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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.

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, today. They have no public events on the schedule, but the president and first lady often entertain guests or work to address issues ahead of the upcoming week.

At the end of last week, the president signed the budget agreement passed by Congress to prevent a government shutdown. Shortly after, he made an emergency declaration concerning border security and reallocated funds to support the building on a border wall to cover the budget shortfall from Congress’s bill. The president is likely to continue working on the next steps.

Delegates from the U.S. and North Korea are meeting this week to discuss the details for the upcoming second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence are returning to Washington D.C. today following their attendance of the Munich Security Conference in Europe.

 

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For rest for the president and first lady as they spend their Sunday in Florida.
  • For wisdom for the president and his staff as they lay out the next steps concerning border security.
  • For guidance for the delegation planning the U.S.-North Korea summit.
  • For safety for the vice president and second lady as they travel.

U.S. Strategy for Iran Released

To take action confidently, but carefully

Senior Director for the Middle East Victoria Coates released a statement this week outlining the United States' strategy for Iran. The main objective of President Donald Trump's strategy in Iran is to bring about systemic change with regards to the Islamic Republic's hostile actions. The President is currently examining whether to impose new sanctions onto Iran, in order to place stress on the country to change.

In addition, the U.S. is looking into the release of Americans and other Western citizens currently being detained in Iran. They are also looking into encouraging warmer ties between Iran and other Gulf countries surrounding it while ensuring that they do not acquire nuclear weapons capabilities. The U.S. will be taking clear steps toward achieving their goals with Iran, but will also continue to look to the President for guidance as the year progresses.

Sources: WhiteHouse.gov
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Director Coates as she works with the President to implement the U.S.'s strategies for Iran.
  • For President Trump as he advises his Administration on how to proceed in the coming months.

Monday, February 18, 2019

President Donald Trump is traveling to Miami, Florida, where he will deliver remarks at the Florida International University Ocean Bank Convocation Center. He will be speaking on the growing crisis in Venezuela and the dangers of socialism and is expected to reaffirm the U.S. support for Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaidó.

Following the event, the president and first lady will return to the White House in Washington D.C.

Trade negotiations with China are expected to continue this week ahead of the March 1st deadline. On Sunday morning, the president gave an updated status saying he was part of “important meetings and calls on China Trade Deal, and more, today with my staff. Big progress being made.” He added, “Our Country has such fantastic potential for future growth and greatness on an even higher level!”

Delegates from the U.S. and North Korea are meeting this week to discuss the details for the upcoming second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Today, the nation celebrates President’s day to remember and honors the legacy of the president’s, current and past.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for the president as he speaks today.
  • For collaboration as the U.S. and China work to negotiate trade agreements.
  • For guidance for the delegation planning the U.S.-North Korea summit.
  • For safety for the president and first lady as they travel.

ONDCP Working with Colombia to Increase Counter-Narcotics Efforts

Two countries looking forward to great progress in the upcoming year

The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Jim Carroll released a statement earlier this week stating that the U.S. is working with Colombia to increase their counter-narcotics efforts. Director Carroll participated in an official working visit with Colombian President Ivan Duque at the White House this week.

Their plan includes beginning an aerial spray eradication program, which they hope will reduce coca cultivation and production. Director Carroll also stated that "President Duque and the Colombian government are important partners of the United States, and the Trump Administration will continue working closely with them to meet our objectives and keep illegal drugs out of American communities."

Sources: WhiteHouse.gov
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Director Carroll as he continues to work closely with the Colombian government to reduce the amount of illegal drugs in America.
  • For Colombian President Duque as he works with the U.S. to create and implement programs to lessen narcotics production and use.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Today, President Donald Trump is meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the morning. They are expected to discuss the crisis in Venezuela, the trade negotiations with China, and the upcoming summit with North Korea.

Following that, the president and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen are meeting to discuss border security and immigration reform.

Vice President Mike Pence and the president will be meeting for a working lunch prior to the president’s public signing of a space policy directive. The directive will lay the groundwork to establish a new branch of the military dedicated to space.

Officials from the U.S. are continuing to meet with North Korean officials this week to discuss the upcoming second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting will take place in Vietnam on February 27 and 28.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For guidance and clarity for the president as he meets with the secretaries of State and Homeland security and the vice president.
  • For wisdom for the president and Congress as they work to develop a new branch of the military.
  • For collaboration as the U.S. and North Korea as they plan the upcoming summit.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:30AM EST The President meets with the Secretary of State
  • 12:15PM EST The President meets with the Secretary of Homeland Security
  • 1:00PM EST The President has lunch with the Vice President
  • 2:00PM EST The President participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive 4

Saturday, February 23, 2019

President Donald Trump has no public events scheduled for today. He is expected to work with administration officials on the possibility of deploying U.S. troops to Colombia in an effort to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela. Venezuela’s military, which is still loyal to President Nicolas Maduro, has closed that nation’s border to block shipments of aid. Vice President Pence will visit Colombia next week.

The National Governors’ Association is holding day one of a three-day winter meeting in Washington, D.C. Governors are flying in from across the country to float ideas on how to confront issues facing their states. They will engage in panels and meetings and will hear from leaders in the private sector, non-profits, and from other governments around the world.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:

  • For President Trump and his advisers as they consider possible deployment of U.S. troops.
  • For the president, Secretary Pompeo, adviser John Bolton, and others preparing for the summit next week with North Korea.
  • For the governors of America’s states to have a productive and informative gathering in Washington.

