I want to encourage all of you who pray for governance in Saskatchewan. God is hearing our prayers. He is looking for those who will stand in the place He has assigned to them. He will do the rest. In Acts 24:2 it was said to Felix, the Governor: "Now we have gained much peace through you and through your foresight, reforms have come upon this nation."
This is a wonderful way to pray for government as prayer prepares the way for reform. Our elected officials can do what God has asked them to do if those who know the heart of the Lord pray for them. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
One of the ways we prepare ourselves to pray for government is to examine our hearts for any "us and them" attitudes as we stand in this gap in the wall of righteousness around Saskatchewan. We want only the Father's heart.
This summer we are asking you to stay engaged in praying for government because many decisions will be made over the next months:
â€˘ Government is considering updating the Information Technology side of Healthcare and are looking at proposals that would have long term effects on healthcare delivery. Please pray for wisdom and God's favor on those presenting plans that His plans will be chosen.
â€˘ Some MLAs have constituency nomination processes to complete. Pray that men and women of integrity being nominated in each riding will be chosen.
â€˘ Caucus committee is being presented with many issues from petitioners including SK Parental Consent and they are deciding how they will respond to these issues.
Many of you have signed petitions for Sk Parental Consent requesting legislation. We have been pleased with the mobilization of the faith community to be a voice in strengthening families by requesting legislation that would require parental consent for minors who are pregnant. At our home last Saturday, Michael Schouten (We Need a Law) shared that 5,000 petitions have been signed.
On Monday CJME News Talk 980 reported:
"Mike Schouten, spokesperson for the Parental Consent Initiative of Saskatchewan, said that not requiring minors to have parental consent can put them in danger.â€¨ â€¨"It's ultimately about protecting vulnerable teenage girls, because if there are no parental consent laws they are susceptible to being taken advantage of.â€¨ â€¨"Schouten said approximately 2,400 abortions take place each year in Saskatchewan, with about 100,000 taking place nationwide. He said minors require consent to tan and get a tattoo, so he cannot understand why an abortion would be different."
Please continue to pray:
â€˘ for Government to view parental consent from a perspective of strengthening families and protecting girls at risk instead of the familiar 'health' perspective.
â€˘ for those collecting petitions and meeting their MLAs to continue and not ease off over the summer. We're only a few months into this process and need to keep a sustained pressure and presence. If taking petitions to your MLA please make copies and mail to SHOP, Box 37037, Regina, Sk. S4S 7K3 If you prefer us to take them in, just send them to us.
â€˘ Continue to email letters to your MLA. Check the blog
There are many serious events taking place in our province, our nation and the nations. They have very serious implications for the future. Decisions are being made now by governments that will rapidly change the complexion of life as we know it. These are days in which we need to know the word of the Lord for ourselves. We will be unable to respond properly unless we know His voice and how to access His Presence.
I will end with an encouragement for this summer out 1 Thessalonians 5.6, " so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober."
I just love living in Saskatchewan. There are so many amazing demonstrations of Almighty God all year long. There is nothing feeble about the changing of the seasons here. Each one ends and begins with a massive new colorful scene painted on the seasonal canvas, body shocking temperature changes and a memory provoked of past seasons. This is exactly the place where our Lord wants us to be as He is bringing in the next Kingdom season. Can you see that we His people and all creation are in a major seasonal shift?
I want to begin this letter by thanking our King for His goodness. This April when the snow lay heavy on the land and heavy spring flooding and a late crop planting were on everyone's lips I heard a contrary sound from several prophetic voices in Saskatchewan. These voices were speaking of restricted flooding and a bumper crop. His mercies and blessing would come to a land where His people would humble themselves and turn into the only One Who could intervene.
We all can read the reports and see that we have been blessed out of His goodness. Today the crop is about 90% harvested with the remaining 10% ready for combining. The bins are filled to record capacity with less land being seeded than in previous years. Who intervened in April and May and caused this to happen?
Millions of barrels of oil are being pumped from the ground in the south. New deposits of resources are being developed all around the province. Saskatoon and Regina are leading the nation in economic development according to a recent article in the Leader-Post. I speak of these things to brag up the One I love and to declare that He is fulfilling the word which He spoke through His prophets. In 2004 Cindy Jacobs prophesied over this province joining her prophetic sound with others. She spoke of the season we are now in the midst of. In fact everything she prophesied has come to pass with the exception of the yet to come eternal harvest before His coming for His Bride
In 1 Samuel 7 we read of the return of the Ark of the Covenant which was the Presence of the God of Israel after 7 months of residence with the Philistines. Israel mourned at the Ark's return because they remembered the slaughter of their men when it was captured. They did not celebrate the return of the Presence to their land. The Ark remained unwelcomed in the farm house of Abinadab for 20 years while Israel mourned and they sanctified his son Elazar to keep the Ark of the Lord. Just one man when in contrast many hundreds of Levites would take care of the Ark of the Lord in both the Tabernacle and the Temple. What a feeble welcome for the return of the Presence of Almighty God to the land.
