Friday, May 08, 2009

National Day of Prayerlessness

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV): "If my people, who are called by my name, will 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."

Yesterday, we passed through the National Day of Prayer. Or, perhaps this year, it should be called the "National Day of Prayerlessness". It is fitting that the people of God call out to their creator and sustainer, even more so to do it in concert with one another on a selected day. National prayer goes back to 1775 when the Contintental Congress designated a time of prayer for the birthing of this "new nation". Abraham Lincoln called for a resolution to pray as a nation in 1863. Congress passed a law giving the President the right to select a national day of prayer under Truman.

And yet, these days it seems that there are fewer people praying. Even the people of God have lost their understanding of prayer. We have mastered the art of asking God for things and lost the art of surrendering ourselves in prayer! So perhaps it is fitting that President Obama failed to send even representation to any of the National Day of Prayer observances yesterday. In a nation that doesn't pray- it might be seen as a dangerous throwback to the archaic notion that our nation needs the help of God in the economic Tsunami that we are desperately trying to survive. (After all, we can print more money... right???!)

Those of us common folk see things a bit differently. Reports are that many are coming back to church, because of their difficulties and stresses. Perhaps there is a hue and cry in the hearts of the broken and beatdown that the Washington DC elite have insulated themselves from (are any of them facing forclosure???). Many people are starting to turn back to God- in spite of his bad press these last few years. But there probably won't be much in the way of relief from the economic hard times for a little while. The nation that ignores God so famously cannot turn to him once a year and expect blessing. The demand of God is to follow him with all our hearts.

And that is why the scripture says, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord". So the Question needs to be asked...If a nation's God is money, power, and political influence... what is its reward?

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