National Prayer Connection Notes
December 16, 2020
Floyd LeBlanc, Prayer Leader
When Pastor Suzette gave me this assignment, as always, I asked the Holy Spirit to lead me in developing the Prayer Targets for tonight, I reflected on what a difficult year we have all faced. I was reminded of the gospel refrain, “If it had not been for the Lord on our side, where would we be?”
The year 2020, will go down as a historically challenging year. Holy spirit, what are the prayer targets, I asked? It didn’t take very long before He began to amplify the leadership of young people in the U.S. and across the globe. I heard the Lord say, “Look at the young people – focus on what they are doing!”
When people around the world were shocked and traumatized by the videotaped killing of George Floyd – young people responded, leading peaceful protests. Remember, we were experiencing the first-wave of the pandemic. The virus was still spreading and our young people rose up and chose God’s light over darkness – they led massive protests across America and in nations around the world. The made their voices heard. Their passion and energy, and their demands for justice were fused into the 2020 election campaigns, which wrapped up, just a few weeks ago – with all-time U.S. highs for voting. More than 150 Million American citizens cast votes for president and the winning, Biden-Harris ticket received more than 80 Million votes, also a record total.
Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “I Have a Dream” speech, in 2020 – our young people were pushing, as Dr. King said “to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” Like Dr. King, in 1963, this past summer, our young people proclaimed that “Now IS the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…” Like Dr. King, our young people were standing on scripture and declaring – “No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” And, our young people today echo Dr. King when he said “… for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.” Those were just a few excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” August 28, 1963 – from the NPR Transcript. Despite, the very real risks to their health, and threats from opposition, our young people took a stand for God’s justice and righteousness. As I reflected on the leadership of our young people over the summer, the Holy Spirit then provided fresh evidence, as he showed me this example of our young people responding to hate and injustice with hope.
In a news feature titled, ‘Why are You Thankful?’ on the KHOU TV News, Nov. 25, 2020 10 p.m. newscast (Thanksgiving eve), Durmerrick Ross, performance poet from Fort Worth, TX shared his hopes for 2021. Ross was a member of Texas Southern University’s 2019 HBCU National Speech and Debate Championship Team. The TSU Debate team was led, for more than 70 years by Dr. Thomas Freeman, who passed away in June at 100 years of age. He was a great preacher of the gospel and an educator and leader – who helped generations of young people of color use their ideas and words to change things for the better. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barbara Jordan and Denzel Washington all learned from him. (No charge for that bonus background on Dr. Freeman. You can Google him if you want to learn more. Now back to Durmerrick Ross – In the 2019 HBCU Speech and Debate National Tournament, Durmerrick also won individual first-place awards in Dramatic Interpretation and Slam Poetry. His work centers around racial injustice and the ways the Black Experience shows up for (Blacks) in America. Ross shared that even though 2020 has been a “really rough year, in terms of grieving; while also still trying to push through, still trying to be healthy; still trying to fight for the things that matter, while also trying to navigate the world in a global pandemic – that again is disproportionately affecting people (who) look like me – it’s been hard!”
Still, Durmerrick reflected on the way all humans are connected – and cited Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said “We are all connected in a web of mutuality. Whatever affects any one of us directly, affects us all of us indirectly.” Ross went on to say “I am so thankful for the community that I have – the people who contributed to my upbringing – contributed to the person I am today and to the person I am always I’m striving to become.” He continued, “Just to be still alive and to be a Black man in America, I have to be hopeful. I have to imagine that the world as it is – is not how it has to be, and is not how it always will be. I have to be hopeful that because of the people that are gathering around the world and are really putting intention behind looking at the issues that plague so many of our communities. I have to be hopeful that that work – those seeds started in 2020 will come into fruition in 2021.”
The Durmerrick Ross news piece was followed by a second story, again on KHOU TV, Nov. 25, 2020 10 p.m. newscast featuring a child. Seven-year-old Dylan Virtudazo – was interviewed for a TV news story in his Little League Baseball uniform – as he was preparing to Hand out Blessing Bags to homeless people. Dylan is a walking example of God’s compassion and of God’s love as he seeks to “love his neighbor as himself.” Young Dylan saved money he received as birthday gifts after his August Birthday party was cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. (When asked why he wanted to help homeless people), the 7-year old replied, “God made me like that!”
