Dear Father, President George H. W. Bush signed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992. The legislation banned sports betting across the United States on the grounds that a state’s sports gambling business inflicts harm, such as gambling addiction, on residents from states where sports gambling is banned. The legislation did grant exceptions to four states that already had sports gambling – Oregon, Delaware, Montana, and Nevada. The act also permitted ten additional states, including New Jersey, a one-year window of opportunity to pass laws permitting sports wagering. New Jersey did not take advantage of that open window. Over the last two decades, sentiment in state capitals has changed regarding sports betting. Lawmakers now view sports betting as an opportunity for increased revenues through taxation. However, the federal law (PASPA) prevented states from legalizing sports betting. New Jersey took the lead in a fight against PASPA. They passed a law legalizing sports betting in New Jersey. The four professional sports leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL) and the NCAA fought the legislation in district court. The courts decided in favor of the sports leagues. New Jersey, in the name of newly elected Governor Phil Murphy, took their case to the Supreme Court, in Murphy v NCAA, asserting that PAPSA is in violation of the Tenth Amendment which gives authority to the states in all matters where the constitution does not give authority to the federal government. In short, the federal government can’t “commandeer” from the states the control of sports betting given it is not in the Constitution. The Supreme Court this week ruled, in a 6-3 decision, that the original PASPA law was unconstitutional for that very reason. Therefore, states across America no longer have a federal law blocking them from legalizing sports betting. It is expected that sports betting will now explode across America. Some have estimated that the net worth of professional sports teams might double, a windfall of cash for owners and professional athletes. Father, while the Constitutional reasoning for the Supreme Court’s decision seems justified, we fear the net result of this decision is a significant increase in gambling addiction throughout America. There are people who will find it much easier to gamble away their limited finances, leading not only to financial crisis but also to conflict within marriages and families. Many will respond to gambling disappointments by being abusive to loved ones. Many others will try to escape from their gambling losses through addictive or criminal behaviors. Father, our prayer today is for You to protect the vulnerable. There are men and women today who are only one baseball game away from a fall into addiction. Protect them. Get them help today. Intervene. Protect them. Bring godly people into their life to save them from disaster. We also ask You to hear the prayers of every man or woman, imprisoned by sports betting addiction, who is crying out for freedom. Rescue them. Deliver them. Father, put Your team together, of angels in heaven and people in ministry on earth, and send them out to protect families in every state from the dangers of sports betting. Amen.
Dear Father, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating President Trump for collusion with Russia regarding the 2016 President election. Trump has complained that Mueller’s team is comprised of partisan Democrats whose real motivation is to change the outcome of the 2016 election. Trump calls it a “witch hunt”. Though Mueller is believed to be a Republican, thirteen of seventeen attorneys on Mueller’s team are Democrats. Attorneys Andrew Weissman, Jeannie Rhee, James Quarles, Andrew Goldstein, Elizabeth Prelogar, Brandon Van Grack, Rush Atkinson, Kyle Freeny, and Greg Andres have all donated to Democratic campaigns. Father, we put aside partisan politics in this prayer. Instead, we take this opportunity to bring before You these individuals. Father, I ask that You work in each one of these attorney’s lives. Bring about their spiritual rescue. Transform their hearts and minds. I know You love them all and You desire a personal relationship with each one of them. Give Yourself the gift of their changed hearts. Lead them all into the joy and peace of knowing You as their Father in heaven. Give Andrew, Jeannie,James, Andrew, Elizabeth, Brandon, Rush, Kyle, and Greg many reasons to express their thanks for Your goodness in their lives. Amen.
Dear Father, National Public Radio (NPR) is a privately and publicly funded non-profit media organization in Washington DC. They syndicate radio programs on-line and through their network of over 1,000 public radio stations throughout the United States. NPR’s two flagship shows, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, have audiences of 14.9 million and 14.7 million respectively. An estimated 30 million people listen to NPR programs each week. Demographic studies indicate that NPR listeners are white, educated, have high incomes, and tend to be liberal. Father, first of all we ask that You will transform the hearts and minds of the biggest names in NPR. Show Your love to each one in a life changing manner. Open their eyes to Your truth. Rescue them from struggles in their private lives. Bring godly people in their lives who demonstrate Your amazing love. I ask that Your Spirit moves across this organization and give many of the hosts and personalities a new mindset, one where You are at the center of all discussions. Lead Audie Cornish, Kelly McEvers, Ari Shapiro, Steve Inskeep, Rachel Martin, David Greene, Robin Young, Jeremy Hobson, Michael Martin, Scott Simon, Tamara Keith, Scott Detrow, and Terry Gross into personal relationships with You. Father, I also ask that this organization, funded by both liberal and conservative taxpayers, will truly be unbiased. May their coverage of current events not presuppose that a certain viewpoint is correct. May they champion honorable journalistic practices, research facts on topics of interest around the globe, presenting the issues, and then allow the listener to come to their own conclusions. May they give equal time to both sides of an issue. Amen.
Dear Father, Meghan Markle is to get married to Prince Harry this Saturday, May 19, 2018. Her grandmother-in-law will be the Queen of England and she will become a member of the royal family. However, unlike Kate Middleton, her soon-to-be-sister-in-law who was born into English aristocracy, Meghan is an American who was raised by her biracial parents, Thomas and Doria Markle, in Los Angeles. Her parents divorced when she was six years old. She was raised by her mother, now known as Doria Ragland, and the two remain close to this day. Prince Harry asked Doria for her daughter’s hand in marriage. However, Meghan is reportedly not close to her father, who is a Hollywood television lighting director. They have had a contentious relationship that has impacted Meghan’s relationship with her step-brother Thomas Markle Jr. and her step-sister Samantha Grant. Both of her step-siblings are estranged from Meghan and have taken the opportunity of Meghan’s recent worldwide fame to speak poorly of her in the media. It has been reported this week that Meghan’s father was positioning himself to be invited to the wedding by having paparazzi take photos of himself preparing for the wedding in Mexico. However, that effort was grounded when Thomas suffered a heart attack. He is certain to miss the wedding now because he will be recovering from heart surgery in the hospital. In short, there will be a cloud hanging over this royal wedding as Meghan will not have key members of her own family present. Her mother Doria is expected to give her away at the wedding. Father, though we are speaking of the royal family, they are nonetheless a family. Like so many other families, there is division and contention. There is estrangement, bitterness, and resentment. Father, I ask that You will add to Your “to-do list” working out circumstances so that Meghan, Thomas Sr., Doria, Thomas Jr., and Samantha will each be brought to the point of decision to invite You into their lives. I ask that Your prompting will be irresistible and that each of these people will come to faith in You. Once they have, bring about the change of their hearts and minds. Foster forgiveness. Promote reconciliation. Renew this family and make them whole. I ask that You will heal Thomas Sr. of his heart ailments. I also ask Your grace on Samantha, who is confined to a wheel chair because of multiple sclerosis. Give her reasons to thank You for the comfort You shower upon her. Amen.