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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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FDA Admin Scott Gottlieb Resigns

Will leave his position in a month

On Tuesday the Commissioner of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, announced that he would be resigning from his position in one month’s time. President Trump tweeted his high regards saying that Gottlieb had done “an absolutely terrific job. .... Scott has helped us to lower drug prices, get a record number of generic drugs approved and onto the market, and so many other things. He and his talents will be greatly missed!”

Currently, no reason has been given as to why Gottlieb would be resigning his position, but he said that he was “immensely grateful for the opportunity” to be the leader of the FDA. During his time as Commissioner, Gottlieb has worked to be an advocate for public health, and curb and regulate industries such as vaping. He has also worked to increase access to generic drugs.

Sources: NPR, AP
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump to have wisdom as he looks for a new replacement for the FDA Chairman.
  • For Scott Gottlieb to be able to transition well into the new place that he is being led to.
  • That through the efforts of the FDA there would be a greater health benefit for all Americans.

President Focuses on Lowering Veteran Suicides

Executive Order gives funding for better care

On Tuesday, President Trump signed a new executive order designed to address the growing number of suicides within the veteran community. The order creates a new Cabinet-level task force that will seek to create a new national roadmap that will increase suicide prevention, and have state and local teams working together. The final plan will be finalized by Secretary Robert Wilkie in one year.

President Trump said during the signing, “Veterans suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions. Today we can help end this crisis. They courageously fulfill their duties to our nation, now we must fulfill our duties to them.” Currently, roughly 20 veterans take their own lives every day in the United States, a rate 1.5 times higher than those who haven’t served in the armed forces.

Sources: AP
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump to have wisdom on how best to address the current crisis.
  • For Secretary Wilkie to be used by God to bring help and healing to veterans struggling with their mental health.
  • For hope and healing for veterans who are currently in a dark place.

Friday, March 08, 2019

President Donald Trump will meet with national security officials at the Pentagon. Evidence of North Korea’s rebuilding of some of its missile launch sites as well as the humanitarian and security crisis on America’s southern border could be among their discussions. He is also scheduled to travel to Alabama to meet with tornado victims there. The president had previously directed FEMA to give Alabama the “A-plus treatment” after the tornado killed 23 and left a wide swath of destruction.

Vice president Mike Pence will be in Columbus, Ohio, to address the Ohio Oil & Gas Association where he is the keynote speaker.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and members of the Pentagon as they address national security issues.
  • For President Trump and his meetings with officials of Alabama and victims of the tornado’s destruction.
  • For Vice President Pence as he delivers the keynote address to the Ohio Oil & Gas Association.

The President's Schedule

  • 8:40AM EST Out-of-Town Travel Pool
  • 9:20AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart the White House en route to Joint Base Andrews
  • 9:30AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Joint Base Andrews
  • 9:40AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Washington, D.C., en route to Fort Benning, GA
  • 11:05AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Auburn University Regional Airport
  • 11:30AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Lawson Army Airfield
  • 11:40AM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Fort Benning, GA, en route to Lee County, AL
  • 1:35PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Lee County, AL, en route to Fort Benning, GA
  • 3:00PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Lawson Army Airfield
  • 3:10PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Fort Benning, GA, en route to Palm Beach, FL
  • 4:35PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Palm Beach International Airport
  • 4:45PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY depart Palm Beach International Airport en route to Mar-a-Lago
  • 4:55PM EST The President and THE FIRST LADY arrive at Mar-a-Lago
  • 6:30PM EST The President participates in a joint fundraising committee roundtable
  • 7:30PM EST The President delivers remarks at a joint fundraising committee reception

Saturday, March 09, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for the weekend. He will be participating in a fund-raiser on Sunday, his first major campaign fundraiser of the year. No public events were posted for his Saturday schedule.

