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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types of results that we can immediately see - that a candidate will or won't be elected, that a bill will pass or be repealed, etc.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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U.S.-China Trade Dispute and the G20

May “come to a head,” economic adviser says

The trade struggle between the United States and China is expected to be a high focus at the G20 summit, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said.

He told reporters at the White House that there was “a lot of opposition to what the Chinese are doing, and the Chinese seem not to like it.” He added, “It will come to a head at the G20. I think that’s the key point.”

China’s President Xi and President Trump anticipate discussions over the tensions marked by escalating tariffs on each other’s goods.

Vice President Pence said, “President Trump believes that a deal is possible but we also believe we’re in a very strong position.”

The G20 will be in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from November 30 to December 1.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, The Hill
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his economic advisers, including Larry Kudlow, as they prepare for discussions with President Xi at the G20.
  • For President Trump’s other possible meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Today, President Donald Trump is continuing his stay in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago estate. He is continuing to enjoy time resting, relaxing, and spending time with the first family. A detailed itinerary is not publicly available at this time, but the president will likely continue meeting with officials and administration staff ahead of next week’s events.

On Thanksgiving, the president spoke with US service members stationed around the globe and wished them a happy Thanksgiving. He spoke about increased military spending in order to upgrade aging equipment as well as upcoming budget talks in Congress to keep government agencies funded. He also encouraged those deployed to the U.S. border.

Congress will begin budget negotiations early next week.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For rest and rejuvenation for the president and first family as they spend time together this week.
  • For encouragement for the many service men and women that are deployed and away from their loved ones during the holidays.
  • For the nation’s leaders as they determine the next steps in federal funding.

U.S. Partners with Papua New Guinea to Electrify Island

Goal of connecting 70% of its population to electricity by 2030

Vice President Pence announced on November 17 that the United States would be partnering with Australia, New Zealand, and Japan to bring electricity infrastructure to the nation of Papua New Guinea. Currently, only 13% of the population of the country has access to electricity. The goal of the joint operation is to bring power to 70% of the nation by 2030.

The U.S. will invite both public and private partnerships to invest in various technologies including new generation capacity, transmission and distribution lines, and the creation of service providers and businesses to the grid. The desire is that the input of the United States will assure long-term partnerships that will allow the economic growth of the island nation to benefit both the United States and Papua New Guinea.

Sources: White House
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the joint partnership to be effective in bringing electricity to Papua New Guinea. 
  • For Vice President Pence to help lead the charge into diplomatic growth between the different nations. 
  • For clear and open planning between the different nations involved.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

President Donald Trump concludes his participation at the G20 summit in Argentina this evening with a high-stakes dinner meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Although he canceled his official planned-for meeting with Russia’s president Putin, they will still likely interact as part of larger G20 meetings. Tensions are still high due to Russia’s actions with Ukraine and reluctance to release the sailors that it detained.

The president is also expected to take part in other high-level bilateral meetings. Matters in Turkey and North Korea require the president’s negotiating skills and discernment. He will continue to be briefed on conditions in Alaska following two back-to-back earthquakes.

First Lady Melania Trump is with the president in Argentina. Her activities will include a tour of the city, a cultural event, and attendance at an official dinner with the leaders and their spouses. She hopes to include a meeting with children and is likely to visit a local children’s hospital.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For mutual understandings with one another as President Trump meets with other leaders.
  • For a safe return to Washington for the president, first lady, and all traveling with him.
  • For God to use the president to bring about His will on the global stage.

PRAYER ALERT - President George H. W. Bush Has Passed

The 41st president was 94 years of age

As the nation mourns the loss of Former 41st President George Herbert Walker Bush, who passed into eternity with our Father yesterday, we too mourn his loss to this world, and rejoice in his life. President Bush was a man devoted to the Lord, to his family, and to his country, in a way that truly inspired many to live out his challenge to be “a thousand points of light” in this world. His legacy of impact through his family is tremendous, with sons serving in the highest offices of this nation.


Known for many things, one of the best was his ability to befriend his fiercest opponents. To the very end, some of his kindest and closest friends were bitter rivals in partisan battles. He demonstrated the gracious love that we should all aspire to share. At a time where our struggle to remain united is being tested seemingly daily, the bell that tolled with his passing is clarion call to us all of how we should view and treat each other.

Sources: ABC News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • That the family and friends of President Bush will be able to mourn his passing and rejoice in his life, to God’s great glory.
  • That the country would feel the impact on his loss and be inspired by his life. That it would cause a time of reflection and renewal in the hearts of many.

President Trump Seeking Return of Democracy for Nicaragua

Seeking justice for the Nicaraguan people, Trump Administration imposes sanctions

President Trump has issued sanctions on the Nicaraguan government via an executive order. The Trump Administration is calling on Daniel Ortega, the President of Nicaragua, and his wife, Rosario Murillo, the Vice President of Nicaragua, and some of their employees, to rule the Central American nation fairly, restoring proper democracy.

The reason for the sanctions include reports which span issues like paying off the nation’s military to take violent action against protestors to supporting youth organizations who have reportedly kidnapped, tortured, and even killed unlawfully.

