ATLANTA – A global livestream memorial service will honor the life of Christian evangelist and apologist Ravi Zacharias, who died on May 19, at age 74, after a brief battle with cancer.

The celebration of Zacharias’s life and legacy will be streamed live at RZIM.org/RaviMemorial on May 29 at 11 a.m. ET.

Zacharias spent the past 48 years traveling the world to commend the Christian faith and address life’s greatest existential questions of origin, meaning, morality and destiny with eloquence and grace for a variety of audiences. Through his founding and leadership of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Zacharias launched a global team of nearly 100 Christian scholars and authors who continue to speak, resource, train and address the questions of millions around the world.

“The story of the gospel is the story of eternal life. My life is unique and will endure eternally in God’s presence. I will never be ‘no more.’ I will never be lost because I will be with the One who saves me,” wrote Zacharias in Seeing Jesus from the East (Zondervan, 2020).

Tributes to Zacharias will include homages from family and friends, including RZIM President Michael Ramsden, athlete and author Tim Tebow, Brooklyn Tabernacle Senior Pastor Jim Cymbala, and Passion Movement Founder Louie Giglio. Musical artists Matt Redman and Lecrae will perform

Following the initial livestream, the video will be available for replay in perpetuity.

The Zacharias family has asked that in lieu of flowers gifts be made to the ongoing work of RZIM.

Peter Wooding
Assist News Service

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ANS) – Evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the grandson of Billy Graham – Will Graham – will co-host a national observance broadcast with America’s National Day of Prayer Task Force president, Kathy william graham is an evangelist with the billy graham evangelistic associationBranzell on May 7.

The US National Day of Prayer is an annual national observance established in public law in 1952 and observed publicly on the First Thursday in May, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

A BGEA press release said regardless of the unprecedented challenges that America faces today due to the corona crisis and resulting economic shutdown, it will not be canceled nor postponed – but will look very different from years past.

Each year, people gather across the nation, in over 60,000 local community events to pray together for America. While the number of people gathering may be different this year, prayers will be multiplied and amplified through new and creative approaches, combined with unprecedented access to digital platforms. In homes, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, nation and the world, observing recommended “social distancing” measures, their NDP coordinators are planning to mobilize millions in unified, public prayer for America.

The BGEA reports that while focusing on using these digital platforms, this year’s ‘virtual’ observances have the potential to become the largest prayer ‘gathering’ in U.S. history – with millions praying together, individually.

In addition to virtual events being held in communities across the nation, The National Day of Prayer National Observance Broadcast will take place on May 7 from 8:00 -10:00 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast, streamed, and posted in many ways including, the Billy Graham website, live on their Facebook page and cross-posted by many of their ministry partners. It will be televised on GodTV, Daystar, NLC, and BrioTV, with more stations to come, and on radio through Moody and Bott Radio Networks.

This year’s theme, “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth”, is based on Habakkuk 2:14, and reminds us that this promise, “for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” is for us today.

“Unprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer! This year’s ‘virtual’ National Day of Prayer Observance may have more prayer – and more ‘pray-ers’ than ever before!” Branzell said.

By Michael Youssef
ASSIST News Service

Atlanta, USA (ANS) – We are living in unprecedented days. At such a time as this, I have found myself asking, “Lord, in the middle of this global panic, what are You saying to Your people?” There’Michael Youssef pastor shares view on God and COVID-19s only one place to go to find an answer, and that is the infallible Word of God.

The prophet Joel spoke to God’s people, Israel, during a time of economic crisis. A tiny army of locusts was devouring the land, destroying everything in their path. Today, we are living during the modern-day equivalent of this crisis. COVID-19 is a tiny virus. You can’t see it with your eyes, yet it is sweeping across the globe and destroying everything in its path. In this context, the words of the prophet Joel serve as a warning: The crisis we are facing pales in comparison to the coming Day of Judgment.

I believe that this crisis is God’s loving wake-up call to our nation and world. It is God’s loving warning. It is God’s gracious invitation. For if we are not prepared to deal with a virus, what will we do when we face the Day of Judgment?