Dylan decided to use his birthday money for the homeless as he was riding in the car with his parents. He saw people who needed help and he wanted to help. That’s when he decided to commit his birthday money. When his teacher asked students about their Thanksgiving plans in class, he shared that he was using his birthday money to help the homeless. His teachers donated to his noble cause. Said, young Dylan, “Thanksgiving is a happy holiday for people and families.” He decided he wanted to bring some of those feelings to the homeless.
He went on to say, “I’m sorry (for) what happened, whatever happened to you and I hope you feel better.” The 7-year old met his goal, preparing 50 Blessing bags to handout Thanksgiving Morning. Notice he calls them blessing bags! He had 50 hand-packed, one-gallon sized Ziplock bags filled with toiletries, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Each bag also has a handwritten message on the outside, “You matter, God bless you!”
Let’s Pray Saints
Pray for God to deliver us from the spirits of illness, death, grieving and fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pray for God’s wisdom for all involved in the treatment of people who are ill from the virus and for those involved in the distribution and delivery of the vaccines.
Pray for God to turn the hearts of the leaders in the U.S. federal government to pass a new round of Stimulus funding to help people who are struggling to survive the economic devastation of the pandemic.
Pray for God to multiply the justice and righteousness impact of the leadership of our young people and help the Body of Christ to walk in the hope and love described and demonstrated by our Young leaders. Help us to be doers, not just hearers of Your Word! Help us to do what Your word says! (James 1:22)
Lastly, Pray for God to heal the partisan political divide and cause our nation to truly become the United States of America!
Holy Father, the Year 2020 has, in many ways been like the dire situation detailed in Joel, Chapter 2, as Your Word describes the devastation they were experiencing. Verses 1-2 proclaim, “Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem! Raise the alarm on my holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the Lord is upon us. The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive? Lord, we’re not saying that You sent the COVID-19 pandemic – But we know for certain that You are able to deliver us from this plague and all of the troubles we are currently experiencing. As the next 10 verses describe the wrath of Your justice being administered upon the disobedient, verses 12-19 and 23-27 reflect Your grace and mercy, when You call for Your people to repent. Verse 12 – That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the Lord your God as before. Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people— the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. Let the priests, who minister in the Lord’s presence, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, “Spare your people, Lord! Don’t let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don’t let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, ‘Has the God of Israel left them?’” Then the Lord will pity his people and jealously guard the honor of his land. The Lord will reply, “Look! I am sending you grain and new wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy your needs. You will no longer be an object of mockery among the surrounding nations.
23 Rejoice, you people of Jerusalem! Rejoice in the Lord your God! For the rain he sends demonstrates his faithfulness. Once more the autumn rains will come, as well as the rains of spring. The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil. The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced.
Magnificent Father – as God’s chosen people, the Body of Christ, we pray that as we approach the end of the Gregorian calendar year – 2020 – that – by Your Spirit, You will usher in a Joel, Chapter 2 deliverance for the people called by Your name. Lord, by your Spirit – delivers us from the illness, death, grieving and fear related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Give Scientists and medical professionals your wisdom in discovering the most effective treatments for people who have the virus. Pour out Your supernatural wisdom and favor on the medical, military, governmental and private logistics personnel who will lead the distribution and delivery of the multiple vaccines that are now in the final stages of approval. Cause the treatments and vaccines to operate has the Balm in Gilead and heal those who are ill and stop this coronavirus plague. Again, not by human power, or might, but by Your Spirit – end the pandemic, Lord we pray – in Jesus’ name!
Lord, we know that You never sleep, nor slumber and that You have seen the food lines caused by job losses due to the pandemic. As you promised in Joel 2, move by Your Spirit and “give back the food lost to this global pandemic that wiped out access to food the way food has been lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” Cause Your people to “Once again you will have all the food we want, and we will praise You, the Lord our God, who does these miracles for us.” Lord, turn the hearts of the leaders in the U.S. federal government to pass a new round of Stimulus funding to help people who can’t feed their families; people facing evictions; and small businesses that are struggling to survive the economic devastation of the pandemic. Father, we pray that You will spread the hope represented in the views expressed by Durmerrick Ross, performance poet and debate champion – honor the social activism and calls for Your justice and righteousness led by young people across the globe; honor You Spirit of love, as demonstrated by our youngest leaders such as 7-year-old Dylan Virtuzado, who gave his birthday money to help homeless people – and when asked why, he said “God made me like that!” Lord, in Proverbs 22:6, Your word says we should (train up our children) “direct (them) unto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” Father, help us to recognize Your anointing on our children, youth and young adult leaders.
