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"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.This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."  -- 1 Timothy 2:1-4

For the past couple of years, I've been posting prayer requests from the Presidential Prayer Team, and I will continue that in this new discussion for 2018.  

One of the most commonly quoted passages used to encourage us to pray for our leaders is 1 Timothy 2:1-2.  We understand that God calls us to pray for our leaders; elsewhere we're told that when kings rule in righteousness, the people are happy.

But there's more to it than that.  We need to pray for our leaders in such a way that their leadership results in open doors for the Gospel and for people to come to know Christ.  This is the goal of verse 4 - "all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth".  We are to pray with this end in mind.

So it's not just about praying that a bill will (or won't) pass.  It's about praying that the result of the bill will be to bring honor to God and open doors for the Gospel.  We often pray for the types of results that we can immediately see - that a candidate will or won't be elected, that a bill will pass or be repealed, etc.  But God calls us to pray with far more than that in mind.  Humility requires us to admit that we don't know what God knows about what might be best for our country, best for the people, etc.  

So I encourage you, as you pray for our leaders, to pray with God's purposes in mind - not conservative purposes or liberal purposes but the purposes of the one to whom all history points.

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Friday, July 06, 2018

Over the past few months, President Donald Trump has been working to offset the trade deficit between the U.S. and its many trade partners. Today, he is expected to announce a decision on a round of tariffs on Chinese goods, specifically technology and electronics. The president’s goal is to balance trade and imports with domestic production in order to further improve the U.S. economy.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt tendered his resignation yesterday. President Trump made the announcement saying, “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this."

Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will become the interim chief of the EPA and the president said of him, “I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For President Trump as he makes decisions concerning trade, that his decisions would have a positive impact on the economy.
  • For Scott Pruitt as he transitions out of his position at the EPA.
  • For Andrew Wheeler as he takes over his new role with new responsibilities, that God would guide and direct him.

President Completes Supreme Court Interviews

Three candidates top Trump’s list

 

After speaking with six judges, President Trump has completed his interviews for the individual who will replace Justice Kennedy at the end of this month. After these discussions, three candidates—Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, and Amy Coney Barrett, are on Donald Trump’s shortlist for the nomination.

This is the second Supreme Court nomination of Donald Trump’s presidency. He was also responsible for the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the court after Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. An announcement is expected on Monday as to who President Trump will nominate for the Supreme Court position.

Sources: FOX, AP, NPR

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For Donald Trump to have wisdom as he selects the next Supreme Court nominee.
  • For the Senate to work hard to question and confirm the best candidate for the country.
  • For the nominees to be patient and honest throughout the confirmation process.

 

Saturday, July 07, 2018

President Donald Trump is at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey this weekend. He will be resting before his busy week. Along with his much-anticipated announcement of a nominee to the position of Supreme Court Justice, he will be traveling to Brussels, Belgium next week for a NATO summit before traveling to the United Kingdom.

Secretary Mike Pompeo is arriving in Tokyo, Japan, today to continue discussions regarding North Korea. He will meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. The goal of their meeting is to coordinate efforts between the regional partners and increase cooperation to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization.

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For rest and rejuvenation for President Trump this weekend.
  • For preparation and wisdom for the president as he makes final decisions ahead of the events of next week.
  • For Secretary Pompeo as he continues efforts for peace around the world.

SECRETARY POMPEO MET WITH NORTH KOREA

Spends two days discussing denuclearization

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met on Friday with a North Korean official Kim Yong-chol in Pyongyang to begin discussing North Korea’s denuclearization. His goal was to try to get the North Koreans to begin acting on the commitment to denuclearization signed in June by leader Kim Jong-un during his meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore. First priorities included a declaration of weapons sites and a timeline of deconstruction efforts, as well as a possible written statement matching Secretary Pompeo’s definition of denuclearization. Other U.S. officials present at the meeting included members from the CIA, State Department, Pentagon, and White House.

In a statement on Saturday, Secretary Pompeo said that the issues being discussed are “complicated issues, but we made progress on almost all of the central issues.” According to retired US Army Special Forces colonel David Maxwell, North Korea will have between now and the middle of August to “do something substantive to show good faith” or the U.S. will reconvene their military exercises in the Korean Peninsula.

