Tuesday, January 9, 2007

To: Friends

From: Carol Bauer

As you know, my wife, Carol, prepares a prayer alert about once a month. We hope you will share Carol’s writing with your friends and fellow worshippers. Thank you for taking an interest in her devotion. – Gary

Capital Prayer Alert

The winds of change are blowing in Washington. The new year brings with it the Democrat Party takeover of the reins of leadership in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. President Bush’s constitutional role of commander in chief in a time of war will be challenged by a Congress eager to make its mark as a lead-up to the next presidential election cycle. There are many Democrat presidential hopefuls—some now holding leadership positions in the Senate—who are seeking to distinguish themselves from others in the pack. There will be the lure of expounding the most clever, hard-hitting sound bite so as to assure an appearance on the nightly news.

But, the cloak of congressional leadership must come with the realization that the world and our enemies are watching for signs of division in foreign and defense policy that they can exploit. With the right to lead the Congress comes the responsibility to do more than just critique the status quo. The U.S. cannot afford to appear divided and leaderless at a time when Islamofascists are making inroads in the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Please pray for all those in leadership positions in the Congress. Ask God to impart to them a keen sense of the responsibilities and duties resting upon their shoulders for current citizens and generations to come. May they temper words that undercut the U.S. as leader of the free world, and may they weigh words that highlight internal divisions to allies and foes. Pray that each may be sensitive to the critical juncture of history at which we find ourselves.

Tomorrow night, the president will address the nation in order to lay out “the way forward” for our country in Iraq. Numerous leadership changes are part of the package. A fresh look at the current situation on the ground, and ways to measure the success of the mission, are also part of the review. The speech will be delivered amidst increasing impatience among the American people.

Pray that President Bush will make wise decisions as he fleshes out the details of our foreign policy in this volatile part of the world. Ask God to grant him the ability to express the threat we face today, tomorrow and in the decades to come in terms that will resonate with the American people. Ask our Heavenly Father to walk alongside President Bush as he lays out the stark, scary realities of the enemy we face -- an enemy in no uniform, with no respect for innocent life. Prepare him and strengthen him for the criticism that is sure to come. May his tone be measured and decisive and the context of the speech be laced with the consequences of pulling back. Ask God to impart to an impatient nation a new understanding of the threat we face and a desire to meet the challenge now when it is more manageable than it would be years from now.

Finally, as newly elected members of Congress settle into life in the nation’s capital, ask God to protect their families as they adjust to difficult schedules, new schools and the absence of dear friends and relatives. May our Heavenly Father protect marriages, undergird parent-child relationships and remind our elected officials that they are part of the glorious American experiment in freedom, and that to whom much has been given, much is asked.

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