Samuel, Israel's prophet, then called the people to put away all their strange gods such as the sexual ones like Ashtarot, and to prepare their hearts for the Lord to return to Him and serve Him only. Samuel said that God would deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines who were still oppressing them. The Living One did just that as the people on a heart-level turned into their Deliverer. In the place where the Great I AM supernaturally delivered them Samuel erected a memorial stone and called it, Even Ezer, which means a cut foundation stone and a name of Y'shua also found in Isaiah 28.16. (One New Man Bible)
"Therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes (trusts in, relies on, and adheres to the Stone) will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away [in sudden panic]. AMP Isaiah 28.16
In the seven months that the Ark of the Covenant was held by the Philistines the Lord brought havoc on them. Their god fell over and broke in pieces, they suffered with deadly piles, and mice plagued the land. The return of the Ark of His Presence was accompanied with huge costly guilt offerings to the Lord. There is a contrast with Israel and their welcome of the Ark of His Presence for it is said that they mourned unable in their grief to welcome the Lord's return.
How great is the desire of King Jesus to be with His people. This will be a people who yearn for His continual abiding Presence; a people who have removed all adoration and yearning for all things apart from Him; a people who anticipate that His Presence indwelling individually and corporately will bring Kingdom transformation.
In the 20 years that the Ark of the Presence remained in Abinadab's house, Israel attempted to overcome their enemies. They inquired of the Lord for battle strategies but never sought His Presence and worshiped Him. They never had enduring success. It is a poignant illustration that if the people of God do not seek His Presence and worship Him and give Him the utmost position of honor there will be no enduring victory.
On October 23, we will hear a new Throne Speech presented by the representative of the monarch which will expound on the posture of the Saskatchewan government for the next legislative session. My cry before the Lord is that the counsel of our King would be proclaimed over this province by His representatives, His people. Jeremiah states that if the prophets had stood in His Presence and heard the counsel of God and proclaimed it over the people and the land then the people would have turned away from their evil ways and evil activities. (Jeremiah 23.22)
The responsibility for the future direction of this province rests not on our civil government but on the people of God. Blessing and prosperity are released when we His children welcome His Presence and serve Him alone. It is up to us to stand in the presence of God, "and to perceive and hear His word." Let us make this our passion.
This spring session of our legislature passed by very quickly as each month was full of gatherings to pray, to have coffee and interact with those who serve in government. There have been a number of answers to our prayers that have encouraged me that I want to make known to all of you who pray for government. We were also encouraged by a team from the Langbank area that came to join us at the legislature to pray for a day. In all it was a lively and fulfilling session.
Prayer for all levels of governance in Saskatchewan has been focused always on seeing our Father's Kingdom established here on earth. Sometimes the translations we are familiar with do not express the urgency and intensity of the original texts. Jesus, when teaching His disciples how to pray instructed them, "Our Father, Who is in the heavens: Your Name must at once be made holy: Your Kingdom must now come: Your will must be done right now, as in heaven also on earth." Matthew 6.9,10 (One New Man Bible) This translation in the original tenses removes any passivity or ambiguity in the intent of this prayer. Coupled with other statements that Jesus made early in His ministry such as, "You must continuously repent for the Kingdom of the Heavens has come near." Matthew 4.17 we see that the focal point of Jesus' ministry was the manifestation of His Kingdom on the earth.
In March near the beginning of the session the NDP chose Cam Broten as leader so that Saskatchewan now has both party leaders who confess Jesus Christ as Savior. Our Premier continues to be blessed with the highest public approval rating of any premier in Canada at 64%. In April, the Lieutenant Governor General's annual prayer breakfast honored the Lord Jesus in an exceptional way. Also in April, Christian Embassy/Leaders Impact organized a prayer breakfast that focused on business and government leaders in the province. Chuck Strahl former federal cabinet minister spoke a moving message on the importance of leaders being motivated by the love of God (1 Corinthians 13) in all they do if it is to have a lasting impact.
