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2009 Conversations

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2002 Conversations

Ron McManus: Leadership center launched (December 30, 2001)

Norman Arnesen: History's supreme event (December 23, 2001)

Dr. Everett Bartholf: Help for the holidays (December 16, 2001)

"Auntie" Anne Beiler: God has a plan (December 9, 2001)

Mary Inman: Raising seven sons for Christ (November 25, 2001)

Tony Hall: Feeding the hungry, one person at a time (Novemer 18, 2001)

John Maracle: A growing Native American Fellowship (November 11, 2001)

Al Peterson: Praying for national leaders (October 28, 2001)

Beverly LaHaye: The family is God's gift (October 21, 2001)

Terry Meeuwsen: Putting family first (October 14, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Changing the world, one student at a time (September 30, 2001)

Nate Cole: You are not alone (September 16, 2001)

George Cope: Training pastors, missionaries and evangelists (September 9, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: Breaking down the barriers (August 26, 2001)

John Kilpatrick: The blessings and challenges of revival (August 19, 2001)

Marie Colwill: A passion for evangelism (August 12, 2001)

Lottie Riekehof: The Joy of Signing (July 22, 2001)

John Castellani: Teen Challenge: The Jesus factor (July 15, 2001)

Mike and John Tompkins: Publishing newspapers and proclaiming the Good News (July 8, 2001)

Chuck Girard: Music, marriage and ministry (June 24, 2001)

Stanley Burgess: The value of a godly father (June 17, 2001)

Dennis Franck: Single Adult Ministries Agency (June 10, 2001)

Thomas E. Trask: The work of the Holy Spirit (May 27, 2001)

Stephen Tourville: The changing church in America (May 20, 2001)

Margaret Columbia: Raising 17 children for Christ (May 13, 2001)

Donna Fahrenkopf: Wanted: a life change (April 29, 2001)

Sean Smith: Spiritual attacks on young people (April 22, 2001)

Josh McDowell: Is the Bible true? (April 15, 2001)

Joyce Meyer: Being a practical Christain (April 8, 2001)

Paul Drost: Multiplication (March 18, 2001)

Bill Bright: Fasting for 40 days (March 11, 2001)

Beth Grant: Women in ministry (February 25, 2001)

Alicia Chole: His people and His presence (February 18, 2001)

Cris Carter: Playing on God's team (January 28, 2001)

Randall K. O'Bannon: The value of life (January 21, 2001)

Dennis Gaylor: Secular colleges: a vital mission field (January 14, 2001)

Praying for national leaders

(October 28, 2001)

Al Peterson, marketing director for an aerospace company and a layman at Bethel Temple Assembly of God in Canton, Ohio (James Arnold, pastor), recently spoke with Ken Horn, managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel, about his efforts to promote prayer and fasting for government officials through a Web site:

Evangel: What led to this push to pray and fast for President George W. Bush and other government officials?

Peterson: About six years ago I was teaching my Sunday school class on prayer and fasting from The Coming Revival by Bill Bright. The Holy Spirit said, "Don’t just teach it; practice it." Most of the class agreed to fast three meals a week or one day a week for 40 weeks. Two years ago when Jim Arnold became our pastor, I felt we needed to have men fast and pray for him. Thirty-four men in our church responded. We call ourselves Guardsmen. Each man takes a day of the month.

When Bush became president-elect, he asked the nation to pray for him and his family. The Holy Spirit spoke to me: "I would like you to develop a Web site that would announce fasting and prayer for the president, vice president and the cabinet every day." The site allows a person to register to fast a day a month throughout the president’s term. For example, if I choose the 20th to fast one, two or three meals, I would continue to do that through December 2004. General Superintendent Thomas E. Trask has agreed to promote this through our Fellowship.

Evangel: Where do you sense God taking this project?

Peterson: I hope thousands of people each day sign up to fast and pray for our government officials. This could change our nation’s destiny. The site has a page with biblically based prayers that can be used when praying for the president and our leaders. A calendar is on the registration page of Hit the day you would like to fast; also hit below the calendar if you would be willing to fast one, two, or three meals a day. You can also register friends under your e-mail address. None of your information will be used or sold. A bulletin board is available for discussion about government policies and for prayer requests.

Evangel: You’ve mentioned the president, vice president and cabinet. Are there other prayer needs?

Peterson: We also list other needs: peace in the Middle East, taxes, environment, etc. In those areas, we say, "Let the Holy Spirit lead you how to pray." The site is updated to include current events that need prayer.

Evangel: "Current events" and "peace in the Middle East," of course, bring to mind the recent tragedies in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. What is the increased significance of fasting and prayer at this time?

Peterson: The increased significance of fasting and prayer and is that God knew what would happen and was preparing our president for it through fasting and prayer every day of his presidency. President Bush and our country will need continual prayer and fasting to deal with this evil presence that has come against us.

Evangel: How specifically should we pray for our president and leaders in these difficult times?

Peterson: Pray that the president will be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in his decision-making process to deal with this evil presence. Pray for safety and strength and that the Lord will surround the president with good advisers. Pray that the president’s faith will increase and that doubt and anxiety will be replaced with God’s peace.

Evangel: Anything else?

Peterson: First Timothy 2:1,2 instructs: "I urge … that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (NIV). As we pray for Democrats, Republicans, and independents that God’s will would be done through them, revival will come to our nation. Ultimately the responsibility to change the world rests with Christians.

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