National Prayer Points
"We're better than that. Our country's better than that," Pence concluded. "I'd like to be light about it, but I really can't. Not for my sake, but for the tens of millions of Americans who cherish their faith, I can't be silent."
1. Decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop
"The justices heard oral arguments in Jack Phillips’ right-of-conscience case on December 5. The day after oral arguments, the justices met in their closed session, voted on the case, and assigned an author to write a majority decision. We don’t know how the justices voted or who is writing the majority decision. The justices will announce their decision sometime before the end of the term in late June. This will be one of the most-watched cases of the term.
2. Will the Supreme Court grant review in the Rowan County legislative prayer case?
The county board of Rowan County, North Carolina varied the practice of prayer by rotating through the members of the board. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged this practice, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit initially upheld the practice, but on further review agreed with the ACLU that the practice violated the Establishment Clause. All 15 judges on the Fourth Circuit heard the case and ruled against it 10-5.
But in a second case, the federal appeals court for Michigan, the Sixth Circuit, also heard a case raising the same issue and upheld the practice of county board members praying to open a meeting, by a 9-6 vote last September. Although only two federal appeals courts have heard this issue about prayer by the members of a county board since Town of Greece was decided, it is extremely rare for two full courts sitting en banc to rule opposite ways on the same legal issue, and by nearly identical votes.
If the Court grants review, oral arguments will likely be in April, with a decision in late June.
First Liberty created a cumulative compilation of recent documented instances of hostility toward free religious exercise. It is often cited by lawmakers, educators, opinion leaders, and the media.
International Prayer Points
"One of the most controversial provisions is the right to freedom of religion or belief in Section 26 of the Constitution. Extra scrutiny is urgently required as the provision has given rise to subsequent criminal law amendments to enforce the constitutional protection (or lack thereof) of the right to freedom of religion or belief."
State Prayer Points
Religious Liberty Legislation
Continue praying consistently and fervently for the successful passage of legislation that effectively protects our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty. Also, pray that bills and resolutions that undermine our First Amendment Rights will be unsuccessful.
The CPCF legal team has researched best practices legislation and provided talking points on various religious freedom topics to assist legislators. Download their Report here.
From FFRF site: FFRF was recently informed in a letter from Barrett that the Christian posters had been removed...
Last fall, it was brought to FFRF’s attention that Searcy High School’s choral director had placed several Christian-themed posters on the walls of the high school chorus room. Most contained bible verses, including: Ephesians 5:19 (“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord”); Colossians 3:14 (“Love binds us together in perfect harmony”); and Psalms 42:1 (“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God”). Another poster displayed lyrics from the gospel song “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” (“Precious Lord take my hand, lead me on, let me stand”).
"The Redemption Community Church has filed a case against a zoning regulation which forbids them from holding any kind of worship services at Ragamuffins Coffee House . The latter is owned by the church. The city of Laurel has forbidden them to do any kind of activity unless they file an application for a specific waiver. The church is loath to do so as it believes that the process is not only an expensive one but uncertain too."
"Members of an Ohio community are fighting back after a Wisconsin-based anti-religion group tried to pressure a high school to ban its long-held tradition of praying before sporting events."
From FFRF Site: "A... citizen recently contacted FFRF about a religious mural in the Findlay Municipal Court building. This mural features a large eagle accompanied by a biblical verse. The verse from Psalms 91 reads: 'Under His Wings Shall You Find Refuge.'"
From FFRF Site: "The Freedom From Religion Foundation is warning an Oklahoma City high school against its... use of a chaplain for its football team. A local resident reported to FFRF that Putnam City High School has designated the Rev. Mike Keahbone as team chaplain of its football team."
From FFRF Site: "The Freedom From Religion Foundation is thrilled that a Texas school district has moved its graduation ceremony to a secular venue...In 2016, FFRF raised concerns over McKinney Independent School District’s graduation that has traditionally been hosted at Prestonwood Baptist Church. The commencement ceremony for the district’s three high schools took place in the church sanctuary, which is decorated with traditional Baptist symbols including Latin crosses."
National Prayer Opportunities
Congressional Prayer: Each week Congress is in session, members of Congressional Prayer Caucus meet before votes to pray in Room 219 of the U.S. Capitol. There are nearly 100 Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, an official bipartisan and bicameral caucus of the U.S. Congress. Please commit to praying daily for them, their families, and staff.
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Tim. 2, Psalm 91
Include: Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, Military, Faith Leaders, First Responders, Etc.
PrayUSA - Government Leaders Calling The Nation to Prayer
In 2015, government leaders spearheaded an effort to call America back to God and prayer. Be part of the Movement — If you are a government leader, church or organization, you can add your name to the list of leaders who are committed to this Call to Prayer for America. Churches and Organizations can contact CPCF to be added to the list. Government Leaders will be automatically added when you sign the Proclamation (document or online). Sign the Proclamation or host a PrayUSA Sunday.
Email me to join the CPCF Prayer Team! Commit to praying for the Members and families of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, The American Prayer Caucus Network, and the CPCFoundation.
Prayer for Anti-Faith Groups
For more information about this prayer initiative, contact Summer Ingram, National Director of Prayer and Mobilization for the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation.