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Prayer University

Welcome to Prayer University! Whatever your discovery level in the power and practice of prayer, the teachings offered are here to help.

PRAYER 101 - Teaches the basic that prayer is more than the necessary daily conversation with God – it is the recognition of His very presence with you in every circumstance. As your prayer life expands, you discover prayer is worship, getting our lives aligned with His will, making us aware of His provision and adding to our personal development.

EMPOWERED THROUGH PRAYER - Go further and deeper than ever in your practice of effective, persistent prayer through Prayer University, with lessons created especially to empower you to pray for America and her leaders during this vital time in the nation’s history.

Written exclusively for you by your prayer team writers, we are pleased to offer this continuing prayer education to you – and look forward to receiving your comments.

Snake Oil Statistics

Prayer101Why your government manipulates employment data

By Jim Ray

“The Lord above gave man an arm of iron …” sang the inimitable slacker Alfred P. Doolittle, “… so he could do his job and never shirk. But wiv’ a little bit of luck, someone else will do the blinkin’ work!” Doolittle, of course, was fictional—a slovenly if amiable deadbeat from the classic Broadway hit My Fair Lady. But of late, many real Americans seem to have embraced him as a role model. And why wouldn’t they? Nowadays “a little bit of luck” isn’t needed to avoid work because it’s easier than ever to get by without having a job.

To be sure, most of those in the ranks of the unemployed are not shirkers. In addition to retirees and the legitimately disabled, millions have been sidelined by the recession, trade policies that ship work overseas, and misguided job-killing government programs. As the mid-term elections approach, Americans will look at the nation’s unemployment statistics to measure the performance of their elected officials. But could lawmakers be manipulating the data to make the jobless rate look more favorable?

The number of people unemployed has always been a key indicator of financial health because it impacts every other facet of the economy. Those without jobs don’t contribute payroll taxes while usually, at the same time, drawing government benefits. And federal and state officials control programs which stimulate or suppress business growth, so when a lot of people are out of work, the people hold their representatives responsible. More

Accordingly, legislators are highly motivated by job statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), working with the U.S. Census Bureau, conducts a monthly survey to arrive at the official unemployment rate. Importantly, though, only those actively looking for work are counted as “unemployed.” Those who have given up trying to find a job or have simply found it more convenient to live off government benefits or the generosity of others are not considered “unemployed.”

Some have accused the BLS of falsifying the jobs data but in reality, there are easier ways to make the unemployment rate drop. The most significant of these is the stunning abuse of the disability system.

As the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes recently reported, the federal disability program now serves “nearly 12 million people – up 20 percent in the last six years.” It has become a “secret welfare system,” CBS said, “ravaged by waste and fraud” and a favorite benefit of people who are not really disabled. Through feigned “disabilities,” in other words, citizens can be transferred out of the ranks of the “unemployed.” Not surprisingly, Congress has done virtually nothing to curb the abuse and there are armies of unscrupulous disability attorneys at work helping people game the system.

Other troubling realities that bear upon the unemployment rate in America:

Underemployment. According to the latest BLS report, 7.5 million Americans are “involuntary part time” workers, “because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.” This trend has increased since passage of the Affordable Care Act. “Though good in other respects,” notes The Economist magazine, Obamacare “tends to shrink the labor force because it helps people get health care without working.” It also encourages businesses to replace full-time workers with part-timers in order to avoid the law’s expensive health care mandates.

The Poverty Trap. The Federal government has almost 200 different welfare programs, and for many poor people, spendable income rises very little when an individual goes to work. In effect, while trying to help those in need, the government has perversely provided a disincentive to work, creating many Alfred P. Doolittles.

The unemployment rate, then, is a snake oil gimmick that means nothing unless you look deeper into the data. If you rely solely on this statistic, you will enable politicians to continue deploying policies which make the number look good and preserve their own jobs … perhaps at the expense of yours, sooner or later.

As you pray today, ask God to turn America’s leaders to the truth of Scripture, which teaches compassion for those truly in need (Proverbs 19:17) while also mandating that those who can must work. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) It is not a “little bit of luck” that America needs now, just a higher regard for the wisdom of God’s Word.

Jim Ray is a writer, fundraiser and consultant. He and his wife Stacey have two children and reside in Nashville, TN.

Your Comments

The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily
represent or reflect the biblical or world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team.

