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Pray In Unity: Day 21 // In Favor of Life

Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive. (2 Kings 24:3-42 Chronicles 7:14; NIV)
Over the past 44 years, Americans have “legally” taken the lives of over 60 million innocent unborn babies without the due process of law guaranteed every American by the U.S. Constitution. Just as the U.S. Supreme Court erred horrifically in its 1857 Dred Scott Decision, declaring that “a negro, whose ancestors were imported into [the U.S.], and sold as slaves… whether enslaved or free, could not be an American citizen and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court,” so did they err in the 1973 Roe v. Wade,  the 1973 Doe v. Bolton, and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey rulings, which were based upon utter distortion of the Constitution to fit the politically correct thinking of the then-majority of justices.
The loss of each baby’s life, as well as the guilt and damage to mothers who felt justified by the new “law” to take their baby’s lives, must be shared by all who have stood by idly, content to watch what has turned out to be an American massacre. Moreover, we have pushed this “American policy” on foreign lands and required those who receive American aid to adapt similar policies. And while the Hyde Amendment prevented Federal tax dollars from going to abortionists, we have funded Planned Parenthood at home and abroad for all these decades. These policies are being brought to an end by President Donald Trump.
But the legal fight will go on until the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court has been changed, which President Trump has promised to do. God has been radically merciful to America, not bringing the consequences of our evil deeds upon us in the full measure we deserve as a nation. Surely, if God has held off the full force of His judgments, if we repent, turn from our wicked ways, and seek the face of God as covenanted by God in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He will forgive our sins and pour out His healing grace upon our land.
Points for Prayer:
  • May God move upon our Supreme Court and our federal and state courts urgently to repent of and reverse the pro-abortion rulings past courts have delivered.
  • May President Trump continue to nominate solidly pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court and similarly lifetime pro-life judges to the Federal Courts.
  • May governors follow suit and appoint pro-life justices to their state Supreme Courts and pro-life judges to the lower courts.
  • May God move upon the spirits of all Americans to reevaluate their views about abortion. May those who identify as pro-life multiply until American culture has become a culture of life and not death.
  • May President Trump and Congress work together quickly to defund Planned Parenthood and expand and make permanent the Hyde Amendment to prevent any expenditure of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions anywhere.
  • May God send us a Biblical multi-generational revival that literally rebuilds our lives, repairs our families, restores a Biblical worldview to our culture, heals our land, and with the sins of our past blotted out by the blood of Jesus, makes us an influence for righteousness in the world until Christ returns!
By Pierre Bynum
Family Research Council
See FRC’s Issue Analysis: “Filling Justice Scalia’s Seat and Beyond.”

Pray In Unity: Day 20 // Courts and Human Sexuality

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. 
In June 2015, the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling redefined marriage for every American state to include persons of the same sex, including 31 states whose constitutions included amendments to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
FRC’s Director for the Center for Religious Liberty, Travis Weber, outlines how the Court erred (these are excerpts):
  1. The Court improperly took on the role of social problem-solver by reading the right to same-sex marriage into the Constitution.
  2. The Court entrenched itself in an erroneous notion of “substantive due process: a subjective idea of liberties that allows the court to call anything a liberty, thus diminishing the real freedom of people to govern themselves and act through their legislatures in ways that cannot be struck down by Court in the name of “liberty.”
  3. The Court exercised naked political will by overlooking gaping differences between this case and its prior marriage cases. It overlooked huge logical gaps throughout its use of precedent and case law on marriage.
  4. The Court largely discarded any notion of higher authority as informing human affairs. Early 19th Century Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story referred to man’s “responsibility to [God] for all our actions.” Imagine if such reasoning was applied to the marriage decision? (Read Weber’s entire summary HERE, including excerpts from the dissenting opinions from Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito.)
Obergefell, like Roe, strikes at the core of God’s creative order. While the Bible and the U.S. Constitution promise life, Roe gave death to millions, enabling millions to believe that taking their baby’s life was authorized by the highest authority in the land. While Obergefell promises liberty, it has brought the entire nation into bondage – both the homosexuals who believe their lifestyle has been authorized by the highest authority in the land, as well as those who reject the ruling because of their religious faith who are punished when they live out their faith by refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding or refusing to affirm same sex marriage when commanded to do so by a military commander or employer. The Court has elevated some by sanctifying their sexual practices, while making pariahs of those who maintain fidelity to their religious faith.
This is being played out in a thousand places in hundreds of ways today: when Texas pastors had their sermons subpoenaed to see what they said about homosexuality; when Georgia’s chief fireman was terminated for the chapter he wrote in a Sunday School text; when a newly hired health official was fired because it was learned that he gave a biblical sermon about homosexuality as a lay pastor in California; when bakers, florists, photographers, and wedding managers have been harassed, fined, sued and run out of business for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding; when military chaplains were passed over for promotion, even summarily dismissed for counseling from the Bible regarding same-sex marriage. And not to mention the increasing incidents of suicide and other health risks among homosexuals as a result of being encouraged by the courts and other civil officers.
Points for Prayer:
  • May God send Christian revival which alone can cleanse the hearts and heal those damaged physically, mentally and spiritually by their Supreme Court-encouraged, self-destructive behaviors. Only God can transform those whose personalities have been altered by their involvement in dangerous behaviors. May He send such a revival!
  • May God guide our President, who has been ambiguous in his posture toward LGBT matters, into all Truth. May he appoint pro-biblical and traditional marriage justices to the Supreme Court and judges to our federal courts.
  • May God’s people be given faith to believe that the wrong decisions our courts have made and the problems they have created can be reversed, just as the horrific Dred Scott decision was reversed.
  • May Life, Marriage, and the God of Creation and His created order be yet again wholly respected by the vast majority of Americans and honored in American life and law!
By Pierre Bynum
Family Research Council
See FRC’s “A Critical Analysis of Obergefell v. Hodges, by Travis Weber.
See FRC’s Issue Analysis: “Filling Justice Scalia’s Seat and Beyond.”

Pray In Unity: Update

Today marks the halfway point in the 40 Day Prayer push with Intercessors for America and Pray In Unity. As we continue to share the daily prayer points from their emails be sure to go and see what other resources they have on their websites!

We see the ever growing need and importance for prayer for the leaders of our nation on every level. We want to invite everyone that is able to come and join us at The Inn for a prayer gathering specifically targeting the midterm elections! It will start the evening of November 2nd and run through the afternoon of November 3rd. For more information and to register click here. We look forward to seeing you at this critical intercessory prayer meeting!

Continue to join us and believers around the world as we pray for the upcoming elections!

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Mackenzie Kubal

Mackenzie came to CTCI during our Appeal to Heaven conference hosted with Intercessors for America. When the conference was done she felt called to stay with us for the rest of the summer and complete the internship team. Here she shares with us about life before the internship, where God met her personally, and renewed vision of her self worth as a child of God.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester, please follow the links below.

Summer Internship – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

Pray In Unity: Day 19 // Pray Our Courts Will Defend Religious Liberty!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

(Galatians 5:1 NIV)
Stand and Pray! (See Ephesians 6:13)
A growing anti-religious freedom movement has materialized over the past 60 years. Our First Liberty seems to have been forgotten by too many Americans, among them state and federal government leaders, including the courts. Religious liberty has been under increasing assault from every direction. One gospel coalition analyzes it thus:
  1. Religion has become personal and private, not public.
  2. Freedom of religion has been reinterpreted to mean freedom of worship.
  3. Fewer people claim to be religious today.
  4. The Sexual Revolution has advanced its own vision of sin and salvation.
Public policy law firms like the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation are leaders in the assault, arguing cases to silence or stifle religious expression or to punish Christians for their adherence to their faith convictions in a modern secular world.
This movement has given rise to a number of valiant public policy law firms that are laboring day and night to defend mostly Christians who have been subjected to harmful discrimination due to their religious convictions, among them the Alliance Defending Liberty (ADF), the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Liberty CounselFirst Liberty InstituteThe Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and many more. They also defend religious liberty in general along with groups like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and others who defend the traditional family and promote the sanctity of life, believing that “religious liberty is crucial to a thriving society, even when exercised in ways the broader culture deems unpopular.”
President Donald Trump will repeal executive orders and bureaucratic regulations that are hostile to religious liberty, like the measure used to sue the Little Sisters of the Poor who refused to purchase insurance for their employees that included abortifacient contraceptive drugs. But the enemies of Christianity and public expressions of faith will continue to use the courts so long as there are sympathetic justices and judges who do not value religious freedom.
For some of the Federal Courts, many far-left judges will have to retire to make way for God-fearing pro-liberty judges before Christians will be safe to practice their faith without threat from employers, and local and state sexual orientation, gender identity (SOGI) and other laws that prohibit Christian businesses, employers, Christian 501(c)(3) organizations, and even churches, from practicing their faith cross current to the LGBT agenda.
Prayer Points:
  • Thank the Lord for stirring Americans and especially Christians to push back in November’s Election against the tide of anti-faith government discrimination.
  • Pray for President Trump and his advisors and appointees, that they will work with Congress to pass laws that stop anti-religious discrimination caused by the previous administration, state and local laws, and ordinances.
  • Pray that the American people will be delivered from their biases favoring sexual activism over religious liberty and that anti-religious secularism will cease to be advanced in our public schools and colleges.
  • Ask God to spur activist judges to retire. May He guide the Trump team to weigh religious liberty heavily in choosing every future SCOTUS Justice and federal judge. In Jesus’ Name!
By Pierre Bynum
Family Research Council
See FRC’s Issue Analysis: “Filling Justice Scalia’s Seat and Beyond.”

Pray In Unity: Day 18 // President Trump’s Court Appointees

[Jehoshaphat] set judges in the land… and said… Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. (2 Chronicles 19:5-6; Isaiah 33:22 KJV)
When our Forefathers framed the Declaration and Constitution, Sir William Blackstone’s legal commentaries were their preeminent legal reference. Blackstone wrote:
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict … The revealed law… of infinitely more authenticity than that moral system… denominated [by] the natural law… The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. (Blackstone’s Commentaries, Part 2, The Nature of Laws in General)
Nations that obey God’s moral law are blessed (see Dt 28, all). Sadly, our Supreme Court and many of our federal courts have departed from the Constitution and from protecting the God-given, fundamental, self-evident rights our Founders declared governments were instituted to protect: equality (equal protection under law), life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Most SCOTUS appointees rise from our federal courts.
President Trump has promised to appoint Supreme Court Justices who are “originalist jurists,” men and women who will interpret the Constitution the way our Founders intended and not according to their own feelings or changing morals of modern culture.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray daily that God will guide President Trump in all of his decisions, but especially his possible appointment of one or two more new lifetime Supreme Court Justices during his tenure in office (Pr 29:2)
  • May each appointee be not only knowledgeable and committed to the original meaning of the words of the Constitution, but also have a God-given moral compass that comes from the knowledge of God’s Word.
  • May God help our new President choose, and the U.S. Senate to confirm, jurists who will render righteous judgments and serve our nation with reverence for the Lord.
  • May they understand that their robes identify them as “ministers of God” who must give account to the Supreme Judge of all the World for their stewardship (Rom 1:4-13;14:12;1 Cor 4:2).
  • May each firmly understand that it is their responsibility not to define, but to protect the God-given, unalienable rights of Americans, including the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (which our Forefathers interpreted to mean rights to private property).
By Pierre Bynum
Family Research Council
See FRC’s Issue Analysis: “Filling Justice Scalia’s Seat and Beyond.”

Pray In Unity: Day 17 // Filling Empty Judicial Seats

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness… Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees… that write grievousness which they have prescribed…
(Isaiah 5:20;10:1 KJV)
Founding Father Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers, #78:
Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them…the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.
However, instead of exercising judicial restraint, over the past 60 years the U.S. Supreme Court has become a super-legislature and an oligarchical dictator that has departed from the Constitution, the Declaration, Natural and Revealed law, in addition to losing any sense of obligation to the standards or authority of the Supreme Judge of the Universe.
It has declared the murder of the unborn a woman’s right, contrary to the Constitution. It has redefined marriage, with utter disregard for morals, religion, history, or the laws of God and man. It usurped the citizens of 31 states by overturning their laws and carefully amended Constitutions intended to protect Marriage. Long ago, it drove the Bible, prayer, the Ten Commandments, and religious free speech out of our public schools.
And yet, our elites wonder why our educational ranking among the nations has plummeted and our classrooms have become uncontrollable. Indeed, it has done precisely what Isaiah warned would bring woes to any people. Moreover, our federal and state court systems have fed one another in this ever-expanding lack of restraint.
The federal courts are the pool from which most SCOTUS Justices are chosen. God-fearing originalist judges will work to restrain the courts, not to further expand their activist bent and power. Only 51 Senate votes are needed to confirm them. President Trump could shape the courts for generations with good judges who will serve for life. The courts face cases pertaining to abortion, conscience rights, religious liberty, gun control, sexual rights, the environment, and property rights, all in a divided nation with multiple groups seeking to control our laws and culture with philosophies antithetical to the Constitution and a Biblical worldview. Who is fit for this? Only originalist Judges with the wisdom greater than Solomon (see Mt 12:42).
John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in 1816, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers” (see The Life of John Jay).
Points for Prayer:
May we pray as exhorted by John Jay, the nation’s First Chief Justice!
  • Pray that God will help President Trump and his advisors choose the very best of the best: truly God-fearing conservative, originalistjustices and judges to populate the Supreme Court and all of our federal courts.
  • May God’s people continue to aggressively pray to support the President, now under vicious attack from many quarters – his person, his family, his work and decision-making. May he grow in wisdom and in relationship with the Lord. May he and his cabinet have great success and win the hearts of a hostile bureaucracy and many Americans who did not vote for him. May he be given health, longevity in life and in office, and may he leave the legacy of a judiciary revived and restored by the Founders’ blueprint.
By Pierre Bynum
Family Research Council
See FRC’s Issue Analysis: “Filling Justice Scalia’s Seat and Beyond.”

Pray In Unity: Day 16 // Midterm Elections for the Senate

He loves righteousness and justice. . . (Psalm 33:5; ESV)
After three days of seeking God’s wisdom in prayer, our Founding Fathers determined that each state should have two senators as well as a number of representatives based on the state’s population. Thus, we have the House of Representatives and the Senate. Every two years, each of the Representatives must run for reelection, while only one-third of the Senate must run for reelection. This creates two-year terms for Representatives and six-year terms for Senators.
The 2018 midterm election is a bit unique in that there were originally 34 senators up for reelection but, because of the resignation of Senator Franken, we have 35 senatorial races. Today’s politics have played out so that the Democrats are defending 26 of these 35 seats. In order for the Republican party to lose its majority in the Senate, the Democrats would have to win all 26 races and the Republicans would have to lose three of the nine.
The Senate plays many important roles in our government, none more important than filling the federal judicial openings. In other words, the Senate approves the lifetime appointment of judges that rule within the appellate system and, of course, on our Supreme Court.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray that candidates’ positions on issues would be evident and that voters would seek to know what those positions are.
  • Pray that candidates with conservative values would have at least 51 seats in the Senate.
  • Pray that the outcome of this election would be a majority that chooses just judges.
By Dave Kubal
President, Intercessors for America

