By early Wednesday, Republican candidates had won at least 10 of the day's 13 closely contested Senate races. They took seats held by Democrats in Iowa, Colorado, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and North Carolina - more than enough to seize control of the Senate for the first time since 2007.
Prayer focus: With most election returns in, results are clear. The Republican Party will control both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives when the new Congress convenes in January 2015. That is obviously what conservative voters hoped for and many Christians prayed for, and there will be celebration and thanksgiving across the country. But although results are politically positive for conservatives, there is still much need for spiritual diligence and vigilance. Pray for the Church to awaken in renewed repentance and courage to pray in unity for our nation to return to God and His ways. Pray against lethargy and a false trust in the political system to bring about the deep spiritual changes our country needs.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah! (Ps. 46:1-3)
"The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne." (Ps. 97:1-2)
Without waiting for results from elections on Tuesday that few in the White House expect to go well for Mr. Obama, top aides have met for weeks to plot the final quarter of his presidency. Anticipating a less friendly Congress, they are mapping possible compromises with Republicans to expand trade, overhaul taxes and build roads and bridges.
Prayer focus: While rumors abound and some key factors remain hidden, we must pray for President Obama. With no disrespect, intercessors are praying for restraint on any plans that will lead the U.S. away from its constitutional roots or weaken the country's security. God is still in control and wants His Church to stay awake, give thanks, pray, and trust Him for the future. Pray for the president's own inner life. Pray he will have a life-changing encounter with the living Christ. Whether a king, president, or average citizen, each person must answer Pontius Pilate's question,
"What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Mat. 27:22)
"The king's heartisin the hand of theLord, likethe rivers of water; he turns it wherever He wishes. Every way of a manisright in his own eyes, but theLordweighs the hearts." (Prov. 21:1-2)
"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decisionisfrom theLord."
The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.
Prayer focus: We will leave it to intercessors to investigate this report on their own, depending on the degree of personal interest (or personal involvement, if your neighborhood, school, or family is affected). If the scientists themselves will not speak "on the record," we surely have no knowledge or insight, other than to pray! It sounds suspiciously like government intimidation, but we have no basis to level such a charge. Why would a U.S. president allow the country to be at risk? This could be very serious for our nation. Pray for God's mercy to prevent any widespread infection by this virus.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." (Ps. 127:1)
The Obama administration, however, has not used the range of tools and budget provided by the post-9/11 project, focusing instead on only three targets and diverting at least $1 billion to other priorities, a review by The Daily Signal found.
Prayer focus: Here the focus is again on the Ebola virus and early steps to create funding for prevention and possibly to expedite the discovery and manufacture of an effective vaccine. Why the funds were diverted remains a mystery, but whatever the reason, our country has to overcome a gap to be prepared for the worst. Everyone hopes it will not come to that, as cases in the U.S. appear to be under control and responding to current treatment techniques. Pray for God's ongoing mercy and for wisdom and guidance to healthcare workers to remain properly protected. Psalm 91 reminds us of the protection promised to a godly people or nation. Pray for widespread revival and a return to the Lord.
"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust'.... You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, norof the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday." (Ps. 91:1-2, 5)
"This emergency service is for the creation of a Ward to attend suspected patients with the Ebola Virus that have to be quarantine," explains a document justifying the use of a sole-source contract for the filters, which will cost about $18,000.
Manuel Delrio, an employee at the hospital, said by phone Sunday that to his knowledge, no patients at the facility currently have Ebola. "So far, we're crossing our fingers, but we've had no issues at all," Delrio said.
Prayer focus: Give thanks for the emergency facilities being prepared in the various Veterans Hospital centers in the places named. Pray that the need does not arise. However, sooner or later our military personnel in West Africa will return home, and it would be naïve to think that some of them will not need treatment in quarantine with strict isolation techniques. Please continue to pray for God's protection for our country. So far, individual cases are being handled as well as can be expected. Pray for the mercy of God's protection. Pray that hearts will turn to the Lord. Pray for revival and spiritual awakening across our nation.
"Godisour refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roarandbe troubled, thoughthe mountains shake with its swelling.... Be still, and know that IamGod; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Ps. 46:1-3, 10)
WHY ISRAEL LOSES NO SLEEP OVER ISIS
At first sight, it seems that Israel is just as preoccupied with the rise of Islamic State as anyone else. Israeli media report diligently on the extremist group's assault on the Kurdish town of Kobani and run at least a story every few days on its atrocities. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu references Islamic State frequently, as do other Israeli ministers. And the stories of two Palestinian citizens of Israel who died fighting for the group have been recently featured in the press.
Still, Israel remains the least concerned and least directly threatened country in a region increasingly rocked by Islamic State's advance. It certainly does not see the group as an external threat. Shocking though the events in Syria and Iraq are, Israel is far beyond the range of even the most sophisticated of Islamic State's weapons. The group's immediate territorial interests do not extend to anywhere near Israeli borders, and its support in areas adjacent to Israel is still negligible. What's more, unlike many militant groups and states in the region, Islamic State has declared itself emphatically disinterested in intervening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, preferring instead to draw its support from Sunni revanchism and introducing a semblance of order into war-torn regions of Iraq.
Prayer focus: As long as Israel feels momentarily "safe," government and economic leaders can work on strengthening the country's infrastructure and stability. Two prayer focuses are paramount. First, despite protests and denials from the White House and the Department of State, tension abounds between our country and Israel. A few days ago, Mr. Netanyahu was seriously insulted with crude language by an unidentified U.S. spokesperson during a public magazine interview, and relations between the countries are, to say the least, strained and frayed. Second, Iran continues its nuclear development unabated, it appears, and its primary focus of hatred is Israel. Pray accordingly. God is not finished with Israel. Pray that the people and their leadership will turn to the Lord.
"For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, 'Peace be within you.'Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good." (Ps. 122:5-9)