  1. michelle says:

    Good article Mr. Ray, people need to be aware of this corruption. It is every where in our government system, this is only one of the major issues we are seeing. The only way this is all going to change is when our leaders hearts turn to God and they seek forgiveness and repentance is offered to our Lord. I believe the countries back is broken, we just are being buried with the stones of ObamaCare, unemployment and disability, immigration and foreign aid. Lets not forget the millions or billions Obama wants for our roads and bridges that he has been petitioning for recently. We are in big trouble people…we don’t have this money, never will be able to pay it back. Instead of empowering our country to stand on it’s own two feet, they have been kicked them out from beneath us. Not sure why this is not apparent to all us who have the wisdom of God at our very finger tips and the power of God in our lives…God have mercy on us!

  2. Kim says:

    Be fair. The majority of the “misguided job killing government programs” began with Reagan. Deregulating banks so they can participate in speculation led to the saving and loan crisis of the late 80s. Regulation added to correct this were removed, leading to bank speculation, leading to the Great Recession.

    Reagan restructured the tax laws so the tax revenue was on people’s earnings, with the bulk raised from the middle class (they used a bell curve), while lowering or eliminating taxes on industries and capital. Tax revenue rose as people’s earnings were high, but not anymore. Due to a lop sided tax structure, the government is not bringing in any taxes on companies who are breaking earning records. People are underemployed and unemployed because those earnings are not going into paychecks, and then into the economy, hence the government is not collecting adequate taxes and has to resort to borrowing to stay afloat.

    Thanks to pursuing of the almighty dollar, banks have been allowed to throw our money away and super profitable companies get a free ride. The American Dream is now survival. No one get a job to pay the rent; you get three jobs to pay the rent. This is a no brainer to why governmental aid has skyrocketed. Standard of living will decline and the baby boomers and generation x die in poverty. The only way out of this (I think) is for the emerging countries (China, India, and Pakistan are the big three) to shoot themselves, or each other, in…

  3. michelle says:

    Only way out is to turn to God…not people shooting themselves or one another. God is the only one who can change corruption to incorruption. This problem is not only our president and his administration. It is much bigger than this. God is who only can fix it, and He will when His kingdom comes! I know may of us are looking forward to this day!


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Motivate Yourself to Pray

Four things you need to know to motivate yourself to pray:
Lesson 1 –  Prayer is loving communication with God
Lesson 2 –  You Speak; He Speaks
Lesson 3 –  God listens and responds
Lesson 4 –  Lack of prayer causes problems

Sovereignty of God in Prayers

Five-part series examining the sovereignty of God and how it relates to your prayers for the nation and its leaders.
Lesson 1 –   The Sovereignty of God defined
Lesson 2 –  How Prayer connects Earth and Heaven
Lesson 3 –  Your Prayer help wage the battle
Lesson 4 –  Praying for the lost
Lesson 5 –  Praying for the salvation of others

Understanding Who God Is:

Four Characteristics of God Related to Prayer

Lesson 1 –  His omnipotence – He is all-powerful
Lesson 2 -  His omniscience – He is all-knowing
Lesson 3 –  His omnipresence – He is all-present
Lesson 4 –  He is love – all the time

The ACTS Model of Prayer

Helpful tool of the ACTS model of prayer (adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication):

Lesson 1 – Adoration
Lesson 2 – Confession
Lesson 3 – Thanksgiving
Lesson 4 – Supplication

What Jesus Revealed Concerning Prayer

Five important concepts Jesus’ actions and teachings reveal concerning prayer and the Christian’s relationship with God:

Lesson 1 –  What Christ says about prayer
Lesson 2 –  How the Holy Spirit guides and comforts you
Lesson 3 –  Why and How Jesus Prayed
Lesson 4 –  The power of confession and forgiveness
Lesson 5 –  Lessons and benefits of the Lord’s prayer

Creative Ways to Pray as a Family

Lesson 1 -  Kids Included
Lesson 2 -  Dynamic Duo

Worship in Prayer

Lesson 1 -  Worship defined – and how it motivates prayer
Lesson 2 -  Meeting With Your Creator – Prayer changes you more than you know


Prayer Journaling

Lesson 1 - A Record of Answered Prayers – A vital component of prayer journaling
Lesson 2 - Writing Your Passionate “Self Psalm” – The Psalms: David’s prayer journal
Lesson 3 - The “Thanksgiving” Joy Journal – Recognizing true happiness as you write your prayers
Lesson 4 - Women of Prayer – Recorded prayers declaring a woman’s heart
Lesson 5 -  Resolving to Pray – Journaling your prayers for 2012

Personal Prayer Prompts

Lesson 1 - Recognizing the prayer triggers in your life
Lesson 2 - Responding now to prayer triggers in your life