Sources: CNN, NY Times, Washington Post
As the Lord Leads, please pray:
  • For Secretary Pompeo and his team as they continue to talk with North Korean officials regarding this matter
  • For President Donald Trump and his administration as they decide the next best step to take in their talks with North Korea

Sunday, July 08, 2018

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey today. They will return to the White House this evening in advance of the busy schedule of the week. Monday, President Trump is expected to announce his nominee to the position of Supreme Court Justice. On Tuesday he will be traveling to Brussels, Belgium, for the NATO summit taking place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Following the NATO Summit, the president will visit the United Kingdom to meet heads of state. He will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Queen Elizabeth. The president is likely to focus heavily on fostering the relationship between the two nations as well as working out trade deals that will be beneficial for both.

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For preparation and wisdom for the president as he makes final decisions ahead of the events of next week.
  • For President Trump as he makes decisions concerning trade, that his decisions would have a positive impact on the economy.
  • For safety and rest as the president travels around the world and adjusts to the time zone changes.

The President's Schedule

  • 4:00PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Bedminster, NJ, en route to Morristown, NJ
  • 4:10PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Morristown Regional Airport
  • 4:20PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Morristown, NJ, en route to Washington, DC
  • 5:10PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Joint Base Andrews
  • 5:20PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Joint Base Andrews en route to the White House
  • 5:30PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at the White House

CHINA IMPOSES RETALIATORY TARIFFS ON U.S.

$34 Billion of U.S. goods affected.

On Friday the U.S. was hit by China with $34 Billion worth of tariffs on products ranging from vehicles to soybeans, beef, and other agricultural products. These tariffs follow the imposition of equivalent tariffs by the United States. Of the relationship between the two nations, President Trump said, "Trade between our nations has been very unfair, for a very long time."

The total value of tariffs applied by China to the U.S. amounts to roughly $75 billion worth of American goods or about 4.8% of total U.S. exports. The expectation of the White House is that the effect of the U.S. tariffs on China will make sure that China no longer takes place in rampant intellectual property theft and will improve the relationship of the two countries down the road.

Sources: NPR, New York Times, BBC
As the Lord Leads, please pray:
  • For President Trump to make trade policy that brings about the greatest good for the country.
  • For the Department of Commerce to work hard to improve relations with China.
  • For mutually beneficial trade agreements with the U.S. and China.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

President Donald Trump announced that Washington, D.C. Federal Court of Appeals Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh was his nominee to the Supreme Court yesterday evening. The Senate will begin the hearing and confirmation process to help determine if Kavanaugh is the best fit to serve the interests of Americans for years to come. The president said during his speech, “What matters is not a judge's personal views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say I have found, without doubt, such a person.” He added, “There is no one more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving.” He concluded by calling for “robust bipartisan support” in the confirmation process.

Today, President Trump is leaving for Europe today and will arrive in Brussels, Belgium, to begin the two-day summit with allied members of NATO in order to discuss mutual concerns. He will meet with the heads of state from the 29 member nations. The primary topics of conversations will be on defense budgets, global security, fighting terrorism, crisis management, and other issues. The theme for this years summit is “Strength and Unity.”

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For wisdom for President Trump as he makes decisions concerning those who will fill the vacancies in the government.
  • For discernment for the Senate as they will have to vote on the confirmation of the Supreme Court Justice.
  • For transparency and guidance for Judge Kavanaugh as he goes through the process and that God would make clear whether or not he is the right person for the position.
  • For safety for President Trump as he travels.

The President's Schedule

  • 7:10AM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
  • 7:20AM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Joint Base Andrews
  • 7:30AM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Joint Base Andrews en route to Melsbroek Air Base
  • 9:05PM EDT / 3:05PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Melsbroek Air Base
  • 9:15PM EDT / 3:15PM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Melsbroek Air Base en route to Chief of Mission Residence
  • 9:30PM EDT / 3:30PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Chief of Mission Residence

PRESIDENT SELECTS SUPREME COURT NOMINEE

Brett Kavanaugh is his second Supreme Court Pick

President Donald Trump announced on Monday evening that he would be selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his second Supreme Court nominee. Kavanaugh will be replacing Justice Kennedy who announced that he will retire at the end of the month of July.

Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the US Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit. His nomination will now go to the Senate as they begin the confirmation process. They will evaluate him and his credentials to determine if he is the best fit for the position. 

Sources: AP, NPR, FOX
As the Lord Leads, please pray:
  • For Brett Kavanaugh as they go through the Senate Confirmation process to answer questions effectively and truthfully. 
  • For the Senate to have wisdom as they go through the confirmation process.
  • For Justice Kennedy to have a peaceful and enjoyable retirement.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are in Turnberry, Scotland, today following their visit with the queen of England and Prime Minister Theresa May. They are expected to enjoy a day of rest following their busy travel this week both meeting with allied nations at the NATO summit and with the heads of state in the United Kingdom.