Steve Berg national leader of Christian Embassy repeatedly encouraged us that we have something very unique in Saskatchewan. He stated that a small but committed group of people from around the province who have responded to the call or invitation by Holy Spirit to pray in a Gate with a provincial perspective is unique in the nation.
A Wednesday noon legislative prayer meeting facilitated by MLA's began which has been well attended with some amazing conversations and prayer. This prayer meeting was birthed out of 3 years of intercession. The contentiousness during Question Period of the past is mostly non-existent. The Lord is doing many other things that we cannot see yet or articulate properly and so we are very thankful to Him.
Prayer is powerful and moves things in the spirit and natural realms. We cried out for mercy as the snow melted and we saw little flooding. We prayed as a nation for the BC election and an upset? happened.
Furthermore several weeks ago Rob Parker of the National House of Prayer commended those in SHOP in the Government Gate for their persevering faithfulness in standing in prayer over the last 6 years. He stated that secular humanism is now actively at work on a provincial level throughout the nation influencing changes to legislation and that the "church" is largely unaware. An example of that would be the changes that recently were made to the Liquor Licensing Regulations allowing partial stripping in bars. Cabinet ministers on this issue dismissed the voice of the "church" because it was so feeble. I know this because of their responses communicated to me personally by the minister.
In my conversations with Christian MLA's they repeatedly expressed their frustration at the silence of the "church" in speaking out and supporting them in standing for moral issues. They stated that instead of support, Christians would often criticize them sometimes publically for inaction on moral issues while never engaging in any constructive way themselves. It is as if there is an expectation for elected leaders to represent righteousness in a stance believers are unwilling to support. In a democratic government the people need to speak, they need to make a sound. One MLA with tears in his eyes told me prayer is not enough but 'the church needs to speak'. I have heard this comment enough in just the last 3 months that I know our sound needs amplification.
So thank you to all who have faithfully held our government in Saskatchewan in watchful intercession. Our King has heard your cries. "And the Lord said to him, go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the people WHO SIGH AND WHO CRY OVER THE ABOMINATIONS THAT ARE DONE IN ITS MIDST" Ezekiel 9:4. The Lord is looking for those whose hearts are akin to His, hearts that will be moved by injustice and unrighteousness in this province and cry out to Him for mercy and deliverance and He has marked those as His.
I encourage you as this spring session ends and summer begins not to turn aside but to continue to pray. Enjoy our amazing summer season in Saskatchewan with family and friends but don't forget to pray.
May the Lord reward you for your faithful service to Him.
November 26, 2012
Hon. Donna Harpauer
Dear Honorable Donna Harpauer:
I appreciate the opportunity to have this discourse with you on this issue although I prefer a more personal face to face interaction. Thank you for your diligence in serving the people of Saskatchewan.
This is my second letter to you to speak to an issue related to the stated Liquor regulatory review currently in second reading before the Legislature. In your letter of June 21, 2012 you expressed to me â€śat this time the regulations remain in place and will continue to be enforced.â€ť
I want to begin by expressing my approval of the majority of amendments listed on the government website with the exception of one. I am a retired police officer and the sometimes onerous and cumbersome regulations cried out for some serious revisions to improve their administration and enforcement. This I feel has been adequately addressed by the legislative amendments before the House.
The amendment of Section 63 of the Liquor Control Act concerns me most for the following reasons.
1. I fear that partially opening the door by relaxing the current prohibition on disrobing in licensed premises will only place increased pressure on government to make even more extensive changes in the near future. Legislative amendments declare direction, movement and intention. History clearly re-enforces this time and again. I know those elements with interest in this industry want a much more extensive revision than the one currently proposed and will apply pressure until it is achieved. The expressed goal is an unbroken chain of clubs across Canada utilizing a pool of performers under their control.
2. The real owners behind many of these â€śclubsâ€ť are organized crime. A strip club in Saskatoon which had difficulty remaining viable without alcohol sales was fronted by a business man but completely owned by organized crime. As a police officer I observed numerous assaults, arrests for drug trafficking and prostitution take place on the premises. I also visited during my tenure as a police officer similar clubs owned by the same criminal organization across Canada and observed the same criminal behaviors. The current information I am hearing is that the same organization is behind the lobby to liberalize these regulations. If it has not already been done a brief consultation with some chiefs of police or head of a criminal intelligence unit would provide the government with all the information needed.
3. The economic cost to the province of lost revenues through unreported income through lap-dancing, prostitution and drug trafficking and money laundering that takes place in these businesses would be substantial. Most of the economic benefits would remain not in the province but in possession of criminal elements. Further revisions to legislation would provide a legal business model for criminal elements to function.