Pray In Unity: Day 15 // Congress and the Midterm Elections

You prevail over all your enemies;
your power is too great for those who hate you.
 (Psalm 21:8; NET)
Watch out! The “Blue Wave” is coming!  Or, is it going to be a “Red Wave?” What we really need is a wave of winning candidates that hold to conservative biblical values, such as: the protection of life beginning at conception through natural death, the protection of religious freedoms, the enforcement of the rule of constitutional law as our Founders intended, an effective, just, and compassionate immigration systems, etc.
If you look strictly at the party platforms, you would find a sharp distinction between the two major party platforms, with most people feeling the Republican platform representing biblical values most closely.  However, we know every candidate does not always take the party line on all issues.
It is important for all voters to research their candidates’ positions.
Breaking down the numbers, there are 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Every two years, each seat comes up for reelection. Republicans have 42 Representatives retiring, a record number of retirements since 1930. The political analysts describe 66 of the 435 races as competitive. If all the races that are currently listed as leaning Republican go Republican and if the toss up races were split evenly, the Republicans would have 218 seats and remain in power by one vote.
Bottom line, this is a very tight race.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray that the candidates’ positions on issues would be evident and that voters would be knowledgeable about those positions.
  • Pray that candidates with conservative values would have 218 seats.
  • Pray for God’s ways to prevail in these elections.
By Dave Kubal
President, Intercessors for America

Pray In Unity: Day 14 // Challenges Facing the Current Administration

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (Romans 13:1; NIV)
The United States of America is in a unique situation. The economy is booming. We have one of the lowest unemployment rates the nation has ever seen and a steady growth rate. The economy is a highlight among other challenges the Trump administration faces. Let’s look together at a few areas that need our intercession.
Immigration reform is toward the top of the list. Immigration is far more spiritual than it will ever be political. We are and will always be a nation of immigrants. Our forefathers themselves understood that for a nation to grow, it must have at its core a compassionate immigration policy. Scripture is clear that we must treat the foreigner amongst us with compassion, and as the verse says, “…love them as yourself….” This mandate of immigrant compassion must be the driving force of our national policy.
Intelligence was critical in the days of Moses and remains so today for all military operations. Just as Moses sent out spies to perform reconnaissance of the land of Canaan, today’s military must have robust intelligence capabilities that alert them to danger and give them an understanding of the enemy’s intent, power, ability, and tactics. Currently, the Intelligence Community appears to be compromised, as many damaging leaks are coming out from the various intelligence entities, thereby compromising national security and endangering the lives of those in the US Military.
The future of this nation sits in the classroom today. It is up to us to pray for those who have the authority to speak and spend, instruct and invest in education. You need to know who the decision makers are nationally, in your state, and especially in your school district. Get to know them, learn about their lives and background. Know what their vision is for education and the future of our students. Pray for them and attend meetings where you can respectfully voice wisdom and encouragement.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray that our President and those involved understand the heart of God when it comes to immigration and the biblical mandate in regard to the sojourner.
  • Pray that President Trump and his administration will be the Administration to overhaul our broken immigration system, repair it, and pass fair and compassionate immigration legislation that will set our nation on course as a successful, thriving, God-honoring nation.
  • Pray for leadership in the intelligence agencies that focus first on supporting the needs of our troops. Leaders who will throw political correctness aside are needed to provide our troops what they need to fight and win wars.
  • Pray that our enemies will be revealed and that every planned attack will be exposed; that no enemy secrets will be hidden from our intelligence activities.
  • Pray for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the Department of Education, that they would make wise decisions with the students’ best interest at the center of every decision. Pray that politics and ungodly agendas would be kept out of the classroom and boardrooms, that every student would have an opportunity to learn, be prepared and be equipped for a lifetime of success.
  • Intercede for any other national issues facing this Administration, which Holy Spirit lays on your heart.
By Mark Gonzales
Founder, Hispanic Action Network
Herman Martir
Founder, Asian Action Network
General Jerry Boykin
Family Research Council
Kathy Branzell
LOVE2020 National Coordinator

Pray In Unity: Day 13 // Godly Advisors

. . . a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15b; ESV)
Get all the advice and instruction you can,
so you will be wise the rest of your life.
 (Proverbs 19:20; NLT)
A good leader looks for good advice from good people. Scripture is clear how important this is. Proverbs 20:18a says, “Make plans by seeking advice.” The young King Rehoboam got into trouble because he “rejected the advice of the elders” (I Kings 12:8).
Many people actively seek to advise leaders because they understand that in doing so, they can shape important policies and decisions. It is so critical that we pray for good and godly advisors for leaders in all areas of government. The right advisor can make a huge difference in turning a nation in godly directions.
The mayor of a major city recently said that they know how to deal with many issues in their city, but they don’t know how to deal with evil. Evil doesn’t come from one political party or the other, so neither one will have answers for it.
As Christians, we have the ability to open the heavens over our cities and other governmental realms of authority. We can establish environments in them where heaven can be involved. We have authority through the shed blood of Jesus Christ as we intercede and put a halt to the evil. Therefore, not only should we be asking God for righteous leadership through the midterm elections, but we also need to ask God to raise up spiritual advisors and partners to come alongside political leaders who recognize there are things they do not have the ability to deal with.
We need to ask God to allow us to create an open heaven over these areas through our worship and intercession in order to shut down the evil, so the political leaders will know what to do. We are not to decide if that leader’s politics will affect the change we feel is necessary. We are very simply called to pray for them.
Points for Prayer:
  • Call forth the godly advisors who would be willing to serve the nation by advising leaders at even the highest levels of government.
  • Pray that our governmental leaders would accept advice and be discerning in where they look for advisors.
  • Declare, “A wise man listens to advice. A wise man accepts instruction and makes plans by seeking advice. God has raised up those who are able to be godly advisors to those in political office from the local governmental offices to the state house and the White House. They will find one another!”
  • Intercede for the advisors to seek the good of the nation and not personal gain.
By Dave Butts and Mike Jacobs
Dave Butts is the Chairman of the National Prayer Committee
Mike Jacobs is the Co-Founder of Generals International

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Ethan Penton

Ethan is a North Carolina native who joined the CTCI Summer Internship for 2018. He shares about the impact of the teachings on fatherhood from Train to Reign, how his life was changed through his time here at CTCI, and his renewed faith as he returns home.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester, please follow the links below.

Summer Internship – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

Pray In Unity: Day 12 // Prayer for Our President

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
(Ephesians 2:10; NLT)
Unhinged.  Unfit to Serve.  Impeachment.
No doubt you have heard these same words connected with our President, Donald J. Trump. The constant stirring of animosity has spilled into, or so it seems, every form of public life. Polarizing politicization is whipped up to drive ratings in what appears to be an effort to neuter the impact of this President.
Yet, we know the Scriptures: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God created Donald Trump, just like he created any previous and future President, and God created that person to do “good works.”
What is interesting in this passage, is that God created these good works “in advance.” This phrase indicates that the list of President Trump’s heavenly accomplishments existed before he took office. He has accomplished much, he will tell you that, but is there more? Could some of the items on the list only be unlocked through the prayers of the Church?
Now, it is left to the mysterious combination of President Trump’s effort, our prayers, and the sovereign will of God to play out. Your assignment is simple: pray.
Points for Prayer:
  • Pray every “good work” our President was created to accomplish would be accomplished.
  • Pray God would strengthen him to focus on the task and not the criticisms.
  • Pray God would quiet the civil acrimony.
By Dave Kubal

President, Intercessors for America

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Pray In Unity: Day 11 // A Presidential Transformation