Today, Vice President Mike Pence is in Georgia to take part in the AEI World Forum. He will deliver a speech and take part in question-and-answer sessions with political and business leaders from around the world. He will be focusing on the administration’s policies on the economy, trade, national security, immigration, and foreign policy. Karen Pence will lead the presidential delegation to the United Arab Emirates for next week’s Special Olympics opening ceremony, alongside former New York Yankees baseball star Mariano Rivera.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the president and first lady to have a weekend that restores and refreshes them.
  • For the vice president as he meets with world leaders and for the second lady as she travels.
  • For all of the Special Olympians who will be representing the United States at the games in the UAE.

Hearing Held Wednesday on Immigration and Family Separation

DHS Investigating How it Processes Asylum Seekers

A hearing was held on Wednesday to discuss the United States' current policy on immigration law and family separation. Leaders in attendance included Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the Department of Homeland Security's acting inspector general, and Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

Topics discussed at the hearing included the "zero tolerance" illegal immigration policy and President Donald Trump's previous statements about the situation at the US-Mexico border. DHS'S acting inspector general also reassured those in attendance that the agency is currently investigating how they are processing those seeking asylum.

Sources: CNN, Fox News
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Secretary Nielsen, Commissioner McAleenan, and all others overseeing the current immigration issue at the US-Mexico border
  • For wisdom for President Trump as he continues to work with lawmakers regarding illegal immigration in the U.S.

U.S. Envoy Condemns China’s Religious Repression

China “at war with faith,” he says

The United States’ special envoy for religious liberty said Friday that China’s “war on faith” will fail. During a trip to Hong Kong, Sam Brownbeck denounced the regime’s record on religious liberty.

“It seems the Chinese government is at war with faith,” he said. “It is a war they will not win.”

He based his comments in a broad denunciation of China’s repression of Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists around the country. He elevated the ideological stakes of the multi-faceted competition between the United States and Beijing, which enforces atheism within the ranks of the Communist party.

“The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cries of its own people for religious freedom,” he said. “The Chinese people are a great people. Someday soon, they will be free to practice their faith. The gates of religious freedom will fly open in China, and the iron curtain of religious persecution will come down. The Chinese government is currently on the wrong side of history…but this will change.”

Sources: Washington Examiner, Reuters
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Special Envoy Sam Brownbeck as he courageously calls out governments across the globe that repress matters of faith or deny religious freedom.
  • About the multi-faceted relationship the U.S. has with China as negotiators are working on a trade deal.

Monday, March 11, 2019

President Donald Trump will have lunch with Vice President Mike Pence in the Private Dining Room of the White House, then return to the Oval Office where he will receive his daily briefing prepared by the intelligence community.

He will also deliver his proposed 2020 federal budget to Congress on Monday. It is coming a month after a deadline established in law, a lag caused by the recent five-week partial shutdown on the federal government earlier this year. His budget will project a 3 percent growth over the next few years. He will also be requesting $8.6 billion in federal funding for building the border wall.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For guidance for the president and vice president as they meet today.
  • For wisdom for the president as he speaks with Congressional leaders.
  • For unity for the president and Congress as they lay the plans for the future of the nation.

The President's Schedule

  • 12:15PM EDT The President has lunch with the Vice President
  • 1:30PM EDT The President receives his intelligence briefing

President’s Budget Calls for Domestic Spending Cuts

Promises to erase deficit in 15 years

President Trump unveiled his 2020 budget request to Congress on Monday. It calls for $2.7 trillion in spending cuts, and balances in 15 years. It is expected to draw fierce opposition from a divided Congress.

A number of priorities are highlighted in the president’s plan, including strengthening border security to address the problems at the U.S.-Mexico border and tackling the opioid crisis.

The acting Office of Management and Budget director Russ Vought said, “In the last two, President Trump and his administration have prioritized reining in reckless Washington spending. The budget that we have presented to Congress and the American people, ‘A Budget for a Better America,’ embodies fiscal responsibility, and takes aim at Washington’s waste, fraud and abuse.”

He said the 2020 budget “will balance in 15 years, end runaway spending, and secure prosperity for future generations.”

Sources: CBS News, Wall Street Journal
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow and others who have participated in the development of the president’s 2020 budget.
  • That Congress would be amenable to reviewing the budget requests from President Trump.

