When Nancy Schulze, co-founder of the American Prayer Initiative, was asked to recommend writers for a special Washington Times feature on the power of prayer, one of the names on her final list was best-selling author David Kupelian, who has been WND’s managing editor since 1999.
“David Kupelian is one of the precious few who are writing clearly and eloquently about what has happened to this country from a spiritual point of view,” Schulze told WND. “His breadth and depth of understanding about what we’re dealing with in America – culturally, politically, morally and spiritually – is profound. David Kupelian is a truth teller.”
The result was the appearance of Kupelian’s piece, “Freedom from the Dark Side,” in the publication’s “The Power of Prayer For America’s Future.”
The project had its genesis several years ago, when Schulze was giving a talk at the Council for National Policy about the American Prayer Initiative, and Washington Times then-president and current chairman of the board, Tom McDevitt, just happened to be in the room. After the talk, he approached Schulze, gave her his card, and said he was interested in hearing more about the API.
Then last September, McDevitt called Schulze and said the Times was thinking of publishing a special report on the power of prayer. He asked if the API would like to occupy the centerfold of the report, and also if Schulze would secure writers to contribute op-eds about the power of prayer from their points of view.
Schulze immediately contacted Vonette Bright, her co-founder of the API, as well as several other women of faith who had helped launch the project, including Shirley Dobson, Penny Nance, Rebecca Hagelin, Kay Coles James and Janet Parshall. They each agreed to write a piece for the prayer feature.
The Times then asked Schulze if she knew anyone else, and she certainly did. Knowing what a rare opportunity it was for a mainstream secular news operation to invite opinions on a subject like prayer, she kept suggesting writers until the special report reached 44 pages. That initial report, titled “The Power of Prayer: To Enhance Your Life and Restore America,” was published Nov. 30 and included contributions from Dr. Ben Carson; Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.; WND columnist Star Parker and many Christian thought leaders.
The contributions, however, overwhelmed the space available, and a second report was published Dec. 31, titled “The Power of Prayer: For America’s Future.”
That second report included, said Schulze, “contributions from more legislators, like former Rep. Bob McEwen and former Oklahoma Republican State Sen. Ed Moore, pastors such as Rev. Anne Graham Lotz, pastor Max Lucado and Rev. Dan Cummins, bishops including Bishop Gregory Mansour and Archbishop George Augustus Stallings, Jr., and many Christian businessmen, psychologists, authors and thought leaders including Michael Novak, Tim Keller, David Kupelian, Os Guinness, Eric Metaxas, Everett Piper and Ellen Vaughn.”
There were 37 entries in the second report in addition to Kupelian’s article on the Lord’s Prayer, titled “Freedom from the Dark Side.”
Schulze said she had previously read Kupelian’s 2005 book, “The Marketing of Evil,” and interviewed him on her radio show. More recently, she read Kupelian’s newest book, released in mid-October, “The Snapping of the American Mind: Healing a Nation Broken by a Lawless Government and Godless Culture.”
“His ‘The Snapping of the American Mind’ brought him to mind as a potential contributor to ‘The Power of Prayer’ special report, so that’s when I called him, and he agreed to write,” Schulze said.
Kupelian was grateful for the chance to participate.
“It’s an honor to be included in this prayer project alongside so many well-known Christians,” he said. “But I have to say, having read through the whole thing, the most powerful witness of them all, to me, is that of the brutalized Middle Eastern Christians interviewed in Ellen Vaughn’s piece, who display such admirable and unshakable faith in God in the face of ISIS atrocities.”
Schulze, for her part, said she doesn’t have a favorite article from either report. She simply appreciates the many vantage points that were represented.
“People wrote from such different points of view,” she said, “I mean, there were historians that wrote from a historical point of view – Bill Federer and David Barton. Roma Downey, who is an actress and producer herself, wrote from a very personal point of view about growing up in Northern Ireland and having to duck below her desk in school to avoid bullets. Another writer that comes to mind who was just extraordinary is Gen. [William] Boykin,” who related an incredible story of his life-and-death prayer being instantly answered on the battlefield.
Schulze said the Washington Times prayer features have given the American Prayer Initiative a welcome burst of exposure. Bright, who with her husband Bill Bright had founded Campus Crusade for Christ, and who passed away shortly before Christmas, and Schulze gathered several noted women of faith together to establish the API to help Americans pray, because research has shown 80 percent of American Christians are unsure how to do so. The API website offers a compilation of prayers arranged by topic, with one prayer topic for each day of the month. The prayers frequently reference the founding principles and constitutional roots of America.
Nothing could be more timely or needed for today’s America, says Schulze, because “very tenacious secular forces” have been doing all they can to put up a firewall between Americans and their faith. Yet it was principles born out of Scripture that formed the foundation of America and made it a great nation, Schulze insisted.
“It’s gotten to the point where we are so far off base from where we started as a country, so far removed now as a culture from what made us great, that it’s our belief, those of us that founded the American Prayer Initiative, that unless and until we as a people reconnect with the Creator, the One upon whom the founders of this country relied for aid in founding the country – unless we get back to a relationship with the Almighty, I don’t think the country is going to pull out of the downward spiral,” Schulze said. “That’s the reason for the American Prayer Initiative.”
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