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
(Romans 6:6-8; NIV)
In a dream a friend of mine had, a group of intercessors was in the Oval Office with President Trump. In great humility, he thanked us for our leadership and for the Appeal to Heaven movement. He asked me if there could be a high level, strategic task force set up for him and said he was asking this at the suggestion of Melania. I then gave him a white stone with the scripture Revelation 2:17 on it. It said, “God gives us a new name that no one knows.” He smiled and quoted back the verse, “There was a man sent from God whose name was John” (John 1:6; NIV). John is the President’s middle name.
I have been praying for quite some time that Donald Trump would become “John” Trump, representing intimacy with the Lord. I have asked that he have a great encounter with God that would bring him into this role. Returning to the dream, he prayed over those of us there, and in the prayer he said, “Let these leaders lead a holy convocation, that I might finish my eight years well. Let the ancient markers of our founding fathers be restored.”
I feel we need to pray for this president, not just up to the midterms, but beyond. We all know his imperfections and flaws, but this is not just about Donald Trump. We also know God is restoring the nation back to the ancient markers. I believe President Trump is a part of that.
Points for Prayer:
  • Intercede for President Donald J. Trump. Ask God to meet with him and transform him into “John.” May he be truly saved.
  • Thank the Lord for a president who has reached out to leaders in the Church for prayer, counsel, and advice.
  • Ask the Lord for a restoration of historical markers – those things that our founding fathers put in place to ground the nation through future national adversity.

By Dutch Sheets
Founder, Dutch Sheets Ministries

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Pray In Unity: Day 10 // Separation of Church and State?

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance. (Psalm 33:12; NKJV)
Since the removal of prayer in schools in 1962, there have been many other situations where “freedom of religion” has been misconstrued by the court system as “freedom from religion.”
The statement in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” has become known as “the Establishment Clause.” In misconstruing it, the courts have often placed their decisions in direct opposition to the second half of that statement: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” None of the cases where the “Establishment Clause” has been used by the courts to strike down free exercise of religion in the public square has ever been based on a law passed by Congress. The laws have changed on actions by judges in our courts, especially at the Supreme Court level.
At times, the conflict has been between the free exercise of the Christian faith in the marketplace and an individual who is offended by the practice who then sues the former. In additional to the removal of prayer from the public square, there have been cases calling for the removal of the Ten Commandments from government offices and land, removal of nativity scenes from public land, removal of Bible reading in the public places, and inequitable access to public facilities and funds by Christian groups.
Points for Prayer:
  • Repent, as Daniel did in Daniel 9, on behalf of our governing leaders and our judges (this is often referred to as identificational repentance), especially our Supreme Court Justices, for laws and judicial decisions that misconstrued the First Amendment.
  • Pray that many of these decisions would be challenged and overturned, so that true freedom of religion is secure in the United States once again.
  • Use the Isaiah 22:22 Matthew 16:19 keys to shut the spiritual door where the First Amendment is used to shut down Christian activities outside the walls of our church buildings.
  • Intercede for those who hate Christians and seek to close Christian businesses or otherwise cause believers harm. Declare that they would not be able to misconstrue the First Amendment to their advantage in the future. Pray that we would show compassion toward them and that they would come to know the love of Christ.
By Dr. Cindy Jacobs
Co-founder, Generals International

Pray In Unity: Day 9 // Religious Freedom // God in the Public Square

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.”
(Luke 8:8-9 NIV)
Can you imagine an America where you can only worship, pray, learn about God, and talk openly about Him inside a designated, state-sanctioned building? Such is life for some believers in other nations worldwide. Sadly, we are seeing more and more silencing of Christians in this Christian nation.
Some Christians in America will relegate themselves to a position of safety inside of their homes, Christian schools, and church buildings anyway. We have to make a decision: are we going to hide our faith or share it? If we don’t talk about Jesus, the nation will become increasingly lost. If we stay silent on issues, our nation will become more anti-Christian. If we don’t vote, those who govern will continue to take actions that limit our religious freedom, stifle our voices and actions, and put judges in place that legislate from the bench. If we don’t run for office, how can we expect legislation that is in alignment with our values?
Break out of your box, Church! Get your faith out in your neighborhoods, cities, schools, and workplaces before you can’t. Your gifts weren’t meant to be for the Body of Christ alone, but to show those who don’t yet know Him just how very much He loves and cares about them. Your God-given creative ideas are meant to change society and benefit all those you encounter every day. Your faith can be an example to the struggling. Get your faith-filled hands on the sick and hurting. Feed the sick, deliver the oppressed, invent something life-changing, write legislation, govern righteously, and change the world!
Points for Prayer:
  • Commit to the Lord that you will be His vessel in the public square and encourage other Christians to be also.
  • Pray for the Church, that we will not fear being open about our faith in public.
  • Ask God to pour out His creativity on His Body, resulting in witty inventions and solutions to systemic problems in the nation.
  • Decree that the Ekklesia will legislate in the heavens and that many will be called into government positions from local city councils and school boards to state and national legislative levels. Pray they do not miss their opportunity to make a difference.
  • Pray for the persecuted Church in the nations of the earth.
By Dr. Cindy Jacobs
President, Generals International

Pray In Unity: Day 8 // God’s Blueprint for America

Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you return to the LORD with all your heart, remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you and direct your hearts to the LORD and serve Him alone; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.’
(1 Samuel 7:3; NASB)
God did an amazing thing when He birthed this nation. In the hearts of our Founding Fathers, He placed the desire to form a nation based upon the realization that it is God who makes laws-man only legislates them. God is the one who gives rights to individuals, and those rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
At the same time, our Founding Fathers perfectly understood that man is flawed and that power is intoxicating. Their experience with the Throne of England and its abuses was fresh in their minds and caused them to structure the new government based upon Scripture (Isaiah 33:22) to create a bicameral Congress with two branches, as well as the three branches of the federal government: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. The Legislative branch creates laws, the Executive branch executes the laws, and the Judicial branch enforces the laws. The separation of powers with the proper balance is critical to a government led by fallen man. This mix of theology and practicality has produced the longest standing constitution in the history of mankind!
And yet, over the past few decades, we have seen much “overreach” of power as branches of our government attempt to meddle in areas they shouldn’t. This is where we need to understand what an “originalist” is. From a constitutional standpoint, an originalist is a person who believes that the Constitution should be interpreted with the views of the original authors. Simply put, our Constitution should be interpreted as our Founding Fathers viewed the issues. It is not to be reinterpreted according to the whims of the prevailing culture. In other words, the Constitution is not meant to be a “living document.”
The way Evangelical Christians interpret the Bible is very similar. Seminarians are taught not to take Scriptures out of context, but to discern what the author intended to communicate and what the original audience understood the message to be. This is absolutely critical; otherwise any culture or speaker with charisma could twist the Word of God to their own meaning.
If we believe that the birth of this nation was a miracle, if we believe that our Constitution is the most Christian document of its kind in the history of mankind, if we believe that our Constitution correctly understands God’s blueprint for government while correctly weighing the sinful nature of man, then I would argue that we should pray that our government would be reformed to our Creator’s intent.
To take it a step further, many of our Founding Fathers were raised during the greatest revival in our nation’s history, The First Great Awakening, when they formed their biblical worldviews. Revival preceded the miracle of our nation. Prayer preceded this revival. We must pray for the reformation of our government.
Points for Prayer:
  • That our government leaders would embrace a biblical structure (Isaiah 33:22).
  • That our government leaders would understand the fallen nature of man and how that influences legislation (Romans 3:23).
  • That our government leaders would understand they are held accountable by God (Micah 5:15).
  • That our government would legislate with the Fear of the Lord
    (Isaiah 33:6).
  • That our government would be filled with capable leaders (Exodus 18:21).
  • That our governmental leaders would put their hope in the Lord (Psalm 33:18).
  • That God would build a biblical worldview into our government leaders of tomorrow and that they would have the mind of Christ
    (1 Corinthians 2:16).
By David Kubal
President/CEO, Intercessors for America

Thank you, Sharon!

