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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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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

President Donald Trump will be meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro today. They are certain to discuss the push to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, economic and trade cooperation, Brazil’s bid to enter the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and will probably sign an agreement to allow U.S. rocket and satellite launches from a Brazilian base. The two men are scheduled to have lunch at the White House. There was not adequate time to arrange for a full state visit.

In the afternoon, the president and first lady will receive an update on the administration’s initiatives to address opioid abuse and reduce drug supply and demand. Following that event, the president will take part in the swearing-in of Neomi J. Rao to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way to the Middle East where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and hold other meetings in Lebanon and Kuwait.

Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, is in Rome holding talks with Russia’s deputy foreign minister and other Russian officials about the situation in Venezuela. The U.S. and Russia are on opposite sides of the political crisis in the Latin American country, with Moscow supporting Nicolas Maduro while Washington has recognized the opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his meetings with the president of Brazil, especially as they deal with the situation in Venezuela.
  • For special envoy Abrams, also having to address the leadership uproar in Venezuela, this time with the representatives of Russia.
  • For safe travel for Secretary Pompeo, and good outcomes of his meetings with the leaders of Israel, Lebanon and Kuwait, among others.

Immigrants with Criminal Records May Be Detained

Supreme Court backs Trump Administration

In a 5-4 decision on Tuesday, the Supreme Court reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and endorsed the Trump Administration’s ability to detain immigrants with criminal records. Even if they have served time for an offense years before, an immigrant with a criminal record may be held at any time and held indefinitely while they await deportation.

The opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito for the Court, left open the possibility of individual immigrants challenging the 1996 federal law, called the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, on constitutional grounds, that is, their right to due process, if they are detained long after they have completed their sentences. He said that the Court repeatedly has said in the past that “an official’s crucial duties are better carried out late than never.”

Sources: The Hill, Reuters
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as they carry out their duties of arrest and detention of criminal immigrants.
  • For the implications the ruling of the Supreme Court could have upon sanctuary cities.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

President Donald Trump will attend a business roundtable in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning. Attendees at the roundtable include representatives of corporations and trade organizations that are heavily involved in lobbying to influence public policy. In the afternoon, the president will sign an executive order assuring free speech and on improving free inquiry, transparency, and accountability on campuses.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will be in McAllen, Texas, meeting with members of the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and local law enforcement. Among their consideration will be the lack of detention space for migrants who cross the border illegally.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make the final stop on his Middle East trip, meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Lebanon. He is expected to focus on Hezbollah and Iranian influence in Lebanon.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and his participation in the business roundtable with top corporate leaders.
  • For Secretary Nielsen and her visit to McAllen, Texas, and the issues of immigration to be addressed there.
  • For Secretary Pompeo as he takes a firm stand with the leadership of Lebanon.

The President's Schedule

  • 11:00AM EDT The President participates in a conversation at the Business Roundtable 2019 Q1 Quarterly Meeting
  • 3:15PM EDT The President participates in an executive order signing and remarks on improving free inquiry, transparency, and accountability on campus

Friday, March 22, 2019

President Donald Trump will travel to his Mar-a-Lago home in West Palm Beach, Florida. He and First Lady Melania Trump will participate in a working visit with leaders from five Caribbean nations in an effort to strengthen cooperation on security and trade issues. The leaders of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia will be in attendance. According to Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, President Trump will use the meeting to thank the leaders for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela. He will also discuss potential opportunities for energy investment.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is continuing his visit in the Middle East, while the negotiators in the China trade deal are preparing to depart for Beijing for another week of talks.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump and the proud legacy of friendship the United States has with nations in the Caribbean.
  • For First Lady Melania Trump as she hosts the spouses of the leaders at the Mar-a-Lago home.
  • For safe travel for members of the administration who are making trips abroad.

The President's Schedule

  • 2:00PM EDT The President and THE FIRST LADY participate in a working visit with Caribbean leaders

Detention Centers Full, Border Patrol Says

Releasing migrants has begun

The Border Patrol in McAllen, Texas, released 250 recently—apprehended migrants Tuesday and Wednesday, the first of several hundred border-crossers who will soon be freed because there is no room to hold them.

Normally, migrants would be transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for processing, and in many cases they would be placed in detention facilities. But officials say both agencies have run out of space due to the recent influx of families from Central America.

The agency plans to make similar releases along other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is scheduled to visit McAllen on Thursday.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, The Virginian-Pilot
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For the law enforcement agencies working at the southern border and the issues they face daily.
  • For Homeland Secretary Nielsen and her visit to the U.S.-Mexico border in McAllen.

President Trump Hosts Brazil's President Bolsonaro at the White House

Looking to build the relationship between the U.S. and Brazil

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump hosted Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the White House for their first face-to-face meeting. President Bolsonaro's visit to Washington is his first state visit since his inauguration in January, and he is eager to build a positive relationship with the U.S.

Topics discussed by the two leaders included the crisis in Venezuela and trade with China. President Trump also announced that they have revived the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and started a new U.S.-Brazil Energy Forum. In addition, after 20 years of talks, both presidents have announced the finalization of a Technology Safeguards Agreement that would allow U.S. companies to conduct space launches from Brazil. Both leaders expressed their eagerness to build the relationship between the U.S. and Brazil and were excited to see what the future holds for the two nations.

