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Prayer

Please Tell Me You Are Not Trying to Get Rid of the Adoption Tax Credit

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Getting rid of the adoption tax credit is a bad idea.  Trying to do so during National Adoption Month is just unthinkable. But that is exactly what the GOP is considering as they debate tax reform.

It’s a stark contrast.  President Donald J. Trump’s proclamation of November as National Adoption Month is a beautiful display of the incredible value of adoption to our nation.

“During National Adoption Month,” he wrote, “we celebrate the thousands of families who have expanded through adoption, and we acknowledge the strength and resiliency of the children who are still waiting to find their forever home.”

What’s even more relevant to our discussion, he said, “We must continue to remove barriers to adoption whenever we can, so that the love and care of prospective adoptive parents can be directed to children waiting for their permanent homes.”  And concluded, “This month, let us celebrate the gift of adoption — an act of love that provides deserving young people with the foundation they need to achieve their potential and pursue the American Dream.”

That is just beautifully said by the president.  We should all stand with him in carrying that vision to “remove barriers to adoption.”

Enter congressional number crunchers who (in good faith, we will assume) decided that the best way to do that is to take away this small (in the larger context) but significant adoption incentive within the tax code.

The reasoning is that they will increase the child tax credit by $600 to $1,600 per child.  That would indeed aid all families, whether they adopt or not. Okay, I am sure families would gladly welcome that relief, but “no.” No! That is not an adoption incentive.

Helping all families sort of defeats the purpose of incentivizing adoption. It is supposed to encourage adoption specifically, not just help all families.

Not to mention the fact that the numbers don’t add up.  The child tax credit just doesn’t help potential adopting families where they need it most.  Adoption is a very expensive process (close to $50,000 in some cases) and the prospects of such a financial burden in a considerably short period of time is a huge barrier to families considering adopting.  The Adoption Tax Credit, which was $13,570 in 2017, can alleviate that.

Telling that family, “But you will get $600 more through the child tax credit” is not the same thing.

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention sent out an email as soon as the news broke, explaining that the tax break numbers are more than outweighed by the benefits of adoption.  It read:

Over 60 percent of adopted children are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers, and almost half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Just as important to consider is what adoption saves the government. The government saves between $65,000 and $127,000 for every child who is adopted rather than placed in long-term foster care.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) joined the ERLC and other pro-life groups in a letter to Chairman Kevin Brady, who leads the leads the House Ways and Means Committee and introduced the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, asking him to preserve the adoption tax credit. It reads in part:

Without this tax credit, many families would not and will not be able to afford adoption, leaving more children without loving families. Over 60 percent of adopted children are adopted by middle- and lower-income taxpayers, and almost half of children adopted from foster care live in families with household incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

We urge you to ensure that the adoption tax credit is protected and preserved in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Christian adoption activist and writer Chelsea Sobolik, who was adopted herself, wrote that the credit should be preserved as it helps the most vulnerable in our society:

Chairman Brady should do everything in his power to ensure that the provisions of the Adoption Tax Credit are placed back into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Not only will it make this tax plan a more holistic pro-family bill, it’s also the right thing to do. Republicans should continue to put policies into place that help the most vulnerable, and children in need of a loving and permanent family certainly meet that criteria.

Chelsea is a former CWA employee whose upcoming book “Longing for Motherhood: Holding On to Hope in the Midst of Childlessness” will be released next year.

The pro-life community is united on this.  Let us hope our plea is heeded and the idea of cutting the adoption tax credit dropped promptly so that Congress can focus on more productive areas.

 

For America (Day 85)

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In You, O Lord, we trust and take refuge.
When all else is unreliable and enemies assail us,
Be to us a Rock of refuge,
That we may stand firm and endure,

That we may be bold in lifting Your name
Above all others,
That we may lift our voices in thanksgiving
To the God of our salvation.

In Your righteousness and grace, rescue and deliver us
From the evils of this present age.
Bring consolation to the afflicted,
And restore the many families who suffer today.

In You there is hope in the darkest of times.
At the sound of Your voice the winds and rain bow.
Upon You alone we lean for our stability.
Give us spiritual vision and lighten our pathways.

