What happens in the halls of national government – for better or for worse – can dictate the future course of America. Along with your fellow Prayer Team members, you are to be constantly and fervently interceding for all the men and women who serve in Congress, for your military leaders in the Pentagon, and for the President of the United States, his cabinet and administration.
“Inside Washington” will equip you to do just that … with reports on the nation’s leaders and the decisions they’re considering … or have already made. We’ll examine the implications for the nation, and call you to specific prayer for those needs.
Taking the High Road
Turning Scandals into Godly Opportunities
By Holly Meade Rupert
Scandals. One of the latest involves the Internal Revenue Service, the agency that, in the past, has promoted fear among Americans. Now the IRS admits to scrutinizing conservative organizations seeking tax-exempt status in 2012.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the action was not politically motivated and the Obama administration wasn’t aware of the issue until recently. Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, blamed “low-level” employees for selecting groups with the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names for additional reviews. Lerner admitted the IRS “made some mistakes,” and apologized for targeting the Tea Party groups.
IRS commissioner Steve Miller, who recently submitted his resignation said, “I think that what happened here was that foolish mistakes were made by people who were trying to be efficient in their work.”Allegations that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status date back years and a recently released government report supported those claims. Conservatives are demanding criminal persecutions of IRS officials and accusing the president of a “culture of intimidation.”
“Americans are right to be angry about it and I am angry about it,” President Obama said in a brief statement from the East Room of the White House.
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered in the U.S. This includes public charities, private foundations and other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.
Franklin Graham, who leads Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Dr. James Dobson of Family Talk Action Corporation, have publicly accused the IRS of targeting their organizations. Jay Sekulow, an attorney for the American Center for Law and Justice who represents 27 of the conservative groups, described the IRS’s actions as “unlawful, unconstitutional and illegal.” ACLJ sent the IRS a letter demanding that it immediately grant tax-exempt status to the groups which have been targeted for additional review.
Reminder of Trust
Scandals are an opportunity to acknowledge who is really trustworthy. For the past seven years, only three-in-ten Americans said they trust the government in Washington to do the right thing always or most of the time. And, a more recent survey by the Pew Research Center, finds only 26 percent think they can trust the government always or most of the time while 73 percent say they can trust government only some of the time.
Psalm 118:8 says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” If people do not have their hope in Christ, then it can be easy to place their faith in the government. However, instead of condemning those who see the government as the answer to their problems, it’s critical to lead them to experience the greater Hope—the One that will never abandon or deceive.
Pray that the nation’s leaders will experience a great awakening in their hearts and lives. Intercede on their behalf so that they will focus their trust on God and live according to Psalm 121:1-2, “I lift up my eyes to the hills from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
Reminder of Freedom
Scandals also are an opportunity to acknowledge true freedom. Decisions that endanger priceless freedoms are increasing on Capitol Hill. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 53 percent of Americans think the federal government threatens their own rights and freedoms; 31 percent say it’s a major threat, while 22 percent say it’s a minor threat.
Instead of living in fear, however, this is an occasion for action. Without discounting the men and women who sacrifice their lives daily for liberty, it’s important not to lose sight of Jesus Christ – the Author of freedom. Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.” He purchased your freedom with His blood and no one can take that away.
Pray that those Christians serving in government at all levels would be positive, godly representatives to other leaders and help lead them to true freedom in Christ. That is really the answer to any scandal…on Capitol Hill or anywhere else.
Holly Meade Rupert is a communications specialist/writer/speaker/teacher with a master’s degree in mass communication. She has extensive experience in creating content and producing for radio, television and the Internet.
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