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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types of results that we can immediately see - that a candidate will or won't be elected, that a bill will pass or be repealed, etc.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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Trade Agreements with Mexico and Canada

USMCA to replace NAFTA

Canada and Mexico have accepted a new trade deal with the United States. The Trump administration is hopeful that the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) will update and revitalize trade between these three countries. 

President Trump told the White House, “USMCA is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our farmers and manufacturers, reduces trade barriers to the U.S. and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world.”

Sources: The White House, Reuters
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • That the USMCA will have long-lasting, constructive impact on our three nations, causing positive economic growth across the continent.
  • That President Trump’s collaboration with Mexico and Canada will build a good foundation for future relationships between countries. 

Monday, October 08, 2018

President Donald Trump travels to Orlando, Florida, today to take part in the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention. He will speak to attendees and voice support for police officers around the nation. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, “As the largest gathering of police leaders, the president will speak about the work of the Administration to protect American communities by restoring law and order, supporting local law enforcement, and securing the border.”

This evening, the president will return to Washington D.C. to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kavanaugh will take his seat on the bench starting Tuesday and will hear cases along with the eight other Supreme Court justices.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For insight for the president as he speaks at the convention today.
  • For unity for the Supreme Court justices as they welcome Kavanaugh to the court.
  • For wisdom for Kavanaugh as he begins his time serving on the Supreme Court.

The President's Schedule

  • 1:35PM EDT The President delivers remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention
  • 7:00PM EDT The President participates in the swearing-in ceremony of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Ceremonial Swearing in of Justice Kavanaugh

By President Trump in White House East Room

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be ceremonially sworn into office by President Trump on Monday evening. The event is set to be televised at 7:00 p.m. ET.

He was officially sworn in on Saturday and was accompanied by his family at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., performed the official swearing-in, and another private swearing-in was done by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy whose seat’s replacement is Justice Kavanaugh.

With Monday being Columbus Day and a Supreme Court holiday, Justice Kavanaugh will begin hearing cases on Tuesday.

Sources: CBS News, USA Today
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom and a return to calm and peace for Justice Kavanaugh as he begins his lifetime appointment as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
  • For the nation's leaders to have peace and unity going forward in working with the Supreme Court.

President Trump and Chairman Kim to Hold Second Summit

Secretary Pompeo says “substantive progress” can be made

Arrangements are being finalized for the second summit between President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un, Secretary Mike Pompeo reported Monday. The secretary said the two parties believe “substantive progress” can be made at that meeting.

Around three and a half hours were spent in a formal meeting between Secretary Pompeo and Chairman Kim on Sunday. The two sides agreed that “working-level” negotiating teams would be set up to finalize the date and time for the summit.

“We really hope we can deliver some good outcomes from that when the summit takes place,” Secretary Pompeo said. “But we do think, right, that this is a place where ultimately some of these big difficult issues have to be resolved by the nations’ most senior leaders and hope to have those presented in a way that the two leaders can resolve them when they get together.”

The North Korean Central News Agency reported, “The supreme leader expressed his will and conviction that a great progress would surely be made in solving the issues of utmost concern of the world and in attaining the goal set forth in the talks with the projected second DPRK-U.S. summit talks as an occasion.” North Korea’s official name Is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Sources: Washington Post, CBS News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the negotiators on both the U.S. and North Korean side as they work out details for the second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.
  • For the relationship that is being built between the United States and North Korea and their leaders and representatives.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

President Donald Trump travels to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to take part in campaign events. He plans to speak to attendees about the administration’s plans to boost ethanol sales and boost economic growth in the Midwest. The president is expected to announce changes to the rules surrounding the sale of E15 to allow for production year round.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst said, "If you look at where he's making the announcement -- in Iowa, the largest ethanol-producing state in the United States -- it sends a very clear message that he is behind the American farmer, he is behind our renewable fuels and he is ready to make it happen. He's fulfilling his promise, and I appreciate him for doing that."

The Supreme Court begins another week of hearings during their October term. After one week with only eight of the nine seats filled, the High Court is at full strength with Justice Brett Kavanaugh joining the bench today.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for the president as he makes changes to the rules regarding the sales of ethanol.
  • For safety for the president as he travels.
  • For unity and discernment for the Supreme Court as they begin hearing cases this week.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:30AM EDT The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • 12:30PM EDT The President has lunch with the Secretary of State
  • 6:30PM EDT The President delivers remarks at the Make America Great Again Rally

Navy Planning Series of Pacific Operations

Operations to last for one week in November

The U.S. Navy is planning to carry out a show of force in the Pacific Ocean, near China. The proposal is recommending that the series of operations be carried out during a week in November. The Navy is hoping to carry out a highly focused and concentrated set of exercises that will involve U.S. warships, combat aircraft, and troops.

In carrying out these operations, the U.S. is hoping they can show that they are able to counter potential adversaries quickly on different fronts. They have no intention to engage in any sort of combat.

Sources: CNN
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Donald Trump, the Commander in Chief of our military, as he oversees the operations of our armed forces.
  • For safety and wisdom for those serving in our armed forces.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

President Donald Trump will sign the Save Our Seas Act of 2018 in the Oval Office this morning. This bill takes steps towards addressing the issue of trash and debris in the world’s oceans that is having a major impact on ocean life. It starts by reauthorizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program and calls on the Department of State to engage the international community in the effort to reduce plastic waste in the oceans.

In the afternoon, the president will take part in the Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Annual Meeting. The focus of the task force is to deepen coordination across 15 U.S. agencies in their efforts to stop human trafficking. According to the official statement from the Department of State, “At each annual meeting, agencies report on progress made in various priority areas – victim services, rule of law, procurement and supply chains, and public awareness and outreach.”