4. The issue of human trafficking is real and needs to be a major consideration in these amendments. My experience as police officer in Saskatoon was that many of those women employed in these venues were owned, bought and sold by those owning the clubs. This year the federal immigration minister cancelled the issuing of work permits to off shore sex trade workers because of evidence of human trafficking. Many of these women were to be employed in strip clubs across Canada.
These changes seem innocuous and liberating now but I do not want to see Saskatchewan experience what other provinces suffer with what appear to be more liberal laws. The huge costs to our families, the revenue losses, an attractive atmosphere for criminal elements to function and the immense personal suffering by those disrobing should be cause for sober reflection on the direction this amendment is taking. Good government should always be planning several moves ahead and be willing to do what is best morally for the people even if it has a cost.
Like you I have three daughters and grandchildren. My thoughts are always did I do everything I was capable of to leave them a world that was safe and better than what I had received? I pray that is also your desire.
Please do not reply to me that this legislative change does not permit licensed strip clubs. I am fully aware of that, it is the actions of your successors following your initiative that I am concerned about. In response to my earlier letter you stated in your letter of June 21st, 2012 as did the Premier that, â€śthe regulations remain in place and will continue to be enforced.â€ť Meanwhile a committee was sitting and in active discussion of this issue looking at possible amendments. This statement was taken by many in our network as an assurance that the government would retain the status quo. Saskatchewan has many unique characteristics absent in other provinces. It is our hope that this government will act proactively and firmly close the door to an industry that has no net benefit but rather high negative value.
Thank you for the few minutes of your attention you have given me and the many hundreds of those I represent across this amazing province.
Cc this letter is an open letter and will be posted on Saskatchewan House of Prayerâ€™s website
This fall our province celebrated the 100 anniversary of the dedication of our Legislative building. In the original ceremony dedicating the building and setting the cornerstone an amazing prayer was confessed over the province then placed in a time capsule. It is a prayer with a powerful Kingdom of God perspective which was decreed over the future of Saskatchewan in 1912. When the artifacts from the time capsule were displayed for public view, we took note of the dedication prayer. (see â€śInduction Prayerâ€ť below) The Lord purposed 100 years ago to lay a Kingdom foundation for the province that we are building on today. All through the years He has had those He called out and established to continue His work here in Saskatchewan.
He continues to call out today to His people to join Him in the establishment of His Kingdom in the province. We are so grateful to God for the economy, the resource development, the place our province has in the nation. He has heard the prayers of His people! In a recent prayer meeting focused on government I was surprised when I sensed Holy Spirit hit the pause button and invite us to personally come more completely under the governance of King Jesus. We had come with the stated intention to pray for government in the province and we were stopped and redirected. The Spirit made it clear that there was something more He required of us before we could with Kingdom authority address the kingdom structures of this world. I have thought much on this in the months following and looked for understanding.
Praying people are continually exploring the parameters of the delegated authority they have to address issues. We have a tendency to be looking outward for the measure of authority in dealing with issues instead of first inward. I feel in part our measure of authority to pray is related to the measure of how our personal lives are under His rule. Are our thoughts, desires, motives, our relationships, our homes, marriages and families willfully submitted to Him? It is not that our King is unwilling to delegate His governmental authority to us but His love for us is so great He does not want harm to come to us in the process. We must learn to steward the one talent before He entrusts us with two. I believe there are no shortcuts in the Kingdom. We earn the impartation of increased authority through submission and obedience. Titles and offices that people hold are no indication of the measure of Kingdom authority they may or may not have.
So I began by asking Holy Spirit to help me by exposing the motives, thoughts and desires that were not pleasing to Him. I got the distinct impression that my Father was pleased with my request and He gently and in some surprising ways began another lesson in coming under His governance. This interactive process with Abba not only took place in my devotional time but all through the day and even night. I experienced many kisses from my Father as He gently brought correction and a re-alignment to my thoughts, desires and motives. I found that myinsight or revelation into scripture, understanding relational issues in our family, friends and ministry became sharper as He invited me to observe as He does.
True kingdom authority is always related to humility and submission and not anointing. Jesus commended His disciples for the desire to have authority and lead, but He made it clear that the path to achieving this was the one He demonstrated to them. It was a demonstration of Kingdom authority over both natural and spiritual realms by complete yielding to the rule of His Father. His life was one of a man not accumulating wealth and a large following to serve His ego but rather a life dedicated to serving those He had come to save. His life was not His own, it belonged completely to the Father and so the Father was able to entrust Him with all authority in heaven and earth. There was nothing in Him that He had not submitted to the governmental rule of the Father. Ultimately He was given the authority to retrieve the very keys that held all creation in a place of captivity and annul the sentence of death that had been rendered to mankind.
