Take this Challenge in 2023
Catholic College Honors Pro-Abortion Journalist
Looking Forward to the New Year
There Is No Common Ground Inside the Sorcerer’s Circle
I don’t know about you, but I tend to forget things. I exit one room and enter the next but fail to remember why I came in. I grab my phone to call my mother in Canada, and when she picks up, I am confounded as to why specifically I called. Important and weighty things that figured prominently in my life — things I swore I would never forget — fade with time and are choked out by “the cares of this world” (Matthew 13:22).
Our Father understands this human tendency to forget, and He repeatedly called His people to remember, to take time to recite His wonders, His miracles, and all that He had done for them. I believe this is one reason He instituted the Israelite feasts — yearly reminders of God’s ways and goodness, and which foretold what was coming and rehearsed what had gone before.
Great are the works of the Lord! They are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are His deeds and His righteousness endures forever! He has caused His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate (Psalm 111:2–4; see also Psalm 143:5; Psalm 77:11–12).
In Deuteronomy 6, God exhorts the Israelites to rehearse His commands and His miraculous deliverance in the hearing of their children, to retell the wonders of the exodus and of God’s covenantal faithfulness in the wilderness, and to do this while sitting in their houses and walking along the roads, as well as when they lay down at night and got up in the morning. God was not about to leave any time of day or any activity outside of this command to retell and rehearse. Again, in Deuteronomy 7:18–20, He commands them to “remember well” all the deliverances they had seen and experienced and to be convinced, therefore, that He would defeat any new enemies in those very same ways. In Psalm 78, Asaph writes: I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done (2–4). Asaph then says that he is going to recount these things so that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God … (6–7). Remembering well serves a vital purpose!
These last few years have been years of trial and tribulation, of trauma and loss. I remember a friend telling me once: “Do not forget in the dark what you knew and learned in the light.” But how, exactly, do we do that? Of course, we begin by eating His word and having it “dwell in us richly” (Colossians 3:16). All of Scripture is our history, so as we read of His deliverance, His mercy, and His radical intervention for those who are His, we can take courage that He is indeed caring for us and all that pertains to us.
Recently, an entire IFA webcast was devoted to thanking God for answered prayer in 2022. It was a thoroughly encouraging and delightful hour featuring IFA Director of Communications Judy McDonough and prayer leaders Rich and Joyce Swingle, Lori Meed, and Nancy Rife. There were far more praises than we could possibly cover in that hour, so as we close out 2022 and look to the God Who hears us for 2023, we will take time now to remember His faithfulness and to thank Him for His glorious answers.
Isaiah 12:3 gives us a focus as we give thanks for the word the Lord gave IFA President and CEO Dave Kubal about the wells that are being restored throughout the land. A woman had called the IFA office after Chief Program Officer Kris Kubal showed a picture of the well that Dave saw being restored (an old well from when Washington, D.C., was first built that Dave discovered on a prayer walk), and the caller said that her husband had been dreaming about a well repeatedly — and that the well in the picture was the very one! Psalm 7:17: I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Our thanks is always rooted in and reflective of His righteousness, and not in circumstances, current events, or our own emotions.
Giving “thanks in all circumstances,” we retold the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy giving thanks for the fleas in the concentration camp — because those fleas kept the guards away and allowed the sisters some freedom to read the word, pray, and teach the other women. This led to thanksgiving for the spiritual foundations of this land, for the Pilgrims, and for all who came here because of God’s leading and revelation (see Psalm 30:11–12; Psalm 69:30; Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 13:15).
Prodigals and Family Restoration
Becky* wrote in to share that her prodigal had returned to the Lord in 2022, and that family relationships were restored. She also related that many friends had been healed of cancer. We then gave thanks for all the testimonies of healed families and for the prodigals who would come back this Christmas season!
Vicky* was praising God that her sister and brother-in-law got remarried after a divorce. They were originally married in 1982, so this would be a period of about 40 years! Praise Him for miracles!
We then thanked God for all the excellent resources produced by IFA over the years, a true miracle, given the small staff.
Rich passionately told of healings during projects that IFA intercessors were covering in the area of the arts and entertainment. He described how one pastor, standing in for a reenactment during a Christ Over Career event in Houston, was healed of a lifelong back injury! He is still pain-free today. Rich then shared how, in giving the testimony of a 3-year-old’s being raised from the dead the previous year, after prayer on the set of the sitcom What’s a Girl To Do, with Janet Porter, architect of the Heartbeat Bill, they released healing over the room, and the shoulder of one of the other attendees was instantly healed. Judy then recounted how an IFA intercessor was healed after Dave Kubal prayed with her over the phone. He declared that the mass was no more, and it disappeared!
Anna* was healed of Parkinson’s in March, when the Lord’s presence came into her room powerfully, and she was instantly set free.
Linda* was healed of uterine cancer over 40 years ago, and she was able to have a child even though the doctors had told her it was impossible.
Susan C* wrote: Despite all the chaos, God cares for us. The world may be in what others call a crisis. But I see it as birth pangs for the future where we will see billions saved in a worldwide great awakening. God leaves the 99 to care for the one. I’m that one! He healed my knee and I don’t need medical intervention. I’m pain free and able to walk. Praise the Lord!
We gave thanks that Casey DeSantis, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wife, came through cancer treatment and was cancer-free. IFA intercessors sent her thousands of cards and letters of encouragement. She wrote to us: Thank you so much for all the prayers. I am truly blessed. I greatly appreciate the encouragement. One astounding statistic is that IFA intercessors have sent over 2 million messages this year alone!
Healing of Gender Identity and Sexual Confusion
In a year of drag-queen story hours in libraries and schools, increased reporting of gender-reassignment treatments and surgeries for children and youth, and other evils, it was a joy to declare and report the freedom that many are finding in Christ from sexual confusion. Lori reported that after a woman in her church gave testimony of God’s healing during a women’s breakfast event, two others in that church — a man and a woman — have been freed from same-sex attraction! That woman has been progressively healed from the childhood traumas and sexual abuse that had propelled her into that lifestyle.
We also reported on that broadcast that both Texas Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt Hospital have ceased doing transgendered surgeries on children. Since that broadcast, several “poster children” for the surgery have de-transitioned — including Chris Beck, a Navy SEAL whose high-profile sex change was used to push the radical transgender agenda. Beck announced in December that this had been the worst mistake of his life and that he is transitioning back. He is strongly warning young people against making a similar choice.
On Dec. 9, Breitbart.com reported that a federal appeals court permanently blocked the Biden administration’s mandate forcing hospitals and doctors to perform gender-transition procedures, even if that goes against a doctor’s conscience. The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is the second court to block the mandate, after the Fifth Circuit ruled similarly earlier this year. “This decision is considered a huge win for religious freedom, but not only for religious freedom but for common sense and sound medical judgment,” said Luke Goodrich, president of Becket Law.
Abortion and Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn
A pinnacle of the year for IFA and its intercessors, and for believers nationally and worldwide, was the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June — after 50 years of this covenant with death and all the shedding of innocent blood that had prevailed in our land. IFA was formed 50 years ago in part to respond with prayer and fasting to the Roe decision.
*Connie S. wrote: I thank almighty God for the miraculous, beautiful, historical shift of Roe v. Wade over-turned after 50 years, believing that God’s church is taking seriously 2 Chronicles 7:14, and God’s people are in the middle of something very big.
*Marie wrote: I thank God for moving on the hearts of the Supreme Court justices, who lifted the death decree of abortion from our nation! I praise him for moving across this nation, and for the revival that is happening changing hearts and leading people to Him and salvation in the name of Jesus.
Research shows that since the overturn of Roe, at least 10,000 babies have been saved. Since the broadcast, we hear that 66 abortion clinics nationwide have stopped performing abortions, and 26 have closed down altogether, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute. Six states have only one abortion clinic. The Center for Reproductive Rights reports that abortion is now illegal in 11 U.S. states, after trigger bans took effect on Election Day.
We thanked God for doing what many had thought impossible! Judy quoted Philippians 1:6: … being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ … (NKJV) — and declared that this can apply as much to the nation at large as to any individual!
