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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, March 31, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are expected to return to the White House in Washington D.C. this evening. They will conclude their time at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, prior to their flight.

As the president closes out the month of March, he is preparing for upcoming meetings with China’s President Xi concerning a trade agreement with the U.S. and China. He will also host NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg this week and South Korea’s President Moon the following week.

On Friday, the president spoke about the political situation in Venezuela and said he plans to speak with both China’s President Xi and Russia’s President Putin in the near future. Currently, the discussions are being planned for the month of April.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For safety as the president and first lady travel today.
  • For wisdom for the president during the upcoming meetings.
  • For guidance for the president’s administration as they work out the details for upcoming meetings and discussions.

The President's Schedule

  • 4:00PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Mar-a-Lago en route to Palm Beach International Airport
  • 4:10PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Palm Beach International Airport
  • 4:20PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Palm Beach, FL, en route to Washington, D.C.
  • 6:25PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Joint Base Andrews
  • 6:35PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Joint Base Andrews en route to the White House
  • 6:45PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at the White House
  • 6:45PM EDT The President participates in a roundtable discussion with supporters

Friday, April 05, 2019

President Donald Trump will travel to Calexico, California, on the U.S. southern border to once again see first-hand the situation there. He will meet with law enforcement, including Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and others. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will also be there with her team. In Calexico, a section of border fencing has been replaced with a 30-foot steel pole wall. After he leaves Calexico, President Trump is scheduled to make a planned seven-hour visit to Los Angeles where he will have a fundraising dinner. He will then travel to Las Vegas, where he is planning to speak on Saturday at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting.

Vice President Mike Pence will speak to the Venezuelan community at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy in Houston, Texas. He will reaffirm the president’s commitment to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Venezuela, and of support for Juan Guaido, the opposition leader striving to unseat President Nicolas Maduro.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and all who are traveling with him as they meet with local officials and law enforcement in Calexico.
  • For Vice President Pence and the reassurances he will give to the Venezuelan community in Houston.
  • For those who pilot and serve aboard Air Force One, and those aboard the aircraft that carry the vehicles for motorcades and other things the president needs for his security as he travels.

The President's Schedule

  • 12:15PM EDT The President participates in a roundtable on immigration and border security
  • 1:15PM EDT The President visits the New Border Wall
  • 4:45PM EDT The President participates in a roundtable with supporters
  • 5:45PM EDT The President delivers remarks at a joint fundraising dinner

Congress Will Sue President, Speaker Says

Seeking to block transfer of border wall money

On Thursday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said the House intends to file a lawsuit to block the transfer of money to pay for a wall along the border with Mexico.

In a statement, she said, “The President’s action clearly violates the Appropriations Clause by stealing from appropriated funds, an action that was not authorized by constitutional or statutory authority.” She said, “The President’s sham emergency declaration and unlawful transfers of funds undermined our democracy, contravening the vote of the bipartisan Congress, the will of the American people and the letter of the Constitution.”

Speaker Pelosi added, “The House will once again defend our Democracy and our Constitution, this time in the courts. No one is above the law or the Constitution, not even the President.”

Congress previously failed to override President Trump’s veto of a resolution attempting to terminate the national emergency declaration that allowed for the transfer of funds.

Sources: Reuters, Business Insider
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • About the determination of some lawmakers to stop construction of a border wall.
  • About the conditions that exist at the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Votes to End Support for Yemen War

President Trump’s veto is expected

The House of Representatives voted 247-175 on Thursday to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, a strong rebuke to the Trump Administration’s support for the Saudi Arabian military campaign.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said, “The president will have to face the reality that Congress is no longer going to ignore its constitutional obligations when it comes to foreign policy.” He said the humanitarian crisis in Yemen brought on by the war “demands moral leadership.”

Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking member of that committee, acknowledged the desperate situation in Yemen, but spoke in opposition to the legislation, calling it an abuse of the War Powers Resolution. “This radical interpretation has implications far beyond Saudi Arabia,” and the measure could “disrupt U.S. security cooperation agreements with more than 100 countries,” he said.

The Senate in a 54-46 vote called for an end to aid in the Yemen war. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk, where he is expected to veto the measure. There are not enough congressional votes to override the veto.

The war is in its fifth year. The United Nations has said the situation in Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Sources: NBC News, New York Times
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and Pentagon members, in their consideration of the votes of the House and Senate.
  • About the international agreements of cooperation that the U.S. has with many nations, and what limits those agreements should have.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

President Donald Trump is in Las Vegas, Nevada, to take part in the Republican Jewish Coalition conference. He is planning to discuss the administration’s efforts to foster the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. This will likely include the moving of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and the acknowledgment of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights. He will also attend private fundraising events in addition to the conference.

The president arrived in Las Vegas after a Friday visit to the U.S.-Mexico border to meet with local law enforcement, border agents, and local officials. He also toured a two-mile section of the border wall construction and took part in a roundtable discussion regarding immigration. The president added that he would like to work with Mexico to help stem the tide of illegal immigration and trafficking of drugs across the southern border with a united effort from both nations.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For safety for the president as he travels today.
  • For wisdom as the president meets with and speaks to the Jewish Coalition.
  • For guidance as the president looks for additional ways to address the situation on the southern border.

The President's Schedule

  • 10:35AM EDT/1:35PM The President participates in a roundtable with supporters
  • 11:05AM EDT/2:05PM The President delivers remarks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting

President May Put Tariffs on Cars from Mexico

Says Mexico must crack down on immigration, drugs

On Friday, President Trump said he would put tariffs on cars coming into the United States from Mexico, if Mexico does not do enough to prevent illegal immigration into the U.S. and it does not crack down on drugs crossing the border. He said he would give Mexico a year to prevent immigrants from entering the U.S. before following through on the auto taxes.

“If Mexico doesn’t help, that’s okay. We’ll tariff their cars,” he said. “If the drugs don’t stop, we’ll tariff the cars. If that doesn’t work, we’ll close the border.” The president said he was not bluffing. “I will do it; I don’t play games.” He added, “The whole ballgame is cars.”

He made his comments even as he is trying to get the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement through Congress—the renegotiated deal that replaces NAFTA. Implementing tariffs on cars would violate that agreement; however, President Trump said that American security takes precedence over a trade agreement.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, PBS News Hour
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his negotiations with the government of Mexico over immigration and drug issues.
  • About the conditions that exist on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Department of Labor Issues Job Report

196,000 Jobs added last month

The Department of Labor released its job report for the month of March on Friday, detailing the continued growth of the job market and historically low unemployment rates. Employers added 196,000 jobs across the nation. Unemployment remained at a rate of 3.8%, hovering around the lowest level in 50 years.

Wage growth mostly leveled out in March with average hourly pay only increasing 3.2% from a year earlier. Nearly 63% of everyone in the U.S. participated in the job market last month as well. Although the economy continues to move in a healthy direction, there is no indication the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates for the foreseeable future. President Trump celebrated the data saying, “Our country’s doing unbelievably well economically.”

Sources: AP, NY Times
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the Department of Labor to effectively measure participation in the job market.
  • For the Federal Reserve to carefully set interest rates that will stimulate growth in the economy.
  • For President Trump to be used by God to put the nation on a firm financial foundation.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Today, President Donald Trump will take part in a ceremony welcoming foreign ambassadors to the United States and to Washington, D.C. At the event, the ambassadors will give their credentials to the president, thus indicating that they are acting with the permission and authority of their respective governments.

President Trump will meet with Vice President Mike Pence for a working lunch before receiving his intelligence briefing in the early afternoon.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet with Bangladesh Minister of Foreign Affairs Abulkalam Abdul Momen in Washington, D.C. They will discuss economic partnership opportunities between the two nations and are expected to focus heavily on investments in the energy sector.