It is this walk that we are all called to. The parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22.1-14) ends with the king upset that some of those invited and wanting to attend the festivities had not dressed appropriately, saying, â€śfor many are invited, but few are chosenâ€ť verse 14. This is a picture of where some in the ecclesia are today. We know that we have a standing invitation to be engaged in doing the Fatherâ€™s business on the earth. We want the authority to be involved in Kingdom intercession, to receive Kingdom revelation, to pray those prayers that will be effective and powerful but we may not be aware that we need to be appropriately dressed.
The clothing He wants us to wear is inner wear, a pure heart, a renewed mind, our spiritual DNA becoming Christ-like. He will dress us as we walk through the processes he invites us to participate in. The degree to which we allow Him to dress us will determine the measure of authority He will delegate to us for His Kingdom purpose. â€śNot to us, Lord, not to us, but give glory to Your name...â€ť Psalm 115.1
This brings us to an invitation to join others of like mind in active, corporate intercession for Saskatchewanâ€™s Kingdom destiny. The Government Gate has a weekly conference call, several prayer gatherings each week at the Legislature and daily prayer coverage of each Question Period when our government is in session. These are all opportunities to exercise our rights and authority as charter Kingdom members in a corporate setting. Consider joining us or one of the other Gates in Saskatchewan House of Prayer.
The spring session of our provincial legislature raised a serious moral issue which is crying out for a response from the church of this province. The issue which seems rather innocent on the surface is the implementation of changes to our laws affecting the mixture of strippers and the sale of alcohol. In conversations it appears that the "church" is unaware of the implications of how the proposed changes would affect the moral climate of this province. I have had several requests for more information regarding the lobby to allow the mixture of alcohol and strippers our government currently is in the process of responding to. Our liqueur licensing laws currently forbid the selling of alcoholic beverages where nudity is being displayed. This has effectively shut down strip joints as it is completely unprofitable to have strippers without lucrative alcohol sales.
There are several issues here that we need to be aware of. The first is that almost 100% of all strip clubs in Canada are owned and operated by organized crime. The women are chattels owned, bought and sold between businesses. There is considerable public record of women from outside of Canada "immigrating" with the promise of receiving employment in a certain area only to be forced into performing as strippers and prostitutes by those sponsoring them. Strip clubs are most certainly involved in human trafficking, prostitution and financing criminal groups. In Saskatoon a number of years ago a strip club functioned on Idylwyld Drive and was owned by Hell's Angels through a front man. They could not legally serve alcohol but it was actively involved in prostitution and drug trafficking. It was not an innocent business.
Secondly, strip clubs are a place where the family continues to be defiled. Father's, middle aged men are the most frequent purveyor's of these businesses.
These are the men that God intended to father the very generations which they defile when they participate in attending these clubs. The women who should be protected by the father generation are instead being violated.
Our provincial government, in particular the Honorable Tim Mcmillian, Lloydminster constituency, the minister currently responsible for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority will respond to the most vocal lobby in the province. My question is whether the "church" will remain silent within her walls and allow this issue to be influenced by those who do not understand the measure of defilement this would bring upon our province. Who will speak for righteousness if we don't?
What can you do? Begin by making yourself knowledgeable, don't just take my word, research it yourself. If you feel this is not what Lord Jesus wants or yourself SPEAK OUT! You can make your sound by contacting your local MLA and the Honorable Tim Mcmillian. It pays to take the time to write a measured, respectful letter that honors those that serve us in government. They want to hear from you so write in a manner that will send a positive message. Send a copy to our Premier Brad Wall. Have your pastor write on behalf of your congregation. You can be assured they will respond in writing. You can also call your local constituency office and speak with your MLA, or send an email. Make sure you leave your name and contact information.
You can find contact information for your MLA, the Premier and the Minister responsible at www.legassembly.sk.ca
Let your sound be heard!
The people of Saskatchewan made a definitive statement on November 7th regarding the direction they were choosing our province to move into. We have been praying that an alignment between the destiny and purposes of God and government would continue to take place. God is not for one political party more than another. He is looking for those who will alignâ€¨themselves with His desires irrespective of their political views. Kingdom alignment should trump political perspective every time, to do otherwise is a form of idolatry.