Following their time in Scotland, the president and first lady will travel to Helsinki, Finland, in advance of the summit between the United States and Russia. They will arrive this evening and spend Sunday in preparation.

The main issues of discussion during the summit will be Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine as well as its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the many human rights atrocities committed by the Syrian government against its own people.

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For safety for the president and first lady as they travel.
  • For God to give rest and rejuvenation to the president and first lady as they pause in Scotland today.
  • For preparation for the many staff and aids to the president as they prepare for the summit next week.

The President's Schedule

  • 3:05PM EDT / 10:05AM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Turnberry, Scotland, United Kingdom, en route to Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 3:50PM EDT / 10:50AM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Glasgow Prestwick Airport
  • 4:00PM EDT / 11:00AM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, en route to Vantaa, Finland
  • 9:00PM EDT / 2:00PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Helsinki Airport
  • 9:10PM EDT / 2:10PM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Vantaa, Finland, en route to Helsinki, Finland
  • 9:30PM EDT / 2:30PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa

PRESIDENT PERSUADES NATO ALLIES TO INCREASE CONTRIBUTIONS

Says U.S. will now be treated fairly.

After taking a tough meeting with NATO allies at a Brussels summit on Wednesday, President Donald Trump stated that he was able to persuade U.S. allies to contribute more to NATO funding. In the statement, President Trump said, “We really accomplished a lot with respect to NATO... tremendous progress has been made – everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment.”

In a communique sent out from the summit, all nations affirmed their commitment to spend 2% of their GDP on defense spending. The president said that it is important for European nations to eventually spend 4% of their GDP on defense.

Sources: CBS, AP, NPR
As the Lord Leads, please pray:
  • For President Trump to negotiate fair deals for the U.S. in NATO
  • For member nations of NATO to work together effectively for peace around the world.
  • For the ongoing relationships of the NATO nations to be strong.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are in Helsinki, Finland, today in preparation for the summit on Monday between the U.S. and Russia. President Trump will meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin to discuss global issues and address concerns that affect both nations. The main issues of discussion during the summit will be Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine as well as its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the many human rights atrocities committed by the Syrian government against its own people.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also be part of the U.S. delegation and said in advance of the summit, "I am confident that President Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin will put America in a better place." Pompeo expects that the president will also bring up the recent indictments of 12 Russian military intelligence officers during the 2016 election.

As the Lord Leads, please pray:

  • For God to give rest and rejuvenation to the president and first lady in Finland today.
  • For wisdom and discernment for President Trump as he prepares to meet with President Putin regarding many issues of concern for the United States.
  • For preparation for the many staff and aids to the president as they prepare for the summit tomorrow.
"We provide these suggested prayer items to help you intercede for our president and the issues our commander-in-chief faces each day. We trust that you will also pray for all our leaders, asking for God's wisdom and for His will to be done.” – The Presidential Prayer Team

The President's Schedule

  • 3:05PM EDT / 10:05AM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Turnberry, Scotland, United Kingdom, en route to Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 3:50PM EDT / 10:50AM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Glasgow Prestwick Airport
  • 4:00PM EDT / 11:00AM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, en route to Vantaa, Finland
  • 9:00PM EDT / 2:00PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Helsinki Airport
  • 9:10PM EDT / 2:10PM The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Vantaa, Finland, en route to Helsinki, Finland
  • 9:30PM EDT / 2:30PM The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa

HOUSE TO VOTE ON BILL TO ABOLISH ICE

Discussions coming this week

On Thursday, a group of House Representatives introduced legislation that would abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). This bill would not put an end to all immigration enforcement, but would instead set up a bipartisan commission that would reassign the agency’s responsibilities to other federal organizations and agencies. This legislation would not affect border security, as that is overseen by a separate agency under the Department of Homeland Security.

Lawmakers have stated that their reasoning for wanting to abolish ICE is due to the fact that it has shifted away from its original focus to combat terrorism and international crime. Instead, they state that it has shifted its focus to the removal and detention of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, and therefore should be abolished.

A date has not yet been set for a vote on this bill, but discussions are set to begin soon.

Sources: CNN, The Washington Post
As the Lord Leads, please pray:
  • For members of the House as they further discuss the potential effects of this bill
  • For all those that would be affected by this potential change in legislation

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