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 4.35.09 PM.pngWe just want give a big THANK YOU to Sharon!! She has been a part of the CTCI family for over 20 years!

She has been baking all sorts of delicious treats for us for many Train to Reign, Heroes, and Semester programs over the last 10+ years.

Here is one of the most wonderful women you will ever have the pleasure of meeting, completely in her element, blessing us once again as we prepare to welcome the CTCI Board of Directors.

#bakingqueen #blessed #sweettreats #ctcilife

Pray In Unity: Day 7 // Change the Climate, Change the Nation

Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.  (1 Timothy 2:8; NIV)
How many times have you gone to a restaurant, theater, or airplane and said to yourself, “I’d better take a jacket. It’s likely to be cold in there.”?  When I was growing up, you put a jacket on when you were going outside. It’s absurd to have to wear a jacket when you’re going inside. But in this world of air conditioning, someone else is controlling the thermostat in public spaces, and you and I have to adjust our behavior accordingly.
The same thing is going on in the spiritual realm. We are suffering from erratic behavior in almost every area of our society, including the way we make our choices, in large part because someone else has usurped control of the thermostat.
If we can change the climate, we can change the nation.
Dr. Ed Silvoso writes in his book, Prayer Evangelism:
We have no problem believing that it is possible to change the spiritual climate inside a home, in a church building or even at a stadium during a crusade. Every Sunday in church we see the climate change gradually as the service proceeds. The concept of changing a spiritual climate is not foreign to us.
However, we do have a problem believing that the same climate we enjoy in church can and should be enjoyed all over the city. Yet this is promised in 1 Timothy 2:1-8, where Paul tells us that if we pray for everybody, everywhere, we will be able to live quiet and tranquil lives in all godliness and honesty. For godliness to increase in a city, ungodliness must decrease, and none of this can happen without radical improvement in the spiritual climate of the city.
For far too long, we have left control of the spiritual climate in our cities in the hands of the devil. This is evident when we look around at the mire of sin, the hostility and anger, the criminal activity and the crushing weight of hopelessness on our fellow citizens. Every week thousands in our cities get married, hoping for a bright future; and every week a similar number watch their marriages disintegrate. Satan is keeping a subzero climate in place, while the Church is rubbing sticks together, trying to spark a few fires to keep its own people from freezing.
But what if the Church in the city was able to take control of the spiritual thermostat away from the devil and set it to a comfortable 70° F? Suddenly, Satan would be on the defensive, assigning demons to frantically distribute melting ice cubes around the city in a futile attempt to bring the temperature down a few degrees.
(Prayer Evangelism, Chosen Books 2017)
Points for Prayer:
  • Read and pray through Luke, Chapter 10.
  • Position yourself behind the Lord Jesus like His followers-eager volunteers to do whatever He commanded.
  • Let faith arise in you for our nation.
By Dave Thompson
Sr. Vice President, Harvest Evangelism

CTCI messages now available!

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WE’RE LIVE!!! Find messages and teachings from CTCI wherever you listen on the go! Search “Christian Training Center International” to find us! You can also listen to us online!

#ctcilife #lifeisrelationships #spotify #applepodcasts #googleplay #stitcherradio #tunein

Pray In Unity: Day 6 // Reclaiming the Dark Places

The kingdom of God has come near you. 
(Luke 10:9; ESV)
Darkness is not measured by the quantity of its own elements or ingredients. There are no “dark waves” like there are “light waves.” Rather, darkness is measured as the absence of light.
When we step into a dark room in our home, our very first instinct is to turn on a light, and for that reason, the light switch is generally right near the door. Flip the switch, the light comes on, and immediately the darkness goes away. It cannot exist where the light is present. Even if it is reduced to shadows where the rays of light have not fully penetrated, the darkness is mortally compromised.
Speaking peace has the same effect as the light switch: it dispels the darkness around it. Even if it is the smallest twinkle in vast, dark space, it is sufficient to give orientation to everything else in that space.
Let’s review Jesus’ instructions in Luke 10. First, he told His followers to speak peace to every house (v.5); in essence, He told them to turn on the light.Bless,don’t curse.
Second, He said, “Eat what they set before you” (v.8).Fellowship,don’t avoid. You don’t have to talk. Just eat and drink, but keep the lamp burning.
Then He told them, “Heal the sick who are there” (v.9).Minister,don’t ignore.
Finally, at the close of His instructions, Jesus said,Proclaim:“Tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you'”(v.11).
Even though your “peace-speaking” may seem but a flicker of light in a very dark place, Jesus says that flicker is impregnated with all the power and resources of the kingdom of God.
In fact, that’s exactly what Jesus’ followers experienced. They “returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'” And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning” (Lk. 10:17-18 NKJV). Darkness was defeated. The corruptive forces operating under its cover were sent off in hasty retreat. The spiritual climate was changed for the better.
This is the lifestyle that you and I are called to.
Yes!  Change the climate-change the nation!
Points for Prayer:
  • Review Luke 10:1-18. Accept and embrace the truth of every verse in prayer.
  • Armed with greater understanding and faith, speak peace more boldly to every house you enter, physically or in prayer.
  • Reclaim every dark place-from your house to the houses of government in Washington-because Jesus has already paid the price of redemption.
  • Make this your lifestyle for you and your family from this day forward. Determine to let no corrupt word leave your mouth, but that every word be full of the peace of God.
  • Speak peace, and follow the trail, because now you know there is a trail.
By Dave Thompson
Sr. Vice President, Harvest Evangelism

2018 Summer Intern Testimonies: Courtney Baldwin

 

Courtney Sahara Baldwin, affectionately known as “CB”, was one of 8 CTCI Summer Interns for 2018. Here she shares about her time here and how it has changed the lens she looks through of how God the Father views her.

If you would like more information about the summer internship or our upcoming spring semester, please follow the links below.

Summer Internship – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroesinternship

Spring Semester – https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/heroessemmester

Pray In Unity: Day 5 // Blessing the Nation and All Those In It

Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 
(Luke 10:5; ESV)
We are about to “enter the houses” of our nation through prayer-our own homes, the homes of our communities, the supermarket, the pharmacy, houses of government, industry, business, and education. Here’s the rule:
If it has a door and a roof, it’s a “house.” Speak peace.
Some of these houses we will enter physically. Many of them we will “enter” from a distance in the Spirit. That’s the power of prayer.No matter the mode of entry, the exhortation Jesus gave to 70 of His followers in Luke 10 is the same one He gives to us today.
Here are some things to remember.
First, keep it simple. Just say the words every time you’re about to go through a door: “Peace be to this house.” Shoot it like an arrow. Spray it around like air freshener, and, like air freshener, let it do its work. In fact,
it will begin to work-for you, in you, in others, and always in favor of what God wants to do on the other side of that door.
Second, don’t make a big deal about who you are speaking peace to. You will never look into the eyes of a person that God does not love. Separate the sin from the sinner. We are not “blessing” the sin; we are speaking the peace of God over people God created for a divine purpose who have been trapped in an unwholesome atmosphere. Speak God’s peace.
By speaking peace to every “house,” we are putting our trust in the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. We are commending the house and its occupants to God and paving the way for them to be touched by His power and presence.
Speaking unwholesome words empowers the enemy to work, not only in the lives of others, but also in our very own lives. By speaking peace and blessings, we will be opening the doorsto the Holy Spirit to fill both us and them with His righteous, healing presence.
In Luke 10:17-18, we read:The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”
Where was Satan falling? To begin with, in the very place where the peace was spoken. In other words, speaking peace is meant to be our weapon of choice to literally push back the powers of darkness that are present right where we are in our own spheres of influence. If there is one thing the evil one cannot stand, it is the presence of God manifest through our peace. Indeed, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet!”
(Rom. 16:20 ESV).
Points for Prayer:
  • Speak peace to your own house, and the households of your neighbors. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Col. 3:15).
  • Spend the rest of today speaking peace and blessing over the houses of business, education, and government, from Washington D.C. to your state, to your county, and to your community. Recite the name of the institution or office and declare, “Peace be to your house!”
  • Recite the names of people you know who are leading in the spheres of business, education, and government, and boldly declare, “Peace be to your house!”
By Dave Thompson
Sr. Vice President, Harvest Evangelism