Our governing party has chosen to not make any changes in the members who comprise the Cabinet until next year which gives them time to survey the gifts and talents of their 49 member caucus. Be in prayer that Cabinet ministers will be chosen on their abilities and God given callings rather than for political advantage. A more urgent prayer request is that regarding the office of the Speaker. A Speaker is chosen by all 58 members of the Legislature before the beginning of the coming session. In reality the Speaker will be chosen by the ruling party caucus before a vote in the Chamber takes place. Please pray that a righteous man who fears God will be chosen as this office holds great authority and influences the very atmosphere of the House. He is in some ways a spiritual gatekeeper determining what is allowed or disallowed to be active in the chamber and building. This vote will take place on the first day the House sits, which is probably December 5. Please make this a matter of intercession. I have heard there are currently two people who have expressed interest in holding this position.
Another matter to be in prayer for are the prayer teams present during Question Period. Pray for an increase in the numbers of faithful believers comprising the teams which cover each Q.P. with intercession.
The dates for the coming session of the Legislature have not yet been announced but following the last election in 2007 the House sat on December 5 and it is most likely the same now.
More than ever this is a time to be alert and in your position as a watchman on the wall of righteousness. We need to press into His presence and live there daily. Politically, economically but most of all spiritually the whole world is in a state of rapid transition. You will be unable to be correctly positioned in this season unless you live in a place of intimacy with the One who created you, died for you and now is seated on His throne cheeringâ€¨you on. If you are struggling with sin and weakness it is the hand of God exposing it so you can deal with it. I encourage you to lay yourself down as a living sacrifice on His altar and call for the fire of God to come burn up every last remnant of anything in you that does not acknowledge His Lordship.
Government Gate Team
The Saskatchewan House of Prayer desires to mobilize prayer for the province of Saskatchewan. Government is one area of prayer for which all believers are instructed to pray (1 Timothy 2.1-4). We believe God has a destiny for Saskatchewan that has not been fulfilled. We believe that He is revealing His heart for the province and is wanting our prayers to partner with His plans. We see from Daniel that God is not limited to whether or not a king knows Him but whether or not those who know Him are praying. We desire to bless our government covering them with a canopy of prayer that they would be aligned with all God desires to do for this land.At this time, there are several kinds of prayer taking place from this gate for government. When the house begins to sit March 7th, there will be prayer teams sitting in the galleries asking God to visit the legislative proceedings. Individuals are also encouraged to be part of the MLA Prayer Canopy, committing their own MLA to the wisdom of God.
Have you considered visiting the legislature with a friend or prayer group? Youth groups, Christian schools and adult prayer groups have come for a tour of the building and then attended a session, connecting with us beforehand. This is an excellent way to become informed of your government and to receive instruction and encouragement in how to pray for them. All who have come have found it valuable.
MLA Prayer CanopyThis Prayer Canopy consists of each of our 58 MLAâ€™s having at least one committed intercessor or prayer group praying for them on a regular basis. We are suggesting each intercessor:â€¨â€˘ Ask God for a passion to pray for our provincial government.â€¨â€˘ preferably live in the same constituency as the MLA they are praying for.â€¨â€˘ commit to pray daily/weekly for their MLA.â€¨â€˘ commit to acquaint themselves with the responsibilities of their MLA, the names of their family members and to follow in a general way the issues in their constituency in order to pray knowledgably. Information available www.legassembly.sk.caâ€¨There is great liberty in being non-partisan in our prayers as we do not have to have voted for our MLA or agree with their partyâ€™s philosophic position in order to pray for them.
Prayer for Our Leadersâ€¨Thank God for each one by name whether you agree with their political position or not. Ask God to help each one to fulfill their governmental responsibilities to the very best of their capabilities. Pray that they would be shielded from accusation and that they would be influential in blessing our province.â€¨â€˘ Pray that they would recognize their own need to depend on God for knowledge, wisdom and the courage to do what is right.â€¨â€˘ Pray that their advisors would give them morally good counsel and that they would clearly recognize wisdom when they hear it; that they would have strength to resist all pressure to violate their own conscience.â€¨â€˘ Pray that they would rely upon prayer and the Word of God as their source of daily strength, wisdom and courage.â€¨â€˘ Pray that they would bring dignity, honour, trustworthiness and righteousness to the office that they hold.â€¨â€˘ Pray that they would remember to be good examples in their conduct to the people of Saskatchewan who look to them for leadership.â€¨â€˘ Pray that they would be reminded daily that they are accountable to Almighty God for the decisions they make and that they would have a personal revelation of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Some Scriptures to PrayI Timothy 2:1-4 Church is instructed to pray for governmentâ€¨Colossians 1: 15-20 Christ created all government to serve Himâ€¨Romans 13:1-7 Respect and honour those in authorityâ€¨Psalm 2 God is the supreme authorityâ€¨Proverbs 24:6 Government be given godly counsel and advisorsâ€¨Psalm 112:9, Luke 10:33-37 Government be compassionate for the poor and needy
The Idea of Praying for Government
I have noticed in conversations with many of my friends that the current state of our government whether provincial or federal is often the topic of choice. As I listen I often wonder what constructive acts this person has done to influence the very issue they are speaking of. Did they vote in the last election; did they examine prayerfully the character and stance of their candidates on issues they are concerned about; are they praying for those who serve them in government; are they in contact with their representative and expressing their concerns or offering support?
