the Church today to take the lead in opening the door for God's healing through prayer. Please join in! Feel free to post responses or simply to pray along the lines of the PPT's prayer items.
President Donald Trump announced this week that he "has decided not to reissue" waivers regarding sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil. These waivers are set to expire on May 2 of this year. Countries that continue to import oil from Iran after this date will face U.S. sanctions. This includes India, China, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States' goal in not renewing waivers is "to deprive the outlaw regime [in Iran] of the funds it had used to destabilize the Middle East for four decades." According to Secretary Pompeo, in order to make up for the loss of oil for Iran in the global market, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to "ensure an appropriate supply for the markets." The U.S. also plans to aid in the supply, seeking to increase its production in 2019.
“We’re taking our signature back,” he said, and indicated the United Nations would soon receive formal notice of America’s dropping out.
The treaty regulates the $70 billion business in conventional arms, and seeks to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.
About the United Nations and their goals of greater international arms reductions.
High-level trade talks between the U.S. and China are expected to resume next week. The White House said that their talks would "cover trade issues including intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, services, purchases, and enforcement." Both sides have expressed optimism that an agreement could be struck soon.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for negotiations beginning on April 30. Chinese President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser Liu He will lead a delegation to Washington for further talks, which will begin on May 8.
President Donald Trump will be traveling to Louisiana to take part in campaign events and speak about the growing economy and the administration’s efforts to create jobs. On Monday, the president met with Shin Dong-bin, the chairman for the Lotte Group regarding the group’s recent opening of a manufacturing plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The plant is expected to create around 2,500 jobs for the region.
While in Louisiana, the president also plans to take a tour of a soon to be opened liquefied natural gas facility owned by Sempra Energy. The facility is outside of the town of Hackberry. The president is expected to also deliver remarks at the visit and will likely talk about the progress and efforts of the U.S. as they work to renegotiate a trade agreement with China.
“We are not going to leave until the border is secure,” he said on a trip to McAllen, Texas. “This isn’t about identifying a problem; it’s about fixing a problem more quickly.”
The military has about 4,400 troops stationed at the border to assist Customs and Border Protection, Shanahan told Congress.
Shanahan, who has been in his role since January, is expected to be nominated by President Trump to permanently fill the defense secretary position.
For the men and women of America’s military who are serving on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with officials of NATO in Brussels. During the meeting with America’s European allies, he shared information on “escalating” threats from Iran.
Brian Hook, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary of State, said, “The secretary wanted to share some details behind what we have been saying publicly. We believe that Iran should try talks instead of threats. They have chosen poorly by focusing on threats.”
Asked if the secretary was blaming Iran for the attacks on several oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, Hook said, “We discussed…what seemed to be attacks on commercial vessels that were anchored off Fujairah…we have been requested by the UAE to provide assistance in the investigation, which we are very glad to do.” Beyond that, he had no comment.
About the escalation of threats being made by Iran against the United States, some European nations, and Israel.
President Donald Trump spent the night at Trump Tower in New York last night following a campaign event. He will depart New York en route back to Washington, D.C. this morning.
The president is expected to speak at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in the afternoon. While there, he will deliver remarks at the National Association of REALTORS Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. Following this, he will return to the White House.
Individual U.S. airlines had already suspended their flights to Venezuela prior to this declaration. American Airlines was the last to suspend its flights in March. In addition, the State Department has advised U.S. citizens currently in Venezuela to leave the country "via any available means" if they can do so safely.
On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department ordered all non-emergency U.S. government employees to depart from Iraq. Senior Department Officials stated the reason for this was as a "prudent" step amid an "imminent threat" from Iran. In addition, normal visa services will also be temporarily suspended at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil.
Officials have noted that there is a current, credible threat involving multiple Iranian-backed militia groups. The U.S. does not have any current interest or plans for military conflict with anyone in the Middle East. President Donald Trump expressed optimism that Iran will want to talk with U.S. officials soon.
President Trump announced on Thursday new guidelines that the United States will utilize when determining immigration applicants. The new plan is set to focus on bringing the best and brightest individuals from around the world into the country. President Trump criticized the current system saying, “We discriminate against brilliance. We won’t anymore once we get this passed.”
The plan focuses on six areas that the Trump Administration views as important for securing a bright future for the country. They are securing the border by completing a southern border wall, protecting American wages, attracting and retaining the best and brightest immigrants, prioritizing nuclear families, importing labor for critical industries, and preserving humanitarian values. The new system would set a goal of an admittance rate of 57% based on skill, 33% on family connections, and 10% for humanitarian purposes.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have no public events on their schedule today and are planning to stay in residence at the White House all weekend. They will be resting following a busy week. While they have no public events, they often take time to meet with national leaders and public officials.
Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence will be traveling to Muncie, Indiana. The vice president will deliver the commencement address at Taylor University. Following this, the vice president and second lady will return to Washington, D.C.