Pray In Unity: Day 4 // Passionate Conquering Love

You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12; GNT)
As God’s people move into deeper relationships with Christ, the stark contrast between us and the world of darkness will increase. The Spirit of God is already illuminating and revealing the inequities, deceptive practices, and strategic plans of the enemy like we have never seen before. The challenge we face is to intercede without becoming angry or belligerent toward those blinded to the truth, even those in positions of authority.
We must set our will to love those who would hate us and spitefully use us, knowing and believing they will be impacted by a love that goes beyond the normal reaction of humanity. We have an opportunity to become part of the answer to Christ’s prayer for unity-Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one (John 17:11 NIV)-but also to be a part of His commissioned servants, equipped withgreat commandment love(Matthew 22:37-39) to go into our world with His authority, making disciples and teaching them the Truth that will dispel their darkness and reveal any deception (Matthew 28:18-19).
Do not be discouraged if you encounter conflict and adversity in any arena of your life and ministry. The danger of strife also threatened the New Testament church because they were such passionate people of conviction and belief. The greater the enthusiasm people have, the greater the danger of colliding with one another every now and then. People who apathetically sit in neutral gear are not likely to run into any kind of warfare within or without the community of believers.
Armed with the understanding that love and truth will ultimately triumph over hate and deception, pray the following Scripture-based prayers.
Points for Prayer:
  • God, as Your chosen and beloved people, enable us to clothe ourselves with tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering, not compromising our standards of truth and righteousness, but willingly and gently sharing with those who have been deceived. Raise up leaders in authority who will embody godliness and holy lifestyles, speaking truth and exemplifying integrity (Colossians 3:12).
  • Savior and Lord, show us how to walk in love and forgiveness as we let the peace of God rule in our hearts. Help us to live grace-filled lives, so that whatever we do, it is in the name of the Lord Jesus, not for the sake of nationalism, denominationalism, or political and personal agendas (Colossians 3:13-17).
  • Holy Spirit, position people to serve in our executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, who have a personal relationship with Christ and knowledge of His Word that brings wisdom and understanding.
  • Praise and worship God for His ability to give life to the dead and call into existence those things that seem impossible (Romans 4:16-19).
By Kay Horner
Awakening America Alliance

Pray In Unity: Day 3 // Walking, Praying, Voting // The Church in Unity

I gave them the same glory you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one: I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me. (John 17:22-23; GNT)
We are standing here in a moment of time that was only produced by the prayers of His saints. The upcoming midterm elections are critical for so many different reasons. We want to see God continue to move throughout this nation. The unity we are currently seeing across the Body of Christ in America is what will move the heart of God to act on our prayers. He loves it!
As a strategy of unified intercession for our nation, we believe God is calling us once again to prayer walk our neighborhoods. In 2016, we had up to 10,000 people report that they were prayer walking in one way or another, and now, from September 28 through Election Day, November 6, we will be prayer walking again.
We are going to ask the Lord to anoint our coalition to be able to stand together, pray, and vote, and continue to shift the nation in a righteous direction. If the leaders of the churches and prayer ministries make this call for prayer together, it is as if we are blowing a shofar loud enough to wake the Church up, at least to the nation’s need of prayer.
Points for Prayer:
  • Thank the Lord for increasing unity across many diverse streams of the Body of Christ.
  • Ask God for an increase of this love and unity.
  • Call forth the prayer walkers. Call forth tens of thousands of them to pray for their neighbors, blessing them.
  • Intercede for the praying Church to also be the voting Church.
  • Commit to intercede and prayer walk through Election Day, November 6. Go to PrayInUnity.org, sign up to prayer walk, and note on the map where you are praying.
  • Tell your pastors and other prayer leaders about this initiative. Put it on social media and tell everyone you know to sign up!
By Dave Kubal, Cindy Jacobs, and Dave Butts
Dave Kubal is the President of Intercessors for America
Cindy Jacobs is the President and Co-Founder of Generals International
Dave Butts is the Chairman of the National Prayer Committee

Pray In Unity: Day 2 // Repentance // The Key to Revival

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14; KJV)
As we seek the face of God to restore and renew our people and to prepare for the upcoming elections, He leaves clear instructions to achieve this goal. Those directions are listed in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If My people”: “If” indicates that this is conditional and depends upon our response.
“Which are called by My name”: God is not calling the nation to repent, only His people.
“Shall humble themselves”: We must yield our pride and our stony hearts, so God can do His healing work in us.
“And pray”: YES! Pray!
“And seek my face”: Seek Him, not the ways of the world. He then reveals our sin to us, that we might be rid of this obstacle and draw closer unto Him.
“And turn from their wicked ways”: We turn around and go in the direction He shows us (for example, from stubbornness to yieldedness).
“Then I will hear from heaven”: Hallelujah! Yes, Lord!
“And will forgive their sin”: Only God can do this for us.
“And will heal their land”: When each one of us, His living stones in this nation, obeys this command, then the healing of the land will come as the “jigsaw pieces” of our hearts are joined. Amen.
Points for Prayer:
  • Father, help me to allow You to look deep within my heart, that I might repent of any hidden sin.Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.(Psalm 139:23-24 KJV)
  • Lord God, help me to overcome any fear I might have of coming to You. Help me, instead, to trust You in all my ways and in all my days.Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)
  • Lord God, help me to be quick to recognize the sinful ways that You show me and to find the strength to stop, take stock, and turn back to You.And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.(2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV)
  • Lord God, help me to rejoice that You are hearing my prayer!Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the prayer that is made in this place.(2 Chronicles 7:15 KJV)
  • Finally, Father God, help me to remember that You are always there for me.I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.(Hebrews 13:5 KJV)
By Sara Ballenger
Founder, Capitol Hill Prayer Partners

Pray In Unity: Day 1 // Worship Him!

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (John 4:23; ESV)
There is no better way to begin a 40-day season of intercession for the United States of America than in worship of our God and King! Let us be conscious of the fact that we are blanketing the nation in worship from sea to shining sea, over Alaska and Hawaii–setting up a canopy of His presence.
Many years ago, the Lord gave me a vision of a huge chuppah–a Jewish bridal canopy-covering America. The result of this level of honoring God was the release of a great move of God that swept across the nation. That vision has stayed with me and many others over the years.
On September 27, worship tents went up in almost every state capital, across many college campuses, and in Washington, D.C., the heart of our government. Worship began to rise across the nation and will be maintained 24 hours a day through tomorrow night. This is the vision of Tent America. May it never end! May our voices rise in praise to our God. May our faces bow low in worship of our King! He is worthy! To Him be the glory! Exalt Him in unity, brothers and sisters in Christ – every race, tongue, age, and economic situation. Take it from your homes and churches to your city’s streets.
Let the name of the Lord Jesus be lifted high above the United States of America!
Points for Prayer:
  • Fix your eyes on Jesus. He alone is the object of our worship!
  • Start at Psalm 145 and worship through Psalm 150. Let your heart receive His love as deep calls to deep.
  • Be conscious of the thousands of believers worshipping with you today. The Bride is in worship today! Don’t you feel the joy of that?
  • Let your own songs of worship rise up to Him.
By Dr. Cindy Jacobs
Co-founder, Generals International
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Transitioning the Nation: Daily Prayer Guide

As a part of the 40 day prayer push leading up to the midterm elections we will be sharing resources from Intercessors for America and Pray in Unity. They have created a day-by-day prayer guide to help us all stay focused and on track with key prayer points. Join us, and believers around the nation, in praying for those in office and those to be elected!