Sources: CNBC; WhiteHouse.gov
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For wisdom for President Trump as he works with Brazil's President Bolsonaro to build and restore the U.S.'s relationship with Brazil.
  • For wisdom for both leaders' administrations as they support the work the presidents are doing.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are at their Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, this weekend. They have no public events on their schedule at this time.

While the president and first family will spend time resting and relaxing, the president will likely spend time preparing for the week ahead. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting the White House on Monday to meet with President Trump concerning issues that face both nations. The visit comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's weeklong trip to the region last week.

In addition, the president will likely discuss trade-related issues with his staff as the White House continues negotiations with China at the beginning of next week.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For rest for the president and first family this weekend.
  • For God to use the meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
  • For wisdom for the negotiators ahead of the meetings next week.

President Reverses Newest Sanctions on North Korea

Did not feel they were necessary

On Friday, the treasury Department announced new sanctions on two China-based shipping companies that it says have aided North Korea in evading existing UN sanctions. Shortly thereafter, President Trump ordered the withdrawal of those additional sanctions.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders explained in a statement that “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”

At the same time, North Korean officials abruptly walked out of a meeting with their South Korean counterparts in the demilitarized border zone between the two countries, saying they were abandoning the liaison office on “instructions from the superior authority.” Analysts believe that the North is trying to pressure Seoul to help soften America’s hardline stance on denuclearization.

Sources: CBS News, CBC
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • About the personal relationship that President Trump has with Chairman Kim and whether that can be used to persuade the North to proceed with denuclearization.
  • About the postures of both the U.S. and North Korea since the Hanoi summit failed to produce results satisfying to President Trump.

New Immigration Bill Introduced in Congress

Dream and Promise Act looking to grant citizenship to certain undocumented immigrants

New legislation has been introduced into the House that would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The "Dream and Promise Act," as it is being called, would protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, as well as immigrants with temporary protected status or deferred enforced departure.

Both groups have faced uncertain futures since 2017. This bill would grant conditional permanent resident status to eligible immigrants for 10 years and would cancel removal proceedings if requirements are met. Ultimately, this measure would allow lawful permanent resident status to those who qualify. Those introducing the bill include Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Sources: CNN
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, and the other representatives introducing this bill in Congress.
  • For wisdom for members of Congress as they begin deliberating over this bill.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have no public events on their schedule today. They will return to the White House in Washington, D.C. late in the afternoon. The president and first family are likely to spend the day resting in advance of the busy upcoming week.

On Monday, the president will be hosting the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals at the White House prior to meeting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of the prime minister’s two-day visit to the U.S. capital.

Later in the week, the president will travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, to take part in campaign events. The Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on gun control and confiscation. Also, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on aviation safety following the recent concerns and two crashes of the Boeing 737 Max.

AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For rest for the president and first family this weekend.
  • For guidance and the president and Israel’s prime minister meet to discuss issues of mutual concern.
  • For God to work through the efforts of the Senate so that their decisions and actions would be glorifying to Him.

President Working to Rebuild Military and Revitalize U.S. Manufactu...

Manufacturing and military seeing great growth

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump released a statement discussing how he is working to rebuild the United States' Military and also revitalize U.S. manufacturing. One of the ways he has done this is through the U.S.'s work with the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, OH. This facility is the last remaining manufacturer of the Army's main battle tank: the M1A2 Abrams. In addition, the president has signed legislation providing $700 billion for defense in 2018 and $716 billion in 2019. He has also directed the first whole-of-government assessment of the U.S. manufacturing and defense supply chains since the Eisenhower Administration.

President Trump has also worked to follow through on his promise to bring back American manufacturing, creating more jobs and better pay for American workers. Since he has taken office, nearly 500,000 jobs have been created by manufacturers, with 260,000 created in the last year alone. The president has also supported American manufacturing by pursuing new trade deals and negotiating old ones that previously failed American workers.

Sources: WhiteHouse.gov
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump as he continues to work to improve our national security and economy
  • For members of Congress as they also work with the President to create new legislation to better our national defense and manufacturing

Presidential Statement Regarding Nowruz

In celebration of the eastern holiday, President Trump shared his concern

In an effort to show compassion and allegiance the Iranian people, the President released a statement of well wishes and support for all those celebrating Nowruz. Nowruz is a holiday celebrated across the eastern hemisphere and around the world that calls people to reflect on the year past and prepare for the year ahead.

“In solidarity with the people of Iran, who yearn for a future of liberty, opportunity, and prosperity, the United States of America continues to condemn the dictatorial Iranian regime. We pledge never to turn a deaf ear to the calls of the Iranian people for freedom, and we will never forget their ongoing struggle for human rights.”

Sources: The White House
AS THE LORD LEADS, PRAY WITH US:
  • For President Trump as he seeks to help nations like Iran find peace – may God bless his efforts with wisdom and understanding of cultural needs.
  • For the protection of the Iranian people in such a turbulent time of their nation’s history.

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