Holy Spirit, help us to walk in the hope and love described and demonstrated by our Young leaders. Help the Body of Christ to walk by faith, as defined in Hebrews 11:1 – “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Even as we continue in the valley of the shadow of this pandemic, remind us to keep the hope described in Job 11:18 – “Having hope will give (us) courage. (We) will be protected and will rest in safety.” And, as we continue to push through the economic and systemic racism challenges, according to Romans 5:3-5, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly You love us, God because (You) have given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with (Your) love.”
Lord Jesus, we pray that You will honor the leadership of our young people and spur the Body of Christ to accept Your call to lead and help establish Your Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven. Help your church to show the world how to love You, with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and how to love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. Help us end systemic Racism, partiality, oppression of the poor and all huma oppression. Lord, as the new Presidential administration prepares to take office, we pray that You will heal the partisan political divide and help us to stop thinking and acting as red states and blue states. Instead cause our nation to truly become the United States of America! In Your Word, in Matthew 19:26, scripture says, Jesus looked at them and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Next, we want to pray for the Body of Christ to choose God’s Word over the ways of this world – Choose Christ over Culture and Choose the Pollination of God’s Kingdom over the political polarization of man. Pollination is not a real common word, so I will give the definition (from the New Oxford American Dictionary) to be sure we are on one accord. Pollination is the transfer of pollen to a stigma, ovule, flower or plant to allow fertilization: the flowers depend on bees for pollination – crop pollination is essential to fruit production.
Again, we want to pray for the Body of Christ to choose God’s Word over the world –Christ over Culture and the Pollination of God’s Kingdom over political polarization. We want to let our lights shine so that people see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven be “Busy Bees, spreading the pollen of God’s word and demonstrating His love for our neighbors so that more people are saved.
Pray for the Body of Christ to 1) choose God’s Word over the ways of this world – 2) Choose Christ over Culture and 3) Choose the Pollination of God’s Kingdom over the political polarization of man.
Pray for God to raise the desire within the Body of Christ to let our lights shine so that people see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven, and for us to be “Busy Bees, spreading the pollen of God’s word and demonstrating His love for our neighbors so that more people are saved.
Let’s pray, NPC Prayer Warriors
Holy Spirit, we pray for the Body of Christ to choose Your Word over the ways of this world – Choose Christ over Culture and Choose the Pollination of God’s Kingdom over the political polarization of man. We declare that according to Colossians 3:1-17, that “Since (We) have been raised to new life with Christ, we will set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. (We will) think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For (we have) died to this life, and (our) real (lives are) hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is our life, is revealed to the whole world, (we) will share in all his glory. So, we put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within (us). We will Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. (We will not) be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. We used to do these things when our (lives were) still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. (We won’t) lie to each other, for (we) have stripped off (our) old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. (We confess that we) put on (our) new nature, and (we are being) renewed as (we) learn to know (our) Creator and become like him. We stand in agreement with Your word that in this new life, it doesn’t matter if we are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
Lord, since You chose (us) to be the holy people You love, we must clothe (ourselves) with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We must make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends (us). We will remember, Lord that You forgave (us), so (we) must forgive others. Above all, we will clothe (ourselves) with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And, we will let the peace that comes from Christ rule in (our) hearts. For as members of one body – the Body of Christ – (we) are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. We declare that we will let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill (our) lives. We will teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom Christ gives. We will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever (we) do or say, we will do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Lord help the Body of Christ to walk in the reality that, in accordance with Galatians 2:20, “our old selves have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us. So, we live in these earthly bodies by trusting in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us.” And, Lord, help us to live Matthew 5:16 and let our lights shine so that people see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven be “Busy Bees, spreading the pollen of Your Holy Word and demonstrating Your love for our neighbors so that more people are saved. We want to have Acts 16:29-31 made real in our lives and have literally do as the jailer (who) fell trembling before Paul and Silas. We want people come up and ask; “Sirs (or Ladies), what must I do to be saved?” And like Paul and Silas, we will reply, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.