Invitation to Pray in Unity

Intercessors for America is an important prayer ministry that helps to inform us at CTCI how to be praying continually for our nation each week. Dave Kubal, IFA President, is also our keynote speaker for the annual Appeal to Heaven Conference at the Inn.

The following article is from Dr. Cindy Jacobs is an open invitation to join believers around the nation in praying for the next 40 days leading up to the midterm elections. Join with CTCI, IFA, and believers around the nation in this 40 Day Prayer Push!

Pray in unity with thousands of intercessors praying together in unity for next 40 days before the midterm elections.

Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. (Phil 2:2; NASB)

Pray in Unity. Go to the blue button that says, “Sign Up.

When we look around America today, we know that we are in a crisis; we’ve reached a tipping point. In the last election, many Christians got out and voted; however, many spiritual leaders across this nation have been saying one thing: “We’re concerned the church has gone back to sleep.” I know some of you have a similar concern in your heart.

The midterm elections are coming up. The Christian turnout for these elections will reveal whether we are truly going to be able to turn the nation and fully establish cords of righteousness, or if we’re going to slide backwards.

I want to encourage you. If you believe that abortion is wrong, if you believe that the blood of more than 60,000,000 aborted babies is crying out from the ground of the United States, and if you knew that turning the tide of a nation was within our grasp, even by one vote – would you vote? Would you pray?

I’m asking you to do both—pray and vote. Pray and act. I’m asking you to join us, as we prayer walk America, as we cry out for the nation. We know that God wants to do extraordinary things through our prayers. If we will pray, God will act.

We have developed this very important website called “Pray in Unity.” Here, you can sign up to adopt your block in prayer. You will also find a daily devotion covering all kinds of topics related to the midterm election. In addition, you can sign up to receive a weekly email containing the prayer devotions for each week.

It’s a 40-day season, beginning September 28 and continuing through Election Day, November 6. You can also visit many of the supporting organizations’ websites that are listed for additional national prayer resources. You will be praying in unity with thousands of different intercessors from across America, connecting with a coalition of prayer leaders that are standing together, and saying, “We are concerned about America.”

Would you join us? Pray in Unity. Go to the blue button that says, “Sign Up.” We’d love for you to participate. Let’s turn the tide!

Silver and Gold

alex-chambers-394969-unsplash.jpg

This is a poem that was written by staff assistant, Ian DeBoer, who one morning during his devotions was inspired by Psalm 33.

“Silver and Gold” by Ian DeBoer

Silver and gold, silver and gold

How much more valuable is the counsel of the Lord?

Proven more profitable than position and power

Found to be more fantastic than fame and fortune

 

Yes, it is provision for those in peril;

it prospers the poor in spirit

Yes, it is a fix for disfunction;

a fount for those found lacking

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.”

Family — Is it the foundation of relationships in God’s Kingdom?

Family — Is it the foundation of relationships in God’s Kingdom?

By Michael W. Wilson

Family is extremely important in the Bible, bot

 

h in a physical sense and in a spiritual sense. The foundation of family was introduced in the very beginning, as we see in Genesis 1:28.

God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’

Backlot Barbecue!!

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 11.04.56 AM.pngCome join us for our Backlot Barbecue Event at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on October 12, 2018, starting at 6:30pm.

Your ticket includes a delcious BBQ sandwich meal (by Hog Wild BBQ), a donut roast over an open fire, fun and games. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy Disney’s ‘The Jungle Book’ (a live action movie) under the stars. All proceeds go to help restore families around the world!

#ctcilife #lifeisrelationships #hogwildbbq #familiessupportingfamilies

https://www.lifeisrelationships.com/backlot-bbq

A Heart of Gratitude

Psalm 100 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

What a beautiful outpouring of praise and thanksgiving from the psalmist! What a wise and fitting response on this Thanksgiving day :).

The Life I Live

“To life by faith is to trust and obey – if you trust AND obey that’s a living relationship. There is intimacy. There is growth. There is vitality.”

On November 5th our dear friend, Herman Weits, came and shared with us about the life of his ministry.

Herman and his wife, Ross, lead Bali Christian Retreat Center which is a ministry of Words of Hope International and he came to spend some time with us while on a visit back to the states.

WATCH the full video HERE.

 

The Power of Testimony

“Your testimonies; the things the Lord does in your life, good and bad because in God there is no bad. He takes the bad and turns it into good. They are your prophecies. They’re the stories you have to tell wherever you go, and God will use them to touch multitudes.”

This Sunday we were blessed to have Bill Eubank, longtime friend of the ministry and CTCI board member, share with us on the blessings the Lord has given us through the testimonies He has given us and their impact on others.

WATCH the full video HERE.

 

2 Peter: Freedom

“When the Holy Spirit changes our earthly nature into a divinely inspired one then we are free from this world of its corruption and its lust.”

In this message, Larry Pons continues to our walk through 2 Peter and shares how we have been given freedom through faith and the Holy Spirit.

WATCH the full video HERE.

 

2 Peter: Glory & Excellence

“He has called us by His own glory and excellence so we are called therefore into His glory and into His excellence.”

In this message, Larry Pons speaks about Peter’s teachings and how the knowledge of God and our faith in Him is where all spiritual strength is conveyed to us.

WATCH the full video HERE.

 

2 Peter: Faith

“Faith makes no distinction to whether you’re a slave or an apostle. Every true believer is by faith justified in the sight of God and forgiven of all his sins.”
In this message, Larry Pons continues to walk through 2 Peter and challenges our thinking on what we actually have faith in Jesus for.

WATCH the Full Video HERE.

Is God in Control?

“We could continue to look at Scripture for hours…and it would declare one great reality that is hard to face, and that is: God is in control.”
In this message, Casey Wilson addresses the question that so many of us often ask when disaster happens: Is God in control?

WATCH the Full Video HERE.

2 Peter: The Value of Faith

“The meritorious obedience of Jesus is what gives faith its value and preciousness.”
In this message, Larry Pons begins a series on 2 Peter and speaks on the value and gift of faith.

WATCH the Full Video HERE.

1 Peter: Sanctification & Purification

“We cannot come into the presence [of God] if Jesus hadn’t shed that blood. He tore the veil from top to bottom, ripped it open, that we would have access to the very presence of God Himself.”
Join us as Larry Pons goes over the main points of First Peter in this final message of the series.

WATCH the Full Video HERE.

1 Peter (Recap)

“The motives that drive us to sin can never be greater than the motivation to avoid sin because of what Jesus did.”
In this video CTCI director, Larry Pons, takes us through a recap of some of the main points in 1 Peter.

WATCH the Full Video HERE.

Skin Care & Soul Care (Part 2)

Following up from my last blog post (you can find it here)…

4) ARE YOU USING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS?

Each person’s skin is different. Though there are similarities – and on the grand scale the skin design is the same – we are all unique. That being said, this is the downside to skin care. No one product will work for everyone. Or even for your whole face (ahem – combination skin types). Or necessarily for a long period of time (sometimes the skin adapts and you have to change products). This is where knowing your skin and being knowledgable about ingredients and their purpose comes in handy (or at least have a chart that breaks it down for you). For instance, you don’t want to put a product on your face with ingredients that control and limit oil if your skin is already really dry. (Duh.) The problem is that most of the time we aren’t knowledgeable. (I know I was pretty clueless.) That’s when we fall into the trap of buying products that aren’t good for our skin type or are just part of the newest “skin trends.” It might actually be an amazing product, but it may not work for you. We get so desperate, or we’re just clueless, that we’ll fall for anything. Ladies, how many products have we bought that have just been plain duds (ok, let’s not keep count…)? They promised to do exactly what we wanted, and even the packaging looked inspiring and hopeful – but when we tried them the result was less than pleasing. We check reviews online (all or mostly negative) and realize that we’ve bought into a scam. Why didn’t we do more research first? Why did we buy on impulse? Job well done, marketing team. Bravo.