The President's Schedule

  • 6:45PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY attend the Governors’ Ball

New Rule Will Strip Millions from Planned Parenthood

Administration takes major step on Title X

President Donald Trump's administration issued a final rule on Friday that could effectively cut off tens of millions of federal family-planning dollars to Planned Parenthood and steer some of that funding towards pro-life and faith-based care providers.

The rule requires family-planning clinics to be housed in separate buildings from abortion clinics. The rule applies to a $286 million annual grant, known as Title X, that pays for birth control, testing of sexually transmitted diseases, and cancer screenings. It requires the “physical and financial” separation of family planning services and abortion.

The rule is similar to a 1988 policy instituted by President Ronald Reagan, which required family services to have a “physical separation” and “separate personnel” from abortion providers. It was challenged by Planned Parenthood and similar groups. The Supreme Court allowed the policy to move forward, but it was never carried out completely. President Bill Clinton rolled back the Reagan-era rule in 1994.

Sources: Politico, Washington Post
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • That the president and his administration will judiciously oversee the Title X funding.
  • For wisdom for the president as he sets policies regarding abortion.

Agreement with China on Currency Manipulation

Other negotiations on trade, tariffs continue

On Friday, President Trump told reporters, “We have a deal on currency and currency manipulation.” His announcement followed a meeting he had with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House.

There has been a long period of allegations that Beijing manipulates its currency in order to gain an edge in international trade.

Details of the agreement were not immediately available, but the announcement comes as President Trump is planning on a meeting next month with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

Negotiations on other items including trade and tariffs continue. Premier Liu expressed optimism that a trade deal could be reached.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, Washington Examiner
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his team of negotiators as they continue to work on a complete trade deal with China.
  • About the development of plans for President Trump to host Chinese President Xi Jinping next month.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are both at the White House in Washington, D.C. today. They have no public schedule during the day, but will be attending the annual Governors Ball in the evening. While there, they will spend time meeting with officials and leaders from around the nation and take part in discussions regarding issues of national concern.

This week, the president will travel to Vietnam to take part in the second summit between the U.S. and North Korea. As the summit dates near, the president and his staff are expected to focus more time in preparation for the meeting.

Vice President Mike Pence will be traveling to Colombia tomorrow to review the growing crisis in the neighboring nation of Venezuela. He will also reaffirm the U.S. support of Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For rest and rejuvenation for the president and first lady.
  • For the president and first lady as they attend the Governors’ Ball, that God would build unity in all those who are in attendance.
  • For wisdom for President Trump as he prepares for the summit this week.
  • For guidance for Vice President Pence as he prepares to travel.

Supreme Court to take on 2020 Census Case

Case to be heard in April

The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will hear a case this term to decide whether the president's administration will be able to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. A lower court had decided to block the question, stating that it violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the way administrative agencies can propose and establish regulations. The court felt that it was unlawful to include the question for "a multitude of independent reasons and must be set aside."

It is not common for the Supreme Court to hear a case before it has been heard by federal appeals courts. However, with the deadline for printing the form at the end of June, the Justice Department asked that the case to be heard now. The justices agreed and will hear the case in April.

Sources: CNN, NBC, Fox News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for our Supreme Court Justices as they prepare to hear this case
  • For God to lead our leaders as they decide what questions to include on the upcoming 2020 census

Vice President to Travel to Columbia

Will call for new leadership in Venezuela

The White House announced on Thursday that Vice President Pence would be traveling to Columbia on the behalf of President Trump on Monday, February 25. The stated purpose of the trip will be to show the United States’ support of interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido and promote democracy in the region. Colombia is the western neighbor of Venezuela.

This trip will be Vice President Pence’s fifth to South America during his time in the White House. During his time in the country he will be delivering remarks at a meeting of the Lima Group. He will also meet families who have fled from Venezuela into Colombia. The Vice President’s Press Secretary released a statement saying, “The United States is proud to join the Lima Group and other global partners to marshal our resources, provide much needed humanitarian relief, and stand together with the people of Venezuela until democracy and freedom are fully restored.”

Sources: White House
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Vice President Pence to have safe travel to and from Colombia.
  • For the State Department to be able to develop stronger ties between the U.S. and Latin American Countries. 
  • For the best leaders to be in power in Venezuela for the good of the people.

Monday, February 25, 2019

This morning, President Donald Trump is participating in the 2019 White House Business Session with governors from around the nation. This is the final day of the National Governors Association 2019 Winter Meeting where leaders from across the country can discuss issues facing their states and share ideas about ways to address them.

Shortly after, the president will be departing Washington, D.C. en route to Hanoi, Vietnam, where he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the second U.S.-North Korea summit. He will be preparing for the meeting where he and U.S. officials will continue to apply pressure on North Korea to shutter their nuclear and ballistic missile programs and call for verifiable evidence before lifting international sanctions.

Vice President Mike Pence will also be traveling outside the country. He is headed to Colombia to meet with Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez and visit the nation’s border with Venezuela. Vice President Pence is expected to address the fact that the Venezuelan border has been closed and critical humanitarian aid has been unable to enter the country. He will also reaffirm U.S. support of Venezuelan interim president Juan Guaido.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for the president and nation’s governors as they discuss ways to meet the needs of the nation.
  • For safety for the president and vice president as they travel today.
  • For guidance for the president as he prepares to meet with the North Korean leader.
  • For the vice president as he meets with leaders in Colombian concerning the crisis in Venezuela.

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