Next, Nancy turned to the topic of “sanctuary cities for the unborn.” Nancy described meeting Mark Lee Dixon at an IFA event in which he told of his work promoting these sanctuary cities. He began in 2019 in Texas, with state Solicitor General Jonathan F. Mitchell, and Waskom, Texas, became the first U.S. city to outlaw abortion. Since then, 61 more cities have followed suit: 48 in Texas, eight in Nebraska, two in Ohio, one in Louisiana, one in Iowa, and one in New Mexico. The largest city to enact the ordinance is Lubbock, Texas. Nancy, filled with passionate praise, gave thanks and decreed that these cities would be blessed by God for their righteous stance.
Betsy* effused: I thank God for the gift of being alive to witness the first step in the total eradication of the scourge of abortion in our nation. After nearly 50 years of prayer and tears the glorious breakthrough in June moved the assignment to the next battlefield in each state.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory … (Ephesians 3:20–21).
Community and State Prayer Groups
God is equipping intercessors across the nation to battle abortion, critical race theory, the transgender agenda, and many other frontline issues of the day in each state. In our post-Roe world, we now petition governors and state governments to make each and every state free from abortion.
Patsy* posted: I live in Belen, NM. When I moved here five years ago, I found a church that preached the word of God in a powerful way. We are claiming Belen for Christ. I prayed and Yahweh gave more intercessors and we have been traveling through the small town of Belen praying for schools, churches, and neighborhoods. Our pastor is also very involved in the community with other churches and much more. I am giving thanks to be part of Yahweh’s Kingdom work!’
We all paused to thank God that we are alive now, at “such a time as this,” and we thank Him that He will equip us and our children and grandchildren through His Spirit, Who is at work within us!
The birth of IFA state prayer groups in all 50 states is truly a jubilee event. Kris Kubal addressed us to tell of how these groups came to be, and to give thanks for each one. Kris reported that the state prayer groups had been a hope and a dream of IFA’s for many years. The impetus to form these groups came as IFA leaders anticipated the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and in response to election irregularities and to the need of parents to battle school boards regarding parental rights against the sexualization of their children. Kris reported her delight in seeing people called into ministry within their states and also connecting with others to walk out this calling. There has also been a wonderful building of community among leaders, and a growing momentum in each state as intercessors connect with others of like mind and heart in their own regions. Kris rejoiced that God is unlocking the destiny of these state leaders, many of whom have been asking God for a platform or an opportunity to minister more widely and to become part of something bigger. “We are getting to watch them flourish, and I am so excited to see what God will do in this next year as we look into 2023 and beyond,” Kris said.
In one example of the power of God in intercession working through state prayer, a testimony came out of Wisconsin. The state prayer group prayed about a mass shooter in Chicago, who was making plans to go on to kill more people at a parade in Madison. God led the group to plead the blood of Jesus over the parade routes and to bind the enemy. The shooter drove around Madison and then, for no apparent reason, went back to Illinois, where he was apprehended by the authorities!
Pornography and Human Trafficking
Joyce Swingle gave thanks for the many breakthroughs regarding pornography and human trafficking. On Nov. 17, over 2,500 people prayed on an evening prayer call with Kris Kubal and state intercessors about this issue. Having prayed over this topic for many years, Joyce was thrilled that global awareness has increased significantly. She gave thanks for the literature, ministries, and organizations that are now working tirelessly to end all forms of human trafficking. We thanked God for His care for the vulnerable.
On Dec. 6, the Daily Wire reported that Elon Musk, within 24 hours of buying Twitter, had ramped up efforts on the platform to crack down on all connections to child pornography.
We prayed about this also, thanking the Lord for revealing the evil underpinnings of several institutions and highlighting the need for reform — including within the FBI, the DOJ, and other governmental bodies. Nothing that is performed in the dark will remain hidden, the Lord has promised (Luke 8:17).