So in our lives, where have we bought into scams? Everything around us promises to fulfill us, to make us happy, to make our lives easier, to give us peace, to fix our problems, to make the pain go away. Things like the newest electronics, the coolest car, killer careers, an amazing house, beauty and fashion, or that guy you think is so amazing. No? What about these: the approval of people, your ministry, your friends, drugs, online shopping, revenge, your hobbies, your favorite tv shows, pornography, your workout routine, politics, medicine, alcohol, music, a family, food, sports, travel? Still no? Hmm, how about these then: feminism, the world’s claim that you can choose to be whoever or whatever you want to be, ”me-time”, religion, or – my personal favorite – “follow your heart”? Any of these ring a bell? Now, I’m not saying that all of these things are bad in and of themselves. In fact, some are necessary for life and relationship, or are good for being healthy, etc. What I am saying is that none of these things – I repeat, NONE – can or ever will fulfill us or do any of the things the world promises they will do.

The ONLY place where we find true and lasting fulfillment, joy, hope, peace, love, restoration and shelter is in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s it. If you don’t believe me then feel free to try everything listed above. Maybe you already have. If that’s the case then the chances are you feel empty and broken. I know how you feel. I’ve been there – I think we all have. So I can tell you from experience that Jesus is the only one who has successfully healed my wounds, bound my brokenness, brought me peace in the midst of complete chaos, loved me when I was unloveable, was faithful when I felt abandoned, and satisfied my soul. He is the only one who has willingly given His life for me. He’s the only one who has taken on the full punishment for my sins – past, present and future. He’s the only one who has given me victory, because of His death and resurrection. He’s the only one who knows the depths of my heart, even more so than I do myself. He’s the only one whose kindness has led me to repentance. He’s the only one who has fought and won for me. He’s the only one who deserves my life – not a portion of it, but the whole thing. He’s the ONLY ONE. There is no one and nothing else that can do what He has done. And it’s the same for you. He’s the only one who makes good on His promises. We can look everywhere and try everything, but without Jesus our souls remain starved. (John 4:7-26; John 6:32-35; Psalm 107:4-9).

5) YOU’LL GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. What you put – or don’t put – in your body is reflected in your skin. Too much sugar? Acne. Not enough water? Extra dry, maybe even patchy, skin. Lots of water and healthy foods? Radiant skin. You get the point – this one is pretty easy. So what’s in you? Is it kindness? Is it an infatuation with some guy? Is it anger? Is it the desire to be “hot stuff”? Is it patience? Is it a sailor’s mouth? Is it gossip? Is it the Word of God? This is the point where we can easily become a pharisee and get tangled up in legalism. Legalism is definitely not part of the heart of God – but neither is an undisciplined life. This is where we have to be mindful and attentive to the Spirit of God on a moment by moment basis so that we are aware when He prompts us that something we are doing, saying or thinking about isn’t pleasing or honoring to the Father. Or maybe something is ok for everyone else right now, but it’s just not healthy for you personally in your current season. This is a simple and short point, but vitally important so I did not want to skip over this one. Be mindful of what you are allowing in, because that will produce the fruit of your life. (Mark 7:14-23; Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 27:19; Matthew 12:33-35).

6) SURFACE LEVEL OR GOING DEEP

When you cleanse your face what are you trying to accomplish? Are you just trying to clean off the oil, dirt, and makeup of the day from the surface of your skin, or are you thinking about the surface as well as the “depths” of your skin? Or do you not care at all? Sometimes we just go for cleansing the surface because we’re lazy when it comes to skin care and sometimes it’s simply because we don’t know any better. I was actually a combination of the two – both lazy and skin ignorant – and when I was a teen I gave up caring since nothing I tried ever cleared up my skin. So I figured why try at all. But once I started to learn and understand more about the skin and what goes on both on and underneath the surface I began to take action. I took simple beginner steps (steps like identifying my skin type, identifying issues I deal with often, choosing the correct cleansers for me, and beginning to discipline myself in a regular routine) in order to cleanse and care for my skin properly (and with a prevention mindset!).

It is the same in our lives with the Lord. Are we concerned only with what people can see, or do we give Him full access to cleansing the deep places of our lives, or do we not care at all? This relates back to the “quick fix vs. the long run” that I mentioned earlier. “Cleansing” only the surface level of our lives won’t prove to be very effective or healthy for us in the long run.  Actually, all of the issues that are there will only get worse with time. If you don’t see them now, just wait, they’ll show their nasty heads in the future and you’ll wonder how they got there “overnight” as well as how you can make them disappear overnight. But you can’t. It would now be a long process you’ll have to walk through to dig out all of that deep-seated dirt that you let build up under the surface. But take heart! If this is you, don’t be discouraged. Where the Enemy would love to see this bring shame to your life and push you further from the Father, use it as an opportunity to draw closer to Him. It’s not too late, I promise! It will be a process to let Him uproot all that has gone untended, but it will be worth it! (Matthew 23:25-26; Psalm 139:23-24).

Then what does it look like to give Jesus full access to the deep places of our lives? I’m glad you asked, because this ties in perfectly with my next point.

7) GOING TO THE SPECIALIST

There are times when an issue on our skin needs special attention and care, or maybe we just want to better understand our skin, so we go to a dermatologist or an esthetician. They observe our skin or – better yet – put us under a black-light to reveal any possible damage under the skin that can’t be seen with the naked eye until years later as a larger problem if it remains untreated.

Jesus is our Specialist. He wants us to come to Him when there is an issue that needs taken care of. Even if we can’t see anything, He wants us to come to Him so that He can put us under the black-light of His Word to reveal any inklings of sin that might be subtle, yet growing, under the surface. If we’ll just let Him do this, then He will give us the prescription we need to get rid of it. In other words, by His great kindness He will lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4) and allow His Holy Spirit to guide us throughout the day to help us take the steps necessary to walk out of the sin habit that was beginning to take root. If we stay in His Word, He will continually help us to renew our minds. Are you willing? Will you let Jesus into the deep, unseen places? He is the safest, most knowledgable, and most trustworthy Specialist there is. He’s waiting for you. Oh, and you don’t have to make an appointment and you won’t have to wait in line – just walk right in. (Psalm 51:1-2 & 7; 1 John 1:5-10; Matthew 8:2-3).

So what’s the outcome of learning about your skin, purchasing the right products for it, and staying disciplined in your cleansing routine and eating habits? Although it will never be absolute, one hundred percent perfection (sorry, we are human after all), the result will be clean, smooth, radiant skin (yay!). And what’s the outcome of seeking Jesus, letting Him cleanse us and digesting His Word every day? A woman (or man – if you’re still reading this, gents) after His own heart. As I said before, these are just a few of the points the Lord has shown me recently, and my hope is that they have encouraged and challenged you as they have me. I’ve heard some say that this is a scary prayer – and it is, because I know the Lord will answer it. But my desire is that my heart, and yours, would be like King David’s when he said:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24).

Who Are You Listening To?

“Who we listen to and who we obey, we honor. The more we listen to them, the more that we obey them, the more powerful they become in our lives.”
Guest speaker, Tim Dailey, asks the question, “Who are you listening to?” In this message he talks about the three main “channels” in our lives that we tune into: the “me” channel, the “Satan” channel, and the “God” channel.

WATCH the Full Video HERE.