Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Thoughts on Christianity and the National Day of Prayer (2)

To  continue our discussion on the National Day of Prayer and questions that have arisen as a result, let's begin by talking about what the National Day of Prayer is.

How did the National Day of Prayer Begin?

The National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 by the US Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.  It is founded on the constitution (freedom of religion and freedom of speech) and was written to be an annual event. 

Prayer (and the call to corporately pray) was an important part of the founding of this Nation, as historical documents show, as early as 1775 - when our nation was in its conception.  From that time, other Presidents - such as Abraham Lincoln - called for prayer and were known as God fearing men.  A little research can provide well documented quotes and thoughts (proof) that our Nation's Leaders were Christian men.  From the time of George Washington to the creation of Preambles for each State, the God of the Bible has been feared and revered among the majority of leaders of our great nation.  By 1988, President Reagan amended the law to state that the National Day of Prayer would be observed on the first Thursday of each May.

It is also important to point out that the National Day of Prayer is for all Americans to express and celebrate their faith through prayer.   This means whatever religion you are!  

Why is there such Controversy over the National Day of Prayer?

The controversy comes in the interpretation of "freedom of religion" and whether or not this nation was founded as a Christian nation.  There is also contention over what the spirit of the constitution meant when freedom of religion was established.    Some even argue that it is not to be freedom FROM religion, but freedom of religion... a big difference.

Controversy also arises when coalitions and task forces created to help organize prayer for the National Day of Prayer are misrepresented and misinterpreted.  Any religious group, Christian or otherwise has the right to organize groups for prayer during the NDP.   I am sure that many do, but none are as targeted as the Christian groups.   I would have to ask WHY!

Why is there such a movement to insist that our nation was NOT founded on Christian principles and values.   Why is there a denial that many of our laws came from the Bible?    Why are other religious groups allowed to grow and flourish in our nation, but Christians are deemed as 'dangerous' or 'radical'?

What I Think:

I will tell you what I think.   People are offended at Christ.  They are offended at the message of the Bible.   They don't want to be told how to live or ever believe in something like the Bible.  They feel the Bible is for ignorant people who can't think how to live on their own and need a book to tell them how.   Furthermore, the Bible is just ideas stolen from religions much older than the Word itself!   They especially don't want to have to live up to standards that the Bible holds.  Many people like to run their own lives without being accountable for their actions to anyone - especially a god that they cannot see or relate to.  The only faith they possess is in themselves and what they can physically see with their eyes.  They believe the Bible is inconsistent - talking about blood/ killing in one book and then love in another.  The stories found in the Bible are ridiculous and couldn't possibly have been true; a virgin birth, people coming back from the dead, a huge ark filled with animals, the parting of the Red Sea - come on!   Others want the benefits of God (blessings, peace, prosperity, healing) without knowing or having a relationship with him.  They do not understand the Word because they have not studied it - picking and  choosing whatever verse suits them at the time... deeming for themselves what is right.   Intellect and education - the teaching of man's ideas - has replaced faith and the teaching of the Holy Spirit.  They claim "There just can't possibly be ONE way to GOD.  All roads lead to enlightenment and we all eventually get there."    The claim that Jesus or the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as being the ONE TRUE GOD offends.   The common thought is that Christians do not like anyone who does not agree with them and that they (Christians) alone feel that they hold the truth!  How arrogant.  Again, this is irritating to those who do not believe!   Yes, people are so offended at Christ.

The National Day of Prayer and especially Christian prayer are just a reminder to many of political differences (though politics have nothing to do with the NDP) and a reminder that there are many, many Christians who usher in the presence of God in this country.   

Ultimately (and speaking as a Christian) I know who/what is behind all of this controversy - a deceptive enemy of souls whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. 

What Should You Do:

As Christians, we must realize that these controversies are going to continue to grow.  I have never been more resolved that we are going to have to hold steady and true to the faith we possess.  Yes, HOLD STEADY!  Talking to others about Christ and letting our light shine (our lives being the best testimony we can offer) will  become more difficult in the days ahead.    There might even be stiffer persecution ahead.  We must NEVER be ashamed of the gospel or fail to give an answer to those who ask the reason for our hope.   Realize that everyone has been given the power to choose whether or not they will serve Him.  Does it break our hearts when we see those we love reject Christ?  Sure.  It is not our job to save, however - that is a work of the Spirit of God.  We can only be tools for Him.   Make the most of every opportunity God gives you and do what you can while you can because a day is coming where no one will be able to work. 

Grow in the faith.  Read the Word daily and meditate on Him.   Walk in obedience and His truth.  Watch for His glorious coming.

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