Pray for Your Country Like Daniel Prayed for the Israelites

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

During this pandemic, I am writing. Before I write book 2 in the Faces of Abortion Series, I feel compelled to turn the Worship to End Abortion prayer booklet into a book, providing the teachings that explain why we should pray in this way.

Day 17 in the 40 daily prayers is “Pray for Your Country,” in whichever country you live. I’m including my draft of that chapter below because it feels so appropriate that we pray like Daniel right now during the pandemic.

Taken

Screams and yelling were heard as foreign soldiers drove advisors, legislators, and royalty of every age to the leader of the raid, King Nebuchadnezzar. He commanded and the soldiers obeyed. The captives were herded north and then followed the Euphrates river down to Babylon. It was a long walk, perhaps two months’ time.

The Babylonian roads were littered with people. The palace was a marvel to see. A beautiful garden seemed to hang on the tier. Oh, but to rest in that splendor!

The captives were given water while the king barked orders. His words were unfamiliar, but it was clear that he ordered Ashpenaz to choose from among the men—royalty, good-looking young men who showed knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Among those chosen were Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel.

Before the raid, the young men had their whole lives ahead of them. They had studied the scriptures, their history, and how to govern. They were destined to advise the King of Judah and administrate under his leadership. Until the raid, that was King Jehoiakim.

The chosen young men quickly learned the language and literature of their captors. King Nebuchadnezzar sent food and wine from his own table and commanded that after three years, they would serve him.

Eating the king’s food and adding to their scholarly endeavors was better than the exile for most of their fellow Judeans, but they missed their families, the holy city of Jerusalem, and the beauty of Solomon’s temple.

And they were given new names, names that honored the foreign god Bel (Baal). No longer Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah but instead Shadrach, Mesach, and Abednigo. Daniel was renamed Belteshazzar—from “God is my judge” to “Bel’s treasurer.” (Daniel 1:1-7)

The Daniel Diet

Daniel knew that the king’s food was unclean according to the Law of Moses, and he did not want to dishonor God. Daniel approached Ashpenaz, asking permission to eat food that allowed him to keep his promise to God.

“Daniel, you are my favorite, but do not ask this of me. I cannot lose favor with the king. He assigned your food. Why should he see you weaker than others your age. It is my life that I may lose.”

“Please test my friends and me for ten days. Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare us with the young men who eat the king’s food. See how we look. After that, treat us according to what you see.”

The chief official agreed. After 10 days, he was surprised. Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel looked healthier than the men who ate the royal food. So from that time on, they ate vegetables and water to honor God.

God gave the four young men knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and wisdom. To Daniel, He also gave understanding of visions and dreams.

At the end of the three years, Ashpenaz presented all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar, but he was most impressed by Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and Daniel, so he chose them to serve him.

In every matter, the king found the four men to have understanding and wisdom ten times greater than all the Babylonian magicians and astrologers. (Daniel 1:8-20)

Daniel served the king while remaining righteous in the sight of the Lord. He interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and served him well.

After the king died, King Belshazzar ruled for a short time before the Persians conquered the Babylonians.

Daniel’s Righteousness

By this time, Daniel was over 80 years old. King Darius, the Persian, ruled and quickly observed the wisdom of Daniel, making him one of the three top administrators. Because of his extraordinary spirit, Daniel became even more distinguished, so King Darius planned to put him above all, only second to the king himself.

The administrators and those who reported to them were jealous and began looking for evidence that Daniel was corrupt but to no avail. They said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”

They devised a new plan and approached King Darius, saying:

“King Darius, live forever! All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions’ den. Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.” (Daniel 6:6-8 NASB)

Their appeal to the king’s pride succeeded, and King Darius signed the injunction.

Daniel, knowing the document was signed, entered the roof chamber of his house and knelt before the west windows, which were open toward Jerusalem, three times a day, praying and giving thanks before God just as he had done before. He was easily caught. (Daniel 6:1-11)

The administrators and those who reported to them approached the king again.

“Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions’ den?”

The king replied, “The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked.”

Then they answered and spoke before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day.”

Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed.”

Then the king gave orders, and (80+ year old) Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions’ den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you.”

A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel.

Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him.

Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions’ den. When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?”

Then Daniel spoke to the king, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.”

Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions’ den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and men of every language who were living in all the land:

“May your peace abound! I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel.

“For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.”

So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. (Daniel 6:12-28 NASB)

Daniel was over 80 years old when he was put in the lions’ den, yet the Lord sent an angel to shut the lions’ mouths because Daniel was found innocent in God’s eyes. 80 years to sin and confess, sin and confess, and he had nothing left to confess, no one left to forgive—he was innocent.