We thanked God for His promises fulfilled in and to the nation of Israel. We have been a nation that has in many ways blessed Israel, and we have ourselves been blessed as a result. We gave God thanks for the ways He has preserved Israel since its rebirth in 1948, despite the attempts that many have made to annihilate it. As we believers are grafted into Israel’s story, we know that His faithfulness to them is also His faithfulness to us. I gave thanks for the aliyah (return) of many Jewish people from among the nations back to Israel, especially a 400% increase in Jewish people making aliyah from Russia, and 14,000 from Ukraine. There was an overall 200% increase in 2022, despite the chaotic conditions around the world. This is truly a miracle! God said in Ezekiel 11:16 that though He Himself had scattered His people, He would one day regather them and continue to be a sanctuary for them.
We praised God also for His answer to prayers for a clear election result in Israel. We thanked Him that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party was the clear winner, with enough seats to form a stable government.
Arts and Entertainment
Judy thanked Rich for his career and for being such a huge part of Christ Over Career, revealing to the IFA community how God is at work in many parts of the entertainment industry. Rich reminded us of the testimonies of healings and those raised from the dead on the sets of television shows and during gatherings. Rich spoke of the Christian movie Lifemark, about adoption and choosing life, that IFA intercessors have prayed about on many occasions. Marissa Hampton’s mother had publicly talked about the impact of Lifemark on her (Marissa was cast in a lead role), and she confided that she had considered aborting Marissa’s older brother. The lead actors reported that viewers had sent messages saying they could relate to the movie and were hoping that many would view it upon its release to streaming. We praised God that Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 100% critics score and a 96% audience score!
Judy cited the Movieguide story of the chairman of Warner Television Network, who related that A Waltons Thanksgiving was produced because The Waltons: Homecoming had garnered such a large audience. Christians are making an impact upon the entertainment industry.
The Connecter is IFA’s monthly newsletter, sent out regularly for 50 years. On its back page, answered prayers are highlighted. Here are a few of those highlights from 2022, along with praises from some intercessors:
- Some 3 million meals sent to Ukraine through IFA intercessors’ generous donations;
- Twenty-three state school boards protested that Christian parents have been called domestic terrorists;
- Remember Biden’s disinformation board? God stopped it!
- Supreme Court justices were saved from assassination attempts and threats of harm that stemmed from the bitter resentment of many over the Roe v. Wade decision;
- Pastor Artur Palowski of Canada emerged victorious;
- In many states, COVID shot mandates have been rescinded or discarded altogether at colleges and in universities, in many places of business, and now even in the military;
- In Loudoun County, Virginia, and in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, school board members with “woke” agendas and who promoted or allowed unrighteousness in schools have stepped down or been removed.
Drew* thanked God for a turnover among school board members in Miami-Dade, Florida.
Terri * posted: Thank you Lord that the 300-acre farm in our Township was saved and will be preserved for your wildlife creatures and birds. This will be an area for all to forever enjoy God’s natural resources.
Glory* stated: I’m so thankful that we live in the United States where we still have freedom to worship our Lord and Savior! The person of the Holy Spirit is such a perfect gift, since He hears our prayers and answers, and we even hear His voice.
Allena* posted the words to the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth” — beautiful lyrics to pray through as we thank God for many things He has created and given us to enjoy.
Annette* was grateful for worship!
Marsha* and William* gave thanks that they woke up that morning.
John* thanked God simply for touching him.
Deloris* reported: God helped me find something that I needed saving me stress and time.
Juliana* thanked God for revival — which has started in her!
Richard said: Thank you father for showing me that in the years that I’ve served you, 30 so far, I realize how much of a novice I am when it comes to the things of God like prayer and knowing Your Word. I am hungrier for Your precepts now than ever. There is so much that I need to learn and experience, and I am forever grateful that I can truly say that after 30 years I don’t know it all. Hallelujah for humility and a spiritual hunger!
We ended the broadcast by praying over all the IFA intercessors, thanking God for all of you!
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God (2 Corinthians 9:10–12 NIV).
Please add your story of answered prayer in the comments, and we will all praise God!