The president announced on Sunday that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will leave her position. He added that current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will step into the role as the acting secretary of Homeland Security.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the president as he meets with and receives the credentials from foreign ambassadors.
  • For guidance for the president and vice president as they meet today.
  • For wisdom for the president as he evaluates possible nominees for the position of secretary of Homeland Security.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:45AM EDT The President participates in a credentialing ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors to Washington, D.C.
  • 12:30PM EDT The President has lunch with the Vice President
  • 1:45PM EDT The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • 2:30PM EDT The President meets with the Secretary of State

Homeland Security Secretary Steps Down

Customs and Border Protection commissioner takes over

Late Sunday afternoon, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen abruptly resigned. President Trump confirmed her resignation after meeting with her at the White House.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will serve as the acting DHS secretary, the president said.

Neilsen said she has “agreed to stay on as secretary through Wednesday, April 10th, to assist with an orderly transition and ensure that key DHS missions are not impacted.” She said, “It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of DHS. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards.”

Her resignation comes two days after President Trump announced he wants to go in a “tougher direction” on issues regarding immigration. He also pulled his nomination for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement director.

Sources: ABC News, Wall Street Journal
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Kirstjen Nielsen as she concludes her duties as Homeland Security Secretary.
  • For Kevin McAleenan as he moves into becoming the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in these days of the president’s desire for a “get tough” policy at the border.

Asylum Seekers Not Required to Wait in Mexico

Federal judge blocks president’s policy

California U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg granted an injunction Monday that will take effect Friday. He said the Trump Administration’s policy on requiring asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while their cases move through the immigration courts was improper. He gave the administration two days to allow migrants in the lawsuit to enter the U.S.

President Trump has implemented a number of policies regarding asylum seekers in an effort to stem the flow of migrants crossing the border. The order from Judge Seeborg is the latest “blow” to the president as he works to address what he says is a humanitarian and national security crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of eleven asylum seekers from Central America, and alleges that the Trump administration is violating U.S. law by failing to adequately evaluate the dangers migrants face in Mexico.

Sources: Washington Examiner, CNBC
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his building frustration levels over the situation at the southern border.
  • About the balance between security for the United States and protection from danger of migrants waiting in Mexico

Thursday, April 25, 2019

President Donald Trump will meet with his intelligence community in the morning and then meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for a working lunch. In the afternoon he will host the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day event on the South Lawn of the White House and meet with children from all across the nation. The event will focus on empowering young Americans by providing resources for future job training and tools to enable them to create positive change in their communities.

President Donald Trump is expected to focus on trade negotiations with Japan as the Japanese Finance Minister Aso arrives in Washington today to meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The White House is looking to close the gap on the U.S. trade deficit with Japan that is roughly $69 billion in trade goods.

Following the talks between Aso and Mnuchin, there will be a summit held at the White House on Friday between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For insight and clarity of vision for Treasury Secretary Mnuchin as he negotiates with the Japanese finance minister.
  • For all the negotiations being undertaken on trade with many of America’s trading partners.
  • For members of Congress to enjoy the balance of their recess.

The President's Schedule

  • 12:00PM EDT The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • 12:45PM EDT The President has lunch with the Secretary of State
  • 4:30PM EDT The President delivers remarks at Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

President and House Speaker to Meet on Infrastructure

Both are optimistic about discussion

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that she will meet with President Donald Trump next week to discuss possible infrastructure legislation. According to the Speaker, they will "talk about what the prospect is for the size in terms of resources and scope of what that might be."

Both infrastructure and efforts to lower prescription drug prices have been two of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in Congress. Speaker Pelosi echoed this by stating that she was "optimistic" about her upcoming meeting with the president.

Sources: CNN, Fox News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Trump as they prepare for their meeting next week
  • For wisdom for members of Congress as they continue to discuss matters of infrastructure and prescription drug prices

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