Identifying with the People

Yet around the same time, Daniel fasted in sackcloth and ashes praying, “We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, rebelled, turned aside from Your ordinances, and have not listened to Your prophets” (Daniel 9:5-6) and “Open shame belongs to us” (Daniel 9:8).

Daniel was clearly a righteous man, so innocent that not one scratch from a lion was found on him (Daniel 6:23), yet he did not pray saying “the people have sinned” nor “open shame belong to them.”

Instead, he identified himself with his people as he confessed their sins and petitioned the Lord to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, not for any merits of his or the people’s but because of God’s great compassion (Daniel 9:18).

Let us be like Daniel: innocent yet identifying with our country full of people who have sinned.

Suggested Prayer

The following prayer is from Daniel 9:4-19 but adapted to today’s abortion pandemic.

Lord, You are my great and awesome God. You keep Your covenant of love with those who love You and choose Your ways.

Lord, we have sinned and done wrong.
We have been wicked and have rebelled;
we have turned away from Your ways.
We have not listened to You or those who speak in Your name.

Lord, You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame—the people of our country and Christians both near and far in all the countries where you have scattered us. We, our political leaders, and our ancestors are covered with shame, Lord, because we have sinned against you through extra-marital sex, unfair treatment of those caught in adultery, and abortion.

Lord our God, You are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against You. We have not obeyed You or kept Your ways of purity before, during, and after marriage between one man and one woman “until death do us part.” We have turned away, refusing to choose You.

Therefore, the consequences have poured out on us because we have sinned against You. Consequences have come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth. You are righteous in everything You do, yet we have not obeyed You.

Lord our God, who broke us free with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned. We have done wrong.

Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from us. Our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors have made Christians an object of scorn to all those around us.

Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servants. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate people. Give ear, our God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of our country. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.

Lord, listen!
Lord, forgive!
Lord, hear and act!
For Your sake, my God, do not delay, because your people bear Your Name.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Pray Now—No Joke!

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

Let us all pray—right now—that love casts out fear throughout the world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (1 John 4:18 NASB).

Here is a sample prayer:

prayer

In Christ,

Cheryl

 

Pray that Love Casts Out Fear

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

Wednesday at 12 noon in whatever time zone you’re in, pray that God’s perfect love casts out fear throughout the world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. (‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NASB‬‬)

Put it on your calendar right now!
Wednesday, 12 noon

Here’s a sample prayer:

Lord, maker of heaven and earth, open our hearts to trusting Your love, which casts out fear (1 John 4:18). Christ was sent by You for the whole world (John 3:16). Remind the whole world throughout every day to social distance out of love, not out of fear. Show us how to reduce our fear in practical ways, starting with me. Lord, thank You for giving us peace because we worship the Prince of Peace. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

In Christ,

Cheryl

Peace in the Pandemic, part 3: Worship-Based Prayer

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

You can have peace in the pandemic! Here’s how…

 

What time is coffee?

In Christ,

Cheryl

4 pm EDT Peace that Passes Understanding

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

I’m praying for you as you find your new normal.

It’s easy to say that we shouldn’t worry. We know the Bible tells us not to worry. But how do we actually make those anxious feelings go away?

At 4 pm Eastern Time today, I’ll be on Facebook Live on the MybodyMyworship page to answer that question. I’ll be there daily.

If you are on Facebook, join me live. If not, standby until I download those videos and post them where you can find them on your own schedule.

In Christ,

47 Years of Legally Murdering Our Firstborn

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Today, January 22, 2020, is the 47th anniversary of Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton.

This is how I feel…

We must pray and worship for the end of abortion. We win this spiritual battle through Christ!

Join me in prayer.

Worship to End Abortion: 40 Daily Prayers

Available exclusively on Amazon

In Christ,

Cheryl

Pray Righteously

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Sometimes, we are in difficult situations, trying to love others while disagreeing wholeheartedly.

You may have this situation in online discussions over abortion.

You may have this situation in your home, disagreeing with your spouse over how to raise your children.

So what is the first thing you do?

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16b)

Yes, we need to pray. But before we ask God to give us a hand, we need to pursue a righteous relationship with Him.

Righteousness is not something to strive for. Righteousness is something to surrender to.

Surrender—now there’s a word people don’t like! No one wants to surrender because that means they lose the battle.

But why would you want to be in battle with God?

  • He reverently and wonderfully knit you together in your mother’s womb because He loves you (Ps 139:13-14).
  • He has a plan and a purpose for your life, which is designed for you to enjoy  (Jer 29:11-12).
  • He wants to give you everything to finish your race well (Heb 13:20-21).
  • He works everything together for your good (Rom 8:28).