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For unity for the president and Congress as they work together in the effort to care for the world’s oceans.
  • For collaboration with federal agencies as they work together towards ending human trafficking.
  • For wisdom for the president as he makes decisions and takes part in meetings throughout the day.

Nikki Haley to Resign as Ambassador to UN

Will remain as UN ambassador through the end of the year

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley resigned. During a press conference, President Trump said, “She's done a fantastic job and we've done a fantastic job together. We've solved a lot of problems and we're in the process of solving a lot of problems.” Ambassador Haley will remain in her position through the end of the year while President Trump looks for a replacement.

As an explanation for her departure, Haley said, "It's been eight years of intense time, and I'm a believer in term limits." She also added, "I think you have to be selfless enough to know when you step aside and allow someone else do the job." She called her time at the UN a blessing and stated that she believed that government officials must know when it is time to leave. She believes that her time at the UN in the Trump Administration had created a new position for the U.S. on the world stage saying, “Now the U.S. is respected. Countries may not like what we do, but they respect what we do.”

Sources: NPR, FOX, CNN
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Nikki Haley as she transitions out of her role as UN ambassador.
  • For President Trump to have wisdom on the best replacement for Nikki Haley.
  • For relations between the U.S. and foreign countries to improve through the transition.

Pompeo Working to Resolve Concerns with China

China requests U.S. stop criticism

Following his trip to North Korea, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to China on Monday to work towards improving relations between the two great nations. Prior to his meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Secretary Pompeo said that Washington has a “fundamental disagreement” and “great concerns” about China’s actions.

Foreign Minister Wang stated that the United State’s recent tariffs and arms sales to Taiwan were causing serious deterioration between the two countries, and stated that the United States had made unfair criticism of China’s domestic and foreign policies. The U.S. is still working with China to reach solutions in East Asia moving forward, especially with the process of denuclearizing North Korea.

Sources: AP, Reuters
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Secretary Pompeo to have wisdom on how best to work with China in the days ahead.
  • For the State Department to form useful relationships between China and the U.S.
  • For President Trump to work towards improved relations between the two countries.

Legislation to Fully Fund Border Wall Coming

House Majority Leader McCarthy signals introduction

California Representative Kevin McCarthy, who is the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, said he intends to introduce legislation this week that would give full funding to the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is seeking support from his party’s rank and file members.

“Few things are more fundamental to a nation than a protected border,” Representative McCarthy tweeted. “Proud to introduce the Build the Wall, Enforce the Law Act.”

“For decades, America’s inability to secure our borders and stop illegal immigration has encouraged millions to undertake a dangerous journey to come here in violation of our laws and created a huge loophole to the legal channels to the immigration process where America welcomes immigrants to our country,” Representative McCarthy said. “The American people want us to build the wall and enforce the law. Maintaining strong borders is one of the basic responsibilities of any nation. For too long, America has failed in this responsibility.”

He said his legislation will also include measures that deal with sanctuary cities, criminal gangs, and other immigration-related issues. However, it will not include any policies on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Full funding will require an additional $23.4 billion. Congress has already directed $1.6 billion to the wall project.

Representative McCarthy is scheduled to travel to the border this week where he will receive an operations and threat briefing from Border Patrol and law enforcement officials.

Sources: Fox News, Breitbart
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for Representative McCarthy and others in the House of Representatives as they evaluate legislation regarding national security.
  • For members of the Border Patrol and others who work to maintain the security of America along its borders.

Friday, October 12, 2018

President Donald Trump travels to Cincinnati, Ohio, today to speak at campaign events. His primary focus will be on highlighting what the administration has done to boost economic growth through new trade deals, job creation, and a reduction in federal regulations. As the mid-terms are weeks away, the president will also urge voters to turn out for the November elections.

Hurricane Michael moves into the Atlantic today after leaving 1.5 million Americans without power across six states. Many communities are completely cut off due to road closures covered in debris or due to flooding. FEMA Administrator Brock Long said it could take months, or even years, for the hardest hit communities to recover. Local officials are urging evacuated residents to stay away during the recovery efforts. Local Councilwoman Linda Albrecht said. "The more people that return, it's just going to get in the way."  

Hurricane Michael is expected to pick up additional speed and intensity as it leaves the coast and into the Atlantic.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For safety for the president as he travels.
  • For wisdom for FEMA Administrator Brock Long as he coordinates recovery efforts.
  • For grace and mercy for the many who experienced significant losses in the hurricane.
  • For strength, energy, and determination for the first responders and rescue teams working to help those in need.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:30AM EDT The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • 5:15PM EDT The President participates in a roundtable with supporters
  • 7:00PM EDT The President hosts a Make America Great Again rally

FBI Thwarts Election Day Bomb Plan

New York man arrested

The FBI has confirmed that a New York man is facing charges for planning to detonate a 200-pound homemade bomb on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Election Day. The device was discovered in the man’s home just north of New York City.

The 56-year-old man said he planned to detonate the explosives, hoping to kill himself in the blast, to draw attention to his political beliefs.

He allegedly sent text messages and letters to a resident in Pennsylvania detailing his plans. The Pennsylvania person alerted the FBI, and the man was arrested. After waiving his Miranda rights, the intended bomber admitted his plan. The bomb was removed from the man’s basement and transferred to a safe location by the FBI.

The FBI does not believe he is a part of any larger terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Sources: CBS News, Washington Examiner
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the work of FBI agents and other members of law enforcement.
  • With thanksgiving for the right-thinking of the Pennsylvania individual.

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