Read how God pleads with His people in Joel 2:12-13 — how He pleads with us today:

“Even now,” declares the Lord,

“return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart and not your garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love.”

Praise God, Joel’s prophetic words tell us what to do during times like these. Through this passage, Joel is saying to us, “Don’t waste this crisis. Don’t waste this dress rehearsal. Let this be a reminder of the coming Day of Judgment when God will shake everything that can be shaken.”

Through this crisis, God is calling us to do things:

  1. Tear away the idols from our hearts

Ultimately, it is our hearts that need radical change, not our circumstances. It is our hearts that need transformation, not the economy. Have we placed our hope in money, possessions, or safety rather than in God? Is prayer something we only do when we are in trouble? Is worship something we only do when it is convenient? Our greatest need today is to “rend our hearts” — to confess the idols we are clinging to instead of Christ.

God wants us to be serious about acknowledging our personal idols and tearing them out of our hearts through repentance. Doing so will allow us to face any crisis, whether COVID-19 or the Day of Judgment, with confidence. Why? Because we are ready. We are prepared. This crisis is an opportunity for us all to turn to God and prepare our hearts to stand before Him — before it’s too late.

  1. Lead others to worship and bow down to the living God

Now is the time to sound the alarm to every person who will listen. We must remind both the lukewarm and the lost about the shortness of our earthly lives and the endlessness of eternity. Smooth-talking or positive thinking will never adequately prepare people for the day when they will stand before God and “give an account . . . for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).

I encourage believers everywhere to take this time to call your family around you for a time of prayer and repentance. Rededicate yourselves as a family to serving God. I know that as we so humble ourselves before Him, our Lord will respond and bring revival to our land. He longs to show mercy, and He responds to the genuine cries of His children. Let us never forget that.

May God bless us, keep us, and draw us closer to Himself during this time of great shaking in our nation and world.

About Michael Youssef

Michael Youssef is an American pastor and televangelist. He is the senior pastor of the Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia, and the executive president of Leading the Way.

About Assist News

Assist News exists to inform, educate, and inspire by distributing news about what God is doing in the USA and globally.

By Evangelist Alveda King
Special to Inside The Pew

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose… A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 KJV

In the last several days, we’ve had so many things changing that we’re having to pray hard to keep up. Certainly, President Donald John Trump is moving forward with the agenda; as he is keeping

his promises to make America great again. What with the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and approaching departure of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, we can expect more transformation.

Justice Kavanaugh and his beloved family have survived a trial by fire, and he is entering into a heightened season of public service. Ambassador Haley is seeking a well-deserved break from service to humanity to attend to her family for a season. Who can blame her? Well done Madame.

We’re living in a time that when we wake up we can either ask and say: “What is happening today? Let me turn on the news.” or we can ask and say, “What’s going to happen today? Let me tune in to God.” Your outcome will be guided by your perspective. My pastor Theo McNair at Believers Bible Christian Church often teaches that we should ask God to bless our perspective.

I’m saying all this to point out that as the world is moving on around us, we should be asking ourselves, “What are we going to do in the process?”

Please check out these two audio clips (Audio One and Audio Two) of some reflections; and be encouraged as you move forward. Begin to look at your day with a new perspective. There’s a song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord, I Want to See You.” Pray with open hearts, eyes and arms.

The world is out there; and we step into it all the time. What are we going to do with and about the events around us? Are we going to make the world a better place or are we just going to see problems and have problems? God uses people to make history. God uses people to accomplish divine purposes. Let’s join together, pray and actually become part of the solution.

For more on, Evangelist Alveda King, visit civilrightsfortheunborn.com.

 

Special to Inside The Pew

“Our Black politicians did it to us again,” the Rev. William Owens, the president of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), said passionatelycoalition-of-african-american-pastors during a press conference Feb. 13 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He was referencing what he and 20 other national black leaders felt was the worst representation by the Congressional Black Caucus demonstrated during the televised State of the Union Address.