Sources: The White House, BBC News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • That the President’s involvement in Nicaraguan affairs would lead to a stronger relationship between our nations. 
  • That these sanctions would have the desired effect, bringing peace to the country of Nicaragua and safety to its people. 

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Today, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are returning to the White House in Washington D.C. following their trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to attend the G20 Summit. Beyond their travel itinerary, the president and first lady’s agenda is not publicly available at this time. Due to the time change and travel, they are expected to spend the day resting and preparing for next week.

On Saturday, President Trump and China’s President Xi met for a working dinner where they agreed to halt further tariffs after January 1st of 2019. The dinner’s primary goal was to de-escalate tensions between the two nations and make progress in trade negotiations. In this effort, the dinner was a success as both nations agreed to work out a new trade deal within the next 90 days.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For safety for the president and first lady as they travel.
  • For rest and rejuvenation for the president and first lady as they prepare for another busy week.
  • For God’s will to be accomplished through trade negotiations and any new agreements that come out of the process.

Monday, December 03, 2018

President Donald Trump is scheduled to have a working lunch at the White House with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. Together they will be looking at ways to increase housing options for those who require help from the federal government. As part of a reform process, HUD is soliciting feedback from, owners, landlords, and tenants in order to make positive changes and streamline some of the hurdles that prevent landlords or tenants from making use of the Section 8 program.

Today, the body of 41st President George H.W. Bush will arrive in Washington D.C. to Lie in State at the U.S. Capitol until December 5th. President Trump spoke on the day of his passing, “President George H.W. Bush led a long, successful and beautiful life. Whenever I was with him I saw his absolute joy for life and true pride in his family. His accomplishments were great from beginning to end. He was a truly wonderful man and will be missed by all!”

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom President Trump and Secretary Carson as they work to help many Americans through Section 8 housing.
  • For strength for the president as he begins another week and meets with other national leaders in the effort to address issues facing the nation.
  • For God to use the legacy of former President George H.W. Bush to positively shape the future of the nation.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:30AM EST The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • 1:45PM EST The President meets with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

President Floats Joint Meeting with China and Russia

Need meaningful halt to uncontrollable arms race

A joint meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin is being anticipated by President Trump.

“I am certain that sometime in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become an uncontrollable arms race,” President Trump said. “The U.S. spent 716 billion dollars this year. Crazy,” he added.

Earlier in the morning, President Trump said that the relations with China took a “big leap forward” after his meeting with the Chinese leader at the G20 summit in Argentina over the weekend where the two agreed to aa temporary trade-war cease-fire.

Sources: Washington Times, CNBC
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For discernment for President Trump and his military and foreign relations advisers as they consider a future joint meeting with Presidents Xi and Putin.
  • About agreements reached between the U.S. and China during trade talks last Saturday and their implementation.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

President Donald Trump will be in Philadelphia later today to attend the Army vs. Navy football game. Nine other sitting presidents before him have attended this spirited rivalry, dating back to Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. The last time a sitting president attended the game was when former President Barack Obama was there seven years ago. The contest between the Army Black Knights and the Navy Midshipmen at Lincoln Financial Field is the culmination of college football’s regular season.

As Commander-in-Chief, President Trump will follow tradition and switch sides of the field at halftime.

President Trump also attended the game of rivals when he was the president-elect, yet to be officially sworn into office. At that time, he said “The spirit is incredible,” and he expects no less today.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For safety for President Trump each time he travels.
  • For God to use the president to bring glory to Him.
  • For safety for all those in attendance and for those on the field.

The President's Schedule

  • 3:00PM EST The President attends the 119th Army-Navy Football Game
  • 6:30PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY attend a Christmas Reception

President Urges Vote on Criminal Justice Reform

Tells Leader McConnell, “Go for it, Mitch!”

There is some question that the Senate will vote on the criminal justice reform legislation this session. The delay occasioned a tweet from President Trump:

“Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a vote on Criminal Justice Reform. It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it, Mitch!”

Shortly thereafter, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent out a tweet of his own: “Pres. Trump told me he wants it done THIS CONGRESS.”

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, also tweeted: “Just talked with President. He strongly believes criminal justice reform bill must pass now. He also indicated he supports putting criminal justice reform bill on year-end spending bill which must include MORE wall funding.”

Senator Grassley said that more than two thirds of the Senate approve the bill, but Senator McConnell is refusing to bring the legislation forward.

Sources: Politico, The Hill
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • That leaders in the Senate and the President will come to an agreement over voting on the criminal justice reform legislation.
  • That any rift among partisans in the Senate can be quickly put to an end.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are attending a Christmas reception in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington D.C., today. They will likely spend time meeting with officials during the event. Usually ceremonial, such receptions are a time for the president to meet with national leaders without a preset agenda and to celebrate the holiday season.

This week, the Senate will begin floor debates over U.S. policy regarding legislation calling for an end to U.S. involvement in Yemen. The decision to move forward with the legislation comes after the death of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Later in the week, the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from Google’s CEO regarding the perceived bias and filtering of search results. As most Americans use search engines as their primary method of finding information, skewing results could be seen as restricting access to information.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For God to use the Christmas reception to bring glory and honor to Him.
  • For wisdom for the Senate as they deliberate on upcoming legislation.
  • For guidance for the House as they review how to address the concerns of the bias of search engines.

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