National Prayer Connection
Prayer Leader: Floyd Leblanc
July 8, 2020
The Holy Spirit has been illuminating news items for me and using
those items to fuel my prayers. Tonight, on the NPC – we are
going to lift up those topics before the Lord. A few big issues have
dominated the news – the pandemic is still huge; The Black Lives
Matters movement and systemic racism have also been front and
The Lord gave me three key attributes for our prayer time tonight
that will play a key role in navigating the challenges we face; 1)
Learning Matters; 2) Leadership Matters; and 3) Love Matters
In Hosea 4:6, scripture says – “My people are destroyed for
lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I
also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you
have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your
Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute
of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he would not be surprised
to see the number of new infections more than double, from over
40,000 per day last week to surge) to more than 100,000 a day.
Fauci said under questioning from Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Today,
the U.S. is reporting more than 60,000 new cases per day.
Dr. Fauci went on to say that half of all new cases are being
recorded in just four states – California, Texas, Arizona and
Florida. Three of these — Arizona, Texas and Florida — moved
quickly to reopen their economies but have since begun closing
bars and beaches. Now, there is an active debate about
re-opening schools. We know that parents are exhausted by both
working from home and teaching their children but the decision to
re-open schools should be driven by safety, not by other factors.
Let us pray – Faithful Father, we continue to beseech You to
pour out Your wisdom on the scientists, doctors and researchers
working to find a cure for COVD-19. Bless their efforts to partner
with You to heal people already infected. Father, we pray also for
a vaccine so that we develop immunity and the ability to fight off
this virus and recover. Lord, until the cure and the vaccine are
developed, we pray that You will help U.S. Citizens to stop
rejecting knowledge, as Your Word confirms that we are
destroyed for lack of knowledge. Help are younger citizens not to
yield to our adversary as he tells them that COVID-19 will not
harm them. Their reckless activity is fueling the spread of the
virus. Help them to “pump their brakes” by following the
admonition scripture provides in James 4:7 to submit to You and
resist the devil, and he will flee from them. Help them to stop
walking in rebellion and follow wise counsel. Help them
understand that they are endangering their health and the lives
and health of friends, family members and strangers.
Father, touch President Trump’s heart to humble himself before You and learn from all of the evidence around Him. In recent weeks, we have read the reports of White House staff, including presidential valets and Secret Service agents have contracted COVID-19. We’ve even read that Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend has tested positive. Yet, some Americans continue to believe that the pandemic is under control, while people are contracting the disease at a high rate. More than 3 million U.S. citizens have now been infected with this virus and 32 states are reporting an increased in the number of infections. While Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. passed 100,000 in June – the death toll is now projected to move past 200,00 by September. Despite these staggering figures, the President of the United States has continued to refuse to wear a mask. He has continued to hold rallies and not require that participants wear masks. Touch our President’s heart to wear his mask to protect himself and those around him and to model the necessary safety precautions that needs to be taken. Lord, in Deuteronomy 30:19, You put before us life and death, blessings and curses and You urged that we choose life.
Holy Spirit, we pray that You will comfort those who mourn the passing of loved ones. We look beyond the Hills to where our help comes from. We look to You the God Who created the heavens and the earth (Psalm 121: 1-2). So, Lord, we pray that You will send Your wisdom for a cure and a vaccine.
The research is clear – masks, slows transmittal of the virus and social distancing works. Learning matters. While the number of case and deaths continue to drop in other countries, the death and devastation rises here. Let’s pray that – our Young people, take it seriously – Masks are effective and practice social distancing. Let’s pray that our Young people choose life and blessing and not death and curses.
Let’s pray that U.S. citizens will embrace the truth. The truth is the truth. In John Chapter 8 (31-58), Holy Father, Your word says that Your children would no the truth and the truth will set us free. So, as the B.O.C., let’s pray that God’s people choose the truth and choose life.
Finally, let’s pray that our leaders consult with the Lord God Almighty – for His direction – as they Leaders make decisions on re-opening the economy and re-opening schools.
Father, Stir the Body of Christ to stand for Your justice and righteousness as the U.S. continues to wrestle to clear the stain of racism and oppression in the soul of this country.
We thank You for the stand taken by White Bishop Scott Volland, formerly of the Heights Church in Mississippi, where on June 18, the church board voted to remove him as pastor because they did not agree with his views that “Black Lives Matter” or his support for the removal of Confederate monuments. As reported by a news outlet, the church board did not want him sharing his views on racial issues publicly, or being involved in marches, or peaceful protests of governmental meetings. He started a new church called the Bridge and noted that everyone is welcome.
Bishop Volland was quoted in the article as saying, “It amazes me how many of the people that claim that ‘slavery ended 150 years ago’, and that ‘black folks just need to leave it in the past or just get over it,’ will also fight tooth and nail to keep statues or (unofficial) flags from the same period, claiming that ‘they are our heritage,’ and that ‘you can’t ignore or forget about history,'” he said. “You can’t have it both ways…that’s called hypocrisy.”
A few days later, the Mississippi legislature voted to remove the last state flag in the nation to prominently feature the Confederate battle emblem. Then last week, on July 1, 2020 that flag – the last state flag in the nation with the Confederate battle emblem – was removed and retired to a museum. In November, Mississippi voters will choose a new flag.