The tone set by the caucus angered numerous national black leaders, prompting many groups to convene in Washington, D.C. to address what they considered was a severe misrepresentation and a disservice to the achievements of blacks in this country.

Owens joined by over 20 national leaders such as Stephen Broden: Senior Pastor Fair Park Bible Fellowship, President Protect Life and Marriage; Dr. Alveda King (Civil Rights For The UnBorn); Bishop Leon Benjamin (Coalition Of Leaders United); Shirley Husar (CEO Urban Game Changers); the Rev. Dean Nelson (Frederick Douglas Foundation); the Rev. Derek McCoy (Urban Cure); Dr. Randy Short (International Human Rights Association For American Minorities); Dr. Johnny Hunter (Life Education and Resource Network); Jonathan Alexander (Liberty Counsel Action); Suzzanne Monk (Political Pundit from Chicago); Johnny Rice for Congress (D.C.); and Kenneth McClenton (President of Exceptional Conservative Show) joined forces to expressed their disappointment and mismanagement of the People’s power entrusted to the Congressional Black Caucus.

“The disgrace before the global community by the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) during the State of the Union Address was the worst I have ever witnessed in my life as a black father, educator, civil rights activist, and man of faith. Our elected officials’ demonstration of childish behavior; sulking in their seats, texting, pretending to be disinterested, was distasteful. We did not elect children, we thought we had leaders,” Owens said.

Collectively the leaders called to question what they characterized as “foul demeanor” and demanded either the caucus start “REPRESENTING or GO AWAY.” Also, CAAP launched an online petition “CROSSROAD” that will be hand-delivered to black caucus members’ offices to demonstrate the will of the people. Individuals are encouraged to sign by visiting www.caapusa.org.

In addition, the multifaceted group rolled out its new 2018 Black Agenda to counter the fallout among younger blacks who have lost interest in political engagement in hopes of inspiring civic engagement. To attract a younger demographic, the group is utilizing social media platforms to promote the hashtag #representorgoaway. Many of the speakers at the press conference extensively expounded on what numerous officials don’t want known about the current effectiveness of the caucus.

Owens and others indicated, “What began 46 years ago in March 1971 has morphed into the greatest breach of trust in the black community since Reconstruction. Our precious black children are not on the minds of the Congressional Black Caucus, they care more about the rights of undocumented immigrants and football players who don’t stand for the National Anthem than they do about our families and precious children.”

Various group leaders made strong pleas to the black community to embrace this position with openness and to hear the total message citing, “We, meaning Black Americans, have been sidelined by traitors in Washington.”

Owens also mentioned that last year his media relations office contacted Congressman John Lewis, the Rev. Al Sharpton (who purports himself as a civil rights advocate for the voiceless), and Attorney General Jeff Session pertaining to the documented research conducted by Yale University researchers published in USA Today in 2016. The article detailed racial bias and poor treatment of preschool-age black children, with special emphasis on black boys. CAAP requested several meetings to initiate a national dialogue, but was met with resistance.

“Not one elected official or civil rights leader has responded to date or called for an inquiry. This is a shame. If our children are not protected at this tender age, what kind of future will exist for them when lawmakers don’t care enough to take up the just cause to fight and utilize the power of their office? My office sent copies of the Yale research to many and to this very day, no serving black politician in Washington, black news reporters (and we reached out to many) and sadly, even the black clergy, have responded. This is really tragic,” Owens said.

Unfortunately, this issue is very personal to Owens and his wife, Dr. Deborah Owens, whose then 4-year old son experienced racial discrimination in his preschool. The Owens’s, after documenting many instances which they cited were deeply troubling, immediately removed their son after school officials failed to correct the problems in a timely manner.

Owens said he thought his son’s troubles at his preschool were isolated until he discovered the article published in USA Today in 2016 written by Yale University Researchers citing this was a national problem. He also said it was alarming to read that black teachers were worse than whites.

To date, over 50 online groups have attached their support to this cause. Join the conversation and sign the CROSSROAD petition. Visit www.caapusa.org.

Top: Coalition of African American Pastors logo.

Inside: Members of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) at a recent press conference.