So, the first step to getting everyone moving in the same direction is to start with ourselves.

That’s what I had to do.

Many years ago, I wanted my husband to change. We were in disagreement about just about everything. I didn’t like his attitude. We didn’t enjoy spending time together.

I thought the only way God was going to change my husband was if I fasted while praying for him. I was certain that God would listen to me then.

But just hours into the fast, someone at church said, “Often we are focused on our husbands when we should be focused on ourselves.”

As my teenager would say—that felt targeted. There was a big bullseye on my heart, and that statement hit right in the center.

I had to work on me, so I filled myself with the Holy Spirit through Bible study, through giving up my self-righteousness, and through prayer for myself.

That same someone at church taught me that I can ask for more of the Holy Spirit, as Luke 11:13 tells us.

Verse 13 is at the end of the “ask, seek, knock” teaching by Jesus, but we usually read the story in the book of Matthew.

In Luke’s telling, Jesus ends his parable by saying:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

As believers, we have the Holy Spirit—but if you’re living life as a grumpy Christian, then certainly you know that you could use more of the Spirit.

When we have more of the Spirit, we have more fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Do you feel
⇒ loving
⇒ joyful
⇒ at peace (that means not worrying!)
⇒ patient (even when your food order doesn’t arrive right away!)
⇒ kind (even to your barista!)
⇒ good
⇒ faithful (never substituting lattes for God!)
⇒ gentle (always saying things God’s way!)
⇒ self-controlled (even around chips, chocolate, and chai lattes!)
24×7 ?

Yeah, I didn’t think so. Now would be a good time to ask God for more of the Holy Spirit, don’t you think?

This is just one thing that we’re learning and praying for in the MybodyMyworship Group on Facebook as we worship to end abortion. Will you join us?

In Christ,

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Pray for Post-Abortive Women & Men

Dear Christian Sisters & Brothers,

This Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. I praise the pastors who are brave enough to address abortion from the pulpit, and I’m looking forward to hearing all the recordings of what they say!

Will Everyone Show Up?

But most post-abortive women won’t be there.

Women who have not yet healed from their abortions may avoid church on Sunday.

Many post-abortive women won’t go to church at all because they don’t think they are worthy of God’s love.

Many post-abortive women in and out of The Church think abortion is the unforgivable sin.

We need to pray for these women!

Post-Abortive Men, Too

…and for the men who pressured, supported, or coerced women to have abortions.

Often, men don’t realize that their souls are suffering because of their role in abortion, so let’s pray that sermons preached this Sunday open their hearts to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Let’s Pray & Worship for the End of Abortion

Worship to End Abortion: 40 Daily Prayers
This 30-page booklet will guide you through prayer and worship to end abortion. An Amazon exclusive.

Let’s pray that post-abortive women everywhere trust the agape love of the Lord to forgive them of all of their sins so that they can live close to the Lord in complete righteousness for the rest of their days here on earth (e.g., no more abortions or extramarital sex) as well as for eternity.

Friends, there are not enough people from this generation going to heaven!

We need to do our part in praying and worshiping for:

  • the end of abortion
  • complete healing for all post-abortive women and men (even the angry ones)
  • our churches to be welcoming to the millions of women and men who have been hurt by abortion

That’s what the Great Commission looks like!

Note to Post-Abortive Women & Men

If you have had an abortion, be kind to yourself as you follow God’s leading to complete healing.

Healing is a process. Participating in a post-abortion healing class is part of the process.

Contact your local pregnancy resource center to get enrolled. This time of year, they get a lot of calls, so they are likely starting a new class soon. Don’t hesitate. You’re worth it!

If you’d like to know my healing story, read ReTested: The Story of a Post-Abortive Woman Called to Change the Conversation.

In Christ,

Cheryl

Follow MybodyMyworship for Sex Re-Education

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

MybodyMyworship—positive, empowering, pro-life sex re-education for teens, young adults, and not-so-young adults—is heating up with its first sex education course this fall!

To get a glimpse of the course, follow MybodyMyworship on Facebook and Instagram!body

Just this past week, I provided some biblical insight into the word love and how it influence us today on Facebook Live, which you can watch even if you are not on Facebook.

Why sex re-education? Because we can’t talk about abortion without talking about sex.

Looking forward to seeing you on social media!

In Christ,

Cheryl

 

Reset this Holy Week

Dear Christian Sisters and Brothers,

Holy Week is a great time to reset with prayer and Bible study. If you’re looking for something different, ReTested offers over 100 Bible verses, countless prayers, and worship music, too.

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In Christ,

Cheryl