Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Is The National Day of Prayer Biblical?

Tomorrow marks the 59th observance of the “National Day of Prayer” in our nation. “Every president since 1952 has endorsed and supported National Day of Prayer except President Obama, who has decided not to endorse that,” is a quote from a local news website. Is that an accurate quote? Perhaps, and it would not surprise me. Obama did, however, back an exclusive Muslim day of prayer last September.

Does it bother me that Obama doesn’t support a sanctioned day of prayer for our nation? Not at all and it shouldn’t you either. If you think about it, a national day of prayer will be a day that many people (professing Christians, Jewish, Muslims, Hindu, Krishna, Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons and even Wiccans) will come together to pray to their chosen deity for whatever reason they do. To me this sounds like a common evening at any Masonic Lodge across the world, “just profess to believe in a higher power of the Universe and you can stand beside me in prayer” is the mantra for the day tomorrow.

So, should a Christian get all worked up about the president not supporting this event or the Wisconsin’s judge finding the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional? I say NO with a resounding voice. Tomorrow will mark a day of idolatry when fanciful prayers will be offered up to nonexistent gods, even by those that profess the name of Jesus. These are the modern day equivalence of the Pharisees of scripture. I would say that next to Christmas, tomorrow will be the most blasphemous day of the year.

Matthew 6:5-7 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Wow, Jesus sure made that clear, didn’t He? So, does this one passage of scripture refute having a National Day of Prayer? I’ll let you decide that for yourself. Personally, tomorrow will be as any other day for me, as far as my prayers go. I will awaken and thank God for all He does for me, allowing me to awaken next to my beautiful wife and thank Him for the gifts He has given me, thank Him for my health and ask to be used of Him to do what is pleasing to Him. My day will progress as any other day, I will commune with the Lord throughout the day. I will pray for brothers and sisters as they come to mind, I will pray for guidance and opportunity to share what He has done for me, to be mindful of opportunities to share the Gospel. I will thank Him for the meals He supplies to my family and me. In other words, I never really stop praying throughout the day. I am aware of the presence of God with me. I may not be 100% faithful in this, but God is teaching me to commune with Him and in turn I will sin less against Him and be conformed more into the image of Christ. I am definitely very far from that goal, but He is the Potter and I am the clay and He is molding me and shaping me to be what He wants.

So, I guess my point of this posting is to say, “chill out” if you are uptight about the recent events that are against a National Day of Prayer. Calm down if you think Obama is a Muslim against Christians. I am very certain that God has Obama in control and he doesn’t take a breath unless it is ordained by the Father. Do not bemoan a man sanctioned day of idolatry, I would even say do not take part in the day except to ask the Lord to turn those that are praying to their false idols to the One that can actually answer their prayers. Pray that God is glorified and exalted above all and ask how you can be used of Him to be a part of that.

Let me close by saying that I am not 100% against a gathering of God’s people joining in prayer to ask for the Lords will to be done. We do see in scripture the Church coming together with prayers, but they did not need a certain day of the year to do so. They came together in unison, with one voice, seeking the will of God. That kind of corporate prayer is very much needed today. True Christians need to come together with one voice to seek God as the body, to seek a return to the pure state of Christianity, a true revival of His church. I ask that you pray without ceasing and join others daily in prayer to the Lord. Just don’t plan a day, write out a long and exuberant prayer that will try to tickle the ears of those hearing it instead of petitioning the God and Maker of everything.

Oh, and stop posting prayers on facebook, myspace, youtube or sending them in emails. If those are your prayers to God, why do you post them for others to read? To bolster the readers spirituality? To show how spiritual you are? To show your immense vocabulary? I would very seriously caution posting a prayer to God anywhere. Pray to the Father only.

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