Mumps, Other Diseases, Force Migrant Quarantines

Thousands in detention have been held

Immigration and Customs Enforcement say that over 236 confirmed or probable cases of mumps among migrant detainees in 51 facilities have been reported in the past 12 months. Influenza, measles, and chicken pox have also been reported. In fact, as of March 7, a total of 2,287 detainees were quarantined around the country, according to ICE spokesman Brendan Ready.

Ready said that many of those detained were what they refer to as “cohorting,” which means “they were exposed to someone who has either been confirmed to have mumps, or someone who is suggestive of mumps (and still undergoing testing for mumps), or they were exposed to someone who is determined by the health department to have probable mumps (meaning they were symptomatic and were exposed to a lab-confirmed person.)”

He explained the “requirements of management of asymptomatic detainees who were exposed to a person with confirmed, probable, or suspected mumps (those in quarantine or cohorted) are under restricted movement until 25 days have passed after their most recent exposure.” He added, “When there is just one person who is sick, everybody pays.”

Migrants are arriving “with illnesses and medical conditions in unprecedented numbers,” said Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

Most of the diseases are preventable with vaccines. El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have vaccination rates about 90 percent according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It Is difficult for officials to determine other countries with varying degrees of vaccination coverage that are included among recent migrants.

Sources: Reuters, Newsweek
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For agents with ICE and the Border Patrol who must deal with migrants arriving at the border with infectious diseases.
  • For the health care workers who are caring for the children and adults with mumps, measles, chicken pox, influenza and other contagions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Today, President Donald Trump will be hosting representatives from the Boy Scouts of America in the Oval Office at the White House. Delegates from around the nation will give a report to the president concerning the impact that Scouts have on the nation’s communities. The Boy Scouts will also deliver reports to the Speaker of the House, members of Congress, and other government officials.

In the Afternoon, the president will sign the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act. This bill, named for the former Michigan representative who passed away earlier this year, will fund conservation efforts across the country and permanently continue the federal Land Water Conservation Fund. In addition, the legislation designates over 1 million acres of new wilderness on federal land.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the president as he meets with and hears from the Boy Scouts.
  • For wisdom for the president as he reviews and signs the bill today.
  • For God to work through the president and Congress as they evaluate new bills and legislation and determine what’s in the best interest of the nation.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:45AM EDT The President is presented with the Boy Scouts’ Report to the Nation
  • 1:45PM EDT The President participates in a signing ceremony of S. 47, The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act

House Passes Election and Campaign Finance Overhaul Bill

Seek to increase voter access and lower corruption

At the end of last week, the House of Representatives voted 234-193 in favor of the For the People Act, a bill that would bring major overhaul to how candidates take money in the U.S. political system. The 500-page bill would require all states to offer automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, and require independent redistricting commissions to draw congressional districts to reduce gerrymandering.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has voiced concerns about the bill and does not intend to bring the bill before the Senate. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi voiced that the House would continue to develop the bill saying, “Let us be very clear, this is a fight we are taking a vote on today but it is a fight we will not end until we win it."

Sources: NY Times, NPR, AP
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Congress to work together to pass legislation that would allow more citizens the ability to vote.
  • For laws to be passed that would decrease corruption within government.
  • For Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader McConnell to be used by God to bring about better laws within our nation.

President Trump Releases Budget

Asks Congress for Billions of Dollars in Border Funding

On Monday, President Trump released his budget for the next fiscal year of the U.S. government. Breaking records at 4.7 trillion dollars, President Trump made a number of requests of Congress, who have the ultimate authority on setting U.S. spending. Within the proposal called “A Budget for a Better America,” was a new 8 billion dollar request for a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and cuts to social programs deemed inefficient.

President Trump’s budget would raise the federal deficit past 1 trillion dollars in order to boost spending on the military and security by 750 billion dollars. Some of the programs on the chopping block for reductions are the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 16 percent and the Department of Education by 10 percent.

Sources: FOX, AP, NPR
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump to have wisdom on the best fiscal policy to support for the nation.
  • For Congress to work with the White House to create the best budget possible.
  • That the government would continue to function in the wake of disagreements over spending.

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