I know from my own experience the feeling of powerlessness to influence or affect change on institutions such as provincial or federal governments. As I read the scriptures I became aware of the power of the voice of one. Joseph was one voice who was used to save nations, among them was the future nation of Israel. Nehemiah was used to restore the defences of Jerusalem and put into place the governmental institutions that would allow the temple to be rebuilt. Esther, Mordecai, Daniel and many others were singular voices that affected the future of nations for the purposes of God in a governmental sphere. So I became convinced that my voice and my prayers can be a channel for influence and change in government.
I also became convinced of the tremendous strength of the corporate voice in prayer to affect change. If one can put to flight 1000 and two 10,000 how many can five or ten in sustained intercession put to flight? Houses of prayer are where I believe the trans-denominational voice of the church is being trumpeted into the heavens. This is the foundation of Kingdom transformation. This is where I believe literally heaven meets earth, the place where it begins: â€śon earth as it is in heavenâ€ť. In houses of prayer, praying the will of the Father into being on earth.
In April of 2007, my wife and I entered our Legislature in Regina on a scouting mission with the intention of hearing from God how He wanted us to pray for our provincial government as representatives of our provincial house of prayer (Saskatchewan House of Prayer). Without much warning or preparation we were thrust onto the stage of praying for our government. It has been a steep learning curve. We went with the simple mandate to serve from a non-partisan position all those who serve us in government. In my next entry I want to talk about how this looks.
Here are some others who are praying for government on site;
The Idea of Praying for Government: continued
My first recollection of praying for government was in the early 70â€™s when I was visiting an evangelical church in Salem, Oregon. It was US election time and the minister spoke clearly from the pulpit on the need to support, pray and vote for government but in a deliberately partisan way. I took notice because something did not sit quite right with this posture.
Fast forward to April, 2007 and I am sitting in the west gallery of our legislature observing Question Period and praying for all 58 of our MLAâ€™s. Watching the procedures I am thankful for those who serve our province. I know each represents a political party but I see individuals. I know many have left successful careers to serve at greatly reduced incomes their constituencies out of a passion for their province. I see husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and I pray. Stressed marriages, difficult children, addictions, illness and I pray. I see great responsibility, difficult decisions, pressure from every side, compromise, pride, loss of integrity and I pray.
On another level authority for government which comes from God, was created by Him and for Him and continues in Him, is continually being challenged by a created being, the prince of the air. This is a kingdom conflict and involves a whole different approach in prayer. This is an area to be approached seriously. It involves wisdom, corporate intercession, Holy Spirit revelation and corporate unity.
This area of conflict is very real and most of those who serve in government are completely unaware of the conflict which rages about them. A thought I have often had is that we get the kind of government we pray for. If we donâ€™t pray someone else influences the kind of government we get.
On the practical side all of our prayer teams leave partisan perspectives at home. We practice being faithful in taking our place as watchmen. On site prayer meets in the cafeteria for conversational prayer each week as we want staff and politicians to know the church is praying for them. We have a second on site weekly meeting in a room that has been offered to us. We have teams attend every Question Period and some committees to pray. We have a weekly conference prayer call to connect intercessors from around the province to pray. We invest in relationships with MLAâ€™s and staff to serve and encourage them. A MLA Prayer Canopy is being developed where individuals and groups who live in each of the 58 constituencies commit to pray for their MLA weekly.
Our politicians and their staff have embraced the church being onsite and praying once we demonstrated we were there to serve and not lobby and that we were genuinely nonpartisan. You can be sure they test us in this.
We often quote 2 Chronicles 7.14 but I like the next verse in which God promises, â€śNow My eyes shall be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.â€ť Lord heal our land we pray.