Take time to thank God for all He has done. The IFA webcast on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, will focus on thanking God for answered prayer in 2022 and praying with hope for 2023. Headline Prayer Live at 12:15 p.m. ET. Watch: IFApray.org/watch; or phone: (667) 771-7910, access code 2452.
*All names of IFA intercessors are from online comments.
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash.
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Surely one of the greatest answers to prayer this year has been the spread and spiritual impact of The Chosen! This unique historical drama TV series about Jesus Christ has captured the minds and hearts of millions of people around the world, drawing them to read the Bible itself and find salvation in the Son of God.
The Chosen is created, directed and co-written by American filmmaker Dallas Jenkins (son of Jerry Jenkins who wrote the Left Behind series of novels) and was launched in 2019. It is the first multi-season series about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. Crowd-funding has enabled it to be made available free to people of multiple tribes, tongues and nations, helping to fulfill end times prophecy..
Sticking to the Bible for what is God-inspired truth about Jesus Christ, the writers ask themselves what we ourselves ask: What would Mary have felt like “delivering the Baby Who would someday deliver her?” What was Jesus like as a little boy? How did He support Himself? What kind of man would Matthew the tax-collector have been in relation to the Roman leaders he worked for, the Jews who despised him, and when called to follow Jesus, to the rest of the disciples?
Jenkins’ crew has developed “plausible back stories” for each of the disciples and for those, like Mary Magdelene and Lazarus, whom He ministered to before and after having life-changing encounters with Him.
Early in the series demonized Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus and says of her conversion., “I was one way and now I am completely different–and the thing that happened in between–was HIM.”
Now in its 3rd season (of 8) “The Chosen” free app has had over 413 million views. In this year alone, there have been thousands of testimonies by those who have been saved, brought back to faith, reconciled with loved ones, prodigals restored to families–by encountering on screen the Jesus who, though fully divine, “God with us,” is also fully human and “one of us.”
I am thankful and grateful to the Lord God Almighty for giving us IFA and I believe the Lord would say to IFA well done good and faithful servant in the mighty name of Jesus… Amen
I am thankful that the Lord heard the prayers for the two babies that were kidnapped. They were both found and returned to their parents. The Lord has saved my granddaughter from self harm. The Lord blessed me with a needed apartment almost 7 years ago which fit my needs exactly, including the “porch” on the front which runs full length of the ground floor of six apartments. It has allowed neighbors to get to know each other quickly. When I had a great financial need, the Lord provided over and above for me. He is to be praised and adored.
Thank you for highlighting so many things that we can look back on, remember, give God the glory, and be encouraged as we go forward. I too, am prone to forget and that’s not good. The Israelites seemed to forget what God did for them at the Red Sea, they must have, because only a short time later they were worshiping a golden calf that they had made themselves. That’s what Communion and Christmas are – remembering – remembering what God did for us, remembering that He came – It’s when I forget what God has already done, that doubt enters into that place that had been filled with the memory of God’s “wonderful deeds for men”, of God’s goodness and God’s faithfulness – but when I remember my history with my Heavenly Father, when I remember God’s history with mankind – remembering fills all the spaces of mind and heart with faith and leaves no room for doubt, deceit or fear to enter in – if I forget the truth, I will believe the lie – must be why we are told to “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.” (Psalm 107:31) and we are told to “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits-” (Psalm 103:2) – remembering all God has done leads me to gratitude which leads me to thanksgiving and praise and strengthened faith and increased trust and total wonder and humility at all the undeserved grace and mercy I have received from my Heavenly Father and continue to receive . . . it is more than I can comprehend – but I must remember – my enemy hopes I will forget, thus becoming separated from my Creator – this is why the festivals were important to celebrate – so the people would remember God and what He had done – Christmas, Christ came, prophesies fulfilled, promises kept – a reason to rejoice that the world has forgotten – Lord, may we help this world to remember and to know You – our only hope – may I never forget who You are or what You have done – http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com
How encouraging!!! Thank You! I remember praying with IFA over some of these. What an amazing victory the Lord has wrought over bringing down Roe vs. Wade!!!!! He is answering amazingly and WILL DO MORE IN 2023!. Thank you Jesus…