National Day of Prayer

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the ‘National Day of Prayer’.
According to the official website The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.

The believer in me wants to embrace a ‘Day of Prayer’ but the cynic in me just can’t quite get past The National Day of Prayer Task Force.

Their website goes on to say:
(That) like Thanksgiving or Christmas, this day has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation. Really? Hallmark® calendars??? Well I guess that makes it official AND mandatory. After all, everyone knows that Hallmark® must be obeyed – otherwise there would be no Professional Assistants’ Day or Grandparents’ Day or “No, You Didn’t Win But You Were A Great Participant” Day.

I don’t mean to trivialize something that means so much to so many but I believe that they have done that to themselves by invoking Hallmark®.

I guess I felt a little better after I continued to read and found this on their webpage:
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.

Which reminds me of a joke –
There was a nun teaching a Kindergarten class. She asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up. Sister asked the first little girl, “Patty, what would you like to be when you grow up?” Little Patty replied, “Sister when I grow up I want to be a doctor.” Sister replied, “Oh Patty, that’s wonderful. Doctors care for people and help them stay healthy and strong.” Then she asked little Tommy what he would like to be. He replied, “Sister, when I grow up I want to be a fireman.” “Oh Tommy, that’s wonderful, firefighters help save lives and property.” Sister then asked, “Mary, what would you like to be?” Little Mary replied very proudly, “Sister, when I grow up I want to be a prostitute!” With that, Sister grabbed her heart and fell faint to the floor. When she came to she asked, “Mary, WHAT DID YOU SAY that you want to be when you grow up?” Mary responded emphatically, “A prostitute, Sister!” With that, Sister responded, “Oh thank God! I thought you said Protestant!”

Okay, so now I’m the one being trivial.

But my point is this: Let’s pray that we can transcend our differences. Let’s build more bridges and fewer fences. Not just one day a year but everyday. I may be a Catholic but I can pray for Protestants (and not for their conversion). I can ask for their prayers, too. When my son was deployed to Iraq (the first time) my Evangelical friend was the one that held me in her arms and prayed for his protection and God’s mercy. One of my best friends is Jewish but I don’t feel a need to remind him that Jesus is my Savior. He knows what I believe AND he respects it. And I know that God holds him in the palm of His hand, too.

Prayer can be transcendent. But first we must remember that none of us has all the answers. We just need to surrender to God. And then let go…



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