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Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Christians Don’t Need “A” National Day of Prayer

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Christians Don’t Need “A” National Day of Prayer

Christians don’t need “A” national day of prayer. For the Christian, those who are committed to a lifestyle of prayer and who are constantly seeking God’s way, every day is a day of prayer. Many Christians who oppose the current presidential administration in this country have taken offense at nothing. Some claim incorrectly that our president is opposed to a national day of prayer, while others find fault with Muslims having had an opportunity to pray at the White House. Both notions are erroneous and demonstrate a lack of faith, acceptance, and understanding. One posits that because the Muslims prayed at the White House, that in some way denounces Christianity by the administration. That is not true. Throughout the history of this country, non-Christians have always visited the White House. And I’m sure that on more than one of those occasions the visitors had the need to pray while at the White House. Likewise, when American Christian presidents have visited other countries that were not Christian, I am sure those presidents also invoked prayer as a source of strength to get them through their visits. So, prayer is a common occurrence, especially for those of us who call upon the name of God.

Prayer for Christians is supposed to be a constant state of being because it challenges us to surrender our thoughts and ideas and submit them to a loving God who has our best interests at heart. The Psalmist David talked about praying evening, morning, and noon in Psalm 55:7. Our prayers should constantly be going forth, not just when someone else tells us we should pray, or when a special day is set aside for prayer, but always.

Christians should always be in prayer. Prayers serve many purposes. Prayers may be given for praise and glorifying God as a form of worship. The Psalmist in Psalm 119:164 says that he praises God seven times a day. In Psalm 34:1, he says that his praise shall continually (always) be in my mouth. Numerous scriptures point Christians to the need to offer praise to God, our Father and Creator out of adoration for who He is. If praise is a form of prayer in which Christians should constantly engage, why do we need a special day for it?

There are prayers of confession. These prayers challenge us to admit to our own wrongdoings whether be by commission or omission. Some sin we choose to deliberately commit, while others are committed because we unintentionally made a mistake or made a poor choice. We are all guilty of doing something wrong each and every day. We are not perfect and can never be perfect in our humanity. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we can ever reach perfection in the life to come. Since we are not perfect, there is a daily need for repentance through prayer. Through prayer we confess our role in our sinful nature, repent (turn away from), and seek God’s forgiveness. So yet again, we should be in constant prayer.

Each of us can identify something for which we should be grateful. If you are reading this, you can be thankful for vision, the ability to read, access to technology and the ability to use it, electricity, and a warm and dry place to live, just to name a few reasons why we should be thankful. Giving thanks to God is another form of prayer. We should always give thanks, and even if our life is not what we would consider as ideal, we still have things for which we should be grateful. Prayer is one way of demonstrating our gratitude to God, so we should pray daily and thank Him for His goodness to us.

Finally, we always find room to pray and ask God for things for ourselves and our loved ones. As humans, we are always in need of something and since God is our Father, He has told us to ask Him in prayer for whatever our needs are. This is one form of prayer that few of us ever omit. We always ask for something, and so it is that supplication through prayer is a daily activity for many of us. We ask for blessings in the form of healing, financial blessings, favor with others, success in our jobs and careers, success with schooling, etc. As humans, we all want to the recipients of God’s blessings and so we pray daily and ask for them. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Christians, therefore, do not need a national day of prayer. Prayer is a way of life for us. Daily prayer keeps us focused on the one who is the author and finisher of our faith, the lover of our souls, our way-maker, our strength and shield, our friend, and our creator. For the Christian, every day is a day of thanksgiving, of praise and adoration, and a day of a constant call to repentance. If there was only one day when Christians could or should pray, that would be a sad commentary on the power of God in our lives. Because of God’s blessings on Christians in this country, we can pray every day and do not have to wait for anyone to declare when we can or ought to pray. Every day is a national day of prayer. If you’re praying on the first Thursday in May of each year, it should be because you pray daily as a Christian and not because someone has decided that is the day to pray. As Christians, we are called to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).

II Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” If we truly want to see change in our lives and in this country, we should pray daily and not just on “a” national day of prayer. Such a single day is probably for those for whom prayer is not a way of life. When will you pray?

If you are a Christian and are critical of the current presidential administration, read Exodus 22:28, Ecclesiastes 10:20, Acts 23:5, Romans 13:1, and I Peter 2:17. Those scriptures call for us to pray for our leaders and for those in authority over us. Once again, Christians are called to be in constant prayer. The controversy around the National Day of Prayer is a distraction from what we should be doing, praying. And it’s an effort to malign the current presidential administration. Let’s pray today and every day.