Our praise will be continually before You.
A song of gratitude for the freedom You have granted;
A song of mourning for our perversion of it;
A lament for our national blindness and rebellion.

Do not cast us off to our own devices,
For our foolish hearts and minds deceive us
Into pursuing the shallow profits of this world,
While ignoring the priceless blessings of eternity.

O God, do not be far from us,
Make haste to help and deliver us, yet again.
Evil creeps at our doorsteps and seeks to entice us
Into a worthless battle of the flesh.

They who hate You seek to destroy us;
Therefore, for Your own glory, and
In Your Holy Name, rise up to meet them,
And let them run in fear.

We will wait for Your salvation, O Lord,
For we know there is no other,
And much blessing awaits those who wait on You.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 84)

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Gracious Father,
How glorious are your works!
The colors of the sky are such a wonderful
Reflection of Your mighty deeds.

There is none like You.
This we know to be true and good.
From sunset to sundown, may Your name
Be praised in all the Earth.

We give You thanks for, even in the midst of tragedy,
We can do all things through Your Son,
Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
It is through Him that we rise up and go to sleep.

Lack of resources are no problem at all;
From our lack of trust deliver us.
Respect and honor we do not seek for ourselves;
Let Your name be lifted high, this is our aim.

Help us to walk in the power of Your Spirit.
Help us to speak light-shining truth and
To stand against evil; help us to care—
Care for those who are most vulnerable.

Forgive us our trespasses and help us to walk
Worthy of the calling which You have given us.
These are difficult times; we acknowledge that.
But we will stand firm on Your Word, no matter the difficulties.

Help us to withstand the enemy’s attacks
And guide us in all goodness, honor and purity.
Refine us in love and Your excellence.
Help us to worship You in spirit and truth.

Unite us in brotherly love,
Help us see our neighbors’ need and
Move our hearts with compassion
As Yours is moved time and again.

These things we pray,
With thanksgiving and faith,
In Jesus’ Holy Name,
Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 83)

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Oh Lord, behold our affliction
For the suffering of our people.
What sorrow afflicts us at the sight
Of what is happening in our country.

We groan for the victimized and terrorized
At the hands of evil, unscrupulous men.
Who hate the truth and the light
And seek to extinguish our spirit.

That they shall fail is a fact;
This much we know, because we trust in You.
But how we grieve for the mothers and fathers,
Brothers and sisters, friends and loved ones lost.

And this division — this despicable division that infects us!
It won’t even let us grieve properly.
It corrodes everything it touches;
And it threatens to touch everything, no matter how far we run.

But we run to You, oh Lord,
Our hope and salvation,
Our strength and refuge.
Who can stand in Your holy presence?

He who has clean hands and pure heart, Your Word says.
Therefore, we repent, our Savior and King.
We repent of our sins — of our apathy.
Search our hearts and clean us — this we pray.

For our many transgressions, we weep.
Our eyes flow with tears at the sight of what we’ve become,
Even as we know right from wrong.
In full knowledge, we’ve turned from You.

Now our sadness consumes us.
Our enemies rejoice at the sight of our distress.
All that we have, we cannot enjoy,
For we have sought it apart from You.

But there is hope for those who seek after You,
For Your mercies are new every morning.
Your grace covers a multitude of transgressions,
And Your love, Your love can heal us.

Your love is the bond of perfection —
In this love, we can stand united.
In this love, we are secure and
Can rediscover our purpose and essence.

We were created for Your glory;
Only in You is there joy and peace;
We were created in Your image,
And we are to reflect your light throughout the world.

Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 82)

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We come running to You, oh Lord.
Turning our eyes from the distress around us,
We focus on You alone,
The Author and Sustainer of our faith.

In You only, there is peace —
That peace that surpasses understanding.
Your peace You offer to us;
How marvelous are Your ways!

We know this is the work
Of the Helper You have given us;
Your Holy Spirit
Within us.

Let it move with power in our land.
Let it reign in our hearts and minds.
Let it transform many hearts,
Renewing the minds of our young people.