â€¨From Isaiah 28:16, 17 the Sovereign Lord says:
â€śLook! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem (Saskatchewan*) a firm and tested stone.â€¨It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on.â€¨Whoever believes need never be shaken.â€¨I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness.â€ť NLT (*we pray this for Saskatchewan)
This passage was given to us prior to the Legislature convening on March 10th and formed the foundation of our prayers for government this spring. Continually we worshipped the One who has placed this cornerstone in Saskatchewan and we declared the absolute authority, dominion and sovereignty of our God. We requested of Him that He would measure and check the fit of all that is in place in our government and renovate as He desires.
The spring session of the Legislature adjourned for summer recess on May 15 after eleven weeks of full activity. People were in attendance for all Question Periods and some Legislative Committees. Teams from Moose Jaw, Kipling and Swift Current also attended and visited with their MLAâ€™s. When asked for his impression of his visit one 10 year old boy from Moose Jaw said very seriously, â€śResponsibility, I feel responsibilityâ€ť. The heart of the message I believe the Spirit is speaking to the Church of Saskatchewan regarding government is that we have a responsibility to stand on watch on the wall, to cover them and to intercede.
On 16 April, 2008 we had a day of unprecedented favour at the Legislature. What we did not realize until the next day was that it was our one year anniversary being in regular attendance at the Legislature. The day began with many of the MLAâ€™s being in attendance at the annual Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice Prayer breakfast. Later three separate speakers in the Legislature spoke of events or people that gave honour to the Name of the Lord Jesus. Throughout the day I had personal meetings with most of the Christian MLAâ€™s that were uninitiated, the highlight being invited to attend an MLAâ€™s prayer time.
We have also experienced unprecedented favour with our elected officials. From the floor of the Legislature our MLAâ€™s have introduced us and spoken well of us and our activites, repeatedly. We were offered the use of a board room adjacent to the speakerâ€™s office for a prayer room and each Thursday morning a group from Regina and Moose Jaw gather to worship and pray. This meeting will continue on into the summer. We have also been meeting with believers on both sides of the House weekly for prayer. All of the MLAs will be home for the summer so call up your MLA, visit their office, encourage them, love on them and pray for them.
There has been a faithful core team. Our Monday night conference call has been rich and many times the Lord has given direction for the coming week. Consider joining us especially during summer when many are away. Call for connection information.
Habakkuk stated:â€¨â€śI will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post.â€¨There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how He will answer my complaint.â€ťâ€¨Then the Lord said to me,â€¨â€śWrite My answer plainly on tablets,â€¨so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.â€¨This vision is for a future time.â€¨It describes the end, and will be fulfilled.â€¨If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place.â€¨It will not be delayed.â€ť Habakkuk 2:1-3 NLT
We have been so careful not to initiate but to develop a posture of alert listening to what the Lord is speaking and then to listen again as to how we are to respond. In all of this process He has established the work of our hands. Our position is to lay down our Christian agendas and to seek relationship.
On 21 April an MLA informed me that he had lost his wedding ring on the weekend and was devastated. He had been traveling from Regina to Saskatoon to North Battleford to Lloydminster on the weekend speaking in churches. He told me the ring was valuable (worth about 10,000) and had great sentimental value as it had stones from the rings of his wifeâ€™s father and grandfather. He asked us to pray for its return. During our Monday night conference call a Holy Spirit unction rose up among us and we called the ring back to where it righfully belonged. I knew with certainty the ring was coming back. We also had asked that it would be found in a supernatural way that no man could take credit. One week later this MLA is out of province speaking when he awakes in the night and â€śknowsâ€ť where the ring is. In the morning he phones his wife who is blind in one eye and has limited vision out of the other, to tell her to find someone to drive her to North Battleford to this remote field where they had walked their dog a week earlier. She was driven there and after only several steps out of the car saw the faint glimmer of the back of the ring in spite of being almost completely blind. The stones, part of a generational inheritance were buried in the mud not visible. Only a small protion of the hoop or ring was visible, the portion of the ring which is symbolic of covenant.
This speaks to me that the Bridegroomâ€™s covenant destiny for Saskatchewan remains in effect. The generational involvement of the Church is not lost. The investment of past generations of believers in Saskatchewanâ€™s destiny has been successfully passed on to us. North Battleford is also significant because this is a resting place of one of the great revivals in Saskatchewan. I believe the Spirit is saying, â€śWhat you thought was lost, is not lost. It will be fully restored. The future will be greater than the past. The destiny of Saskatchewan is established on the foundation of those believers who pioneered in past generations. Earlier generations have looked forward to and have seen this day.â€ť
Now it is up to us to carry our portion.
Richard Lepp & Government Gate Team