‘Leadership Matters.’ Was the conclusion of a researcher who Says Rate of Fatal Police Shootings Is Lower in Cities With Black Police Chiefs.
The study looks at five years of police-involved shootings in the nation’s 60 biggest cities.
Melissa Chan in Time magazine reports that – A police chief’s race may significantly impact how often officers fatally shoot people, a new analysis says. In cities with Black police commanders, the per-capita rate of fatal shootings by police officers is about 70% lower than in cities with white police leaders, according to Stephen Wu, the study’s author, who analyzed data from the 60 largest U.S cities between 2015 and the first half of 2020. The rate of deadly shootings is also lower in Latino-led police forces, he says.
“A lot of people will talk about training and the racial makeup of officers,” says Wu, 47, an economics professor in New York’s Hamilton College, who has written extensively on how economic and social factors affect human behavior and well-being. “It’s not just about the overall police force. Leadership matters.”
Wu’s study found that out of the top 20 cities with the highest rates of fatal police shootings—including Las Vegas, Kansas City and Albuquerque—16 are led by white police leaders. But 14 out of the 20 cities with the lowest rates are led by Black leaders.
Lexington, Ky., led by a Black police chief, had the lowest per-capita rate of fatal police shootings: zero in the last five years. Las Vegas, led by the elected sheriff of Clark County, who is white, had the highest.
Let’s pray – Heavenly Father, You created human beings in Your own image, male and female (Gen. 1: 26-28). And, Lord Jesus, in Matthew 22:36-40, You instructed that the most important commandment is that we love the Lord, our God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength. A second commandment is equally important: that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Despite Your commands, a segment of the U.S. population has vigorously held onto positions of power and privilege through systemic racism. The historically majority White population in America has created and selectively enforced laws to oppress Black people and other people of color. Our government and judicial systems have also routinely supported the use of excessive force by police, especially against Black people, in “protecting” the privileged. The current gap in policing practices is so wide that while members of the White population feel comfort and security when they see police, Black citizens often experience fear and dread. We recognize that this will not be changed by power, nor by might, but by Your Spirt, O’ God. (Zechariah 4:6)
Let’s pray that more leaders in the Body of Christ – Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow – will stand for God’s justice and righteousness the way Bishop Scott Volland did in Mississippi. Let’s pray that people we will increase diverse leadership in policing, in all sectors and levels of government, in business, medicine and every sphere of influence because we recognize that Leadership Matters. Lord we pray more leaders who are called by Your name…
In Romans 12: 9-21, God’s Word says “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. 19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. 20 Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” 21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Jesus said the world would know His Disciples by the love we show one another. In John 13:34-35, the Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to “Love each other just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”
During the pandemic, Asian Americans or people who look like they may have Asian heritage are being physically attacked and verbally abused. Though parents consistently urge young Asian Americans not to engage in the protests for justice, in a Time magazine article dated June 25, 2020, Abraham Choi was quoted, “I will not stand silent until everyone in the U.S. can be considered equal.
Let us pray – Righteous Father, we are mindful that in Galatians 3:28, Your Word states that “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For all are one in Christ Jesus.” Holy Spirit, we pray that you will Cleanse the people of the United States from the sin of racism, so we can show sincere love to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Holy Spirit, we also ask that You stir leaders in the Body of Christ so that Your church takes on a prominent role in promoting changes that elevate justice and righteousness for all citizens in this country. Help our national and local governmental, business and pastoral leaders not to be wise in their own eyes, but to seek Your wisdom and allow You to direct their paths as they create sweeping reforms that will dismantle systemic racism and police brutality. Holy Spirit, we thank You for the police who protect our communities every day. Please keep them safe and identify those few officers who cause harm to our communities, especially the African-American community and communities of color. Protect Black Lives Matter protestors who are risking their health during the pandemic for the cause of justice and righteousness for Black people and all who are oppressed. Father, we pray that You will spur the Body of Christ to lead in demonstrating Your love, as our nation works to identify and replace racism and oppression with Your justice and righteousness.
Forgiveness – Father, we understand that if we refuse to forgive others, You will not forgive our sins. In Luke 6:37, Your word says, “Do not judge others and we will not be judged. Do not condemn others or it will come back against us. Forgive others and we will be forgiven.” So, Lord, we pray that You will help Black and White citizens to forgive one another for past and current sins. As Pastor Suzette led us last, week, Father we pray that believers across the U.S. will embrace the ministry of reconciliation. Holy Father, forgive our nation for showing partiality in the administration of our laws. Forgive our citizens for taking our constitutional freedoms for granted. Forgive our governmental leaders for abusing and misusing the laws of this land to suit their own personal interests, agendas and needs. Forgive our leaders and citizen for embracing partisan politics above Your Holy Word. Forgive us, as a nation, for not always acknowledging You and Your righteousness. Forgive us for not respecting those whom You have placed in authority to lead our nation. Forgive our nation’s leaders for their sins. Forgive those who do not consult with You about governing our country. Forgive the Body of Christ for treating Your Word as if parts of it are optional, that we can pick and choose which scriptures apply to us.
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