Give them ears to hear, Lord.
Turn their hearts towards You.
Give them wisdom beyond their years,
Let them keep Your commandments.

Enable them to honor their mothers and fathers;
To love their neighbors as themselves;
To keep themselves pure,
Ignoring the spirits of this age.

Above all, let them love You
With all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
Help them honor Your Word
And revere Your statutes.

Help us rebuild Your church in America, Holy Father.
We seem powerless, having lost our focus.
Turn us back to You;
Give us boldness and commitment to Truth.

Help us love; teach us to love.
We know not what we do.
Like sheep without a Shepherd,
We go from here to there … without end.

And the hurt …
The thirst, depression, and rage consume us.
The cancer of secularism has spread.
We are dead. Spiritually dead.

But praise Your name, we are whom You came to save!
The lost, the strayed, the sick, the dead.
In You we are found, healed, forgiven;
Yes, even resurrected, by the blood of the Lamb Who was slain.

For this Great Awakening, we continue to pray.
For Truth to spread — eyes opened, beauty displayed.
Grant us our request, if You will, Lord Jesus.
In Your Name we pray, Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 81)

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All-loving God, Creator, Savior,
You are our safety and refuge.
Provider, Sustainer, All-forgiving Father,
We lay all our anxieties before You.

With a thankful heart, conscious
That all is a gift from You,
We come with sincere supplications
And prayers for our people.

Our undeserved blessings are always before us.
Each day, the sun and air, the stars and rain
Proclaim Your mercies anew,
And we are reminded of our dependent state.

Thank You.
Thank You for a minute of peace,
For silence to think and dream.
Thank You for laughter and consolation.

Thank You for friendships and
Family, and colleagues,
Leaders, and talented artists.
Thank You for music.

Thank You for the universe —
The wonder and mystery of it all.
Thank You for this place we call “Earth” —
And for the United States.

Thank You for freedom and liberty.
Thank You for the blessing of community.
Thank You for language and our limited understanding.
Thank You for the blessing of work.

We thank You for those who serve
Unselfishly to protect our freedoms
Around the world. Putting their lives on the line,
Allowing the Great Commission to spread.

We pray Your protection on them,
Your blessings upon their families.
Help us to be sensitive to their needs,
And quick to give sacrificially to their aid.

We pray for wisdom for our leaders:
For the president, vice-president,
Heads of departments, security and intelligent officials;
We pray for our judges.

We ask most earnestly for a Great Awakening.
Let Your Word rule every heart, house, town, and state.
Let Your songs spread through the air
In the land of the free, the home of the brave.

Amen.


Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.

For America (Day 80)

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Father and Lord,
All glory unto You, the Merciful One.
If it had not been for You, the Sovereign One,
We would have perished long ago.

How many have risen against us!
And each time, You’ve seen us through,
Not by the merits of our actions,
But to the glory of Your holy name.

We would have been swallowed up,
By enemies in war or catastrophe in peace.
Yet You alone have kept us whole,
And we praise You for Your bountiful grace.

We bring before You, Lord, today a special kind of request —
A prayer for unity in the middle of much distress.
We pray for our divided states, hearts, and minds.
Humility has escaped us, Lord; wisdom is scarce.

To whom shall we turn?
None can deliver. None but You.
We praise You and give You thanks,
For You have not given us over to ourselves just yet.

A remnant remains: praying, sharing, loving, fighting …
Pleading with You to intervene
In our hearts and in our land.
Our hope is in You.

Those who hope in You will not be put to shame,
This we know firsthand. Forgive us when we fail
To remember all You’ve done and
The glorious promises of Your Word.

Unite us in Your truth, Lord.
Unite us in life and love.
Lift the blinders from our eyes, and
Help us see clearly once again.

Your Word reminds us that,
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So You surround Your people.
We are Your people; in this, we are comforted.

To You we lift our eyes,
In thoughts of You, we are still and wait.
Let Your glory and Your righteous judgment
Be seen by all, on Earth as in Heaven,

Amen.

Click here for more prayers from our For America Prayer Journal.