No, I’m not calling on all Americans to join together on a National Day of Prayer. I must confess, that ever since I came to know the Lord almost 20 years ago, that the National Day of Prayer has always rubbed me the wrong way. I feel like it was just a political tool used by politicians to placate those of us who had true faith. They use it to say, “Hey, we are really Christians and by golly, you should vote for us,” because they realized that without the votes of those of us who are Christians, they would never win their elections. I know that the day has been with us for 234 years, but that does nothing to remove this feeling from me. Why?
First of all because I don’t see a lot of politicians who are believers truly living out their faith in office. They do what most Christians do when it comes to faith, act the part on days like the NDP and Christmas, and then move back into the secular mode when it comes to their actions in their legislative bodies. For instance, recently the entire government was run by Republicans, and there was not one piece of legislation presented, debated, voted upon and signed by Bush dealing with one of the most heinous acts of our country: abortion. Our Republicans are always saying that they are pro-life, but never really do anything that will truly reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. in a real and meaningful way.
I know the argument: “But Timothy, the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional.” OK, then how about passing legislation that shows video of the live fetus (from the Latin word that means “little ones”) inside the womb. Teach and show our children that these babies are truly alive and do feel pain. That way we are shaping the minds of our children to understand that what is being conceived is actual life. This may not be the solution, but did the Republicans do anything of value when they had the power? Absolutely not. I know there was something done with frozen embryos by President Bush, but that was just lip service to the pro-life side in the grand scheme of things. How come there is no real conviction over this issue among those who claim Christ as their Savior in office?
Politicians will always be quick to gather for the cameras in order to offer some form of inane prayer… but take the cameras away and let us see how faithful they truly are. Are they willing to meet at 7 a.m. on a Saturday morning, away from the cameras with other men and women of faith in order to pray?
Another reason that I don’t care for NDP is that never bar Jews or people of Islam from the events. So exactly which God are they worshiping when they gather? There is only One Living and True God and that is the Triune God of Christianity. To approach and pray any other god is blasphemous for the Christian to do because we are saying that the god of the Jews is the real god, or the god of Islam is the true god. Yet Christianity stands in contrast to any ecumenical type of god, because Jesus said that we can only approach the Father through Him (John 14:1-6). He is the only Mediator for mankind, and the only One who can allow us into the presence of the Holy Father in order to make our prayers. Any pulling away from this principle on any level means that we are not truly praying to God at all, and merely giving lip service to Him.
Also, are they truly praying about anything of any real spiritual significance? Are they praying for the lost? Are they praying for the need for more dependence upon the Lord? Are they praying for a deepening of faith? Are they praying for real spiritual awakening, or to be made more in the image of Christ? I add that last one because the answer to that is that we will go through suffering as a result of that prayer. If we truly want to be like Christ, should we expect to have a suffering-free life? He suffered. Since this is true, should we not expect to suffer as well since we are His disciples? A student is never above his Teacher, and we should not think that we are above what He went through.
Finally, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just ruled that the day is Unconstitutional. Let us say that this becomes the law of the land. Will the politicians still gather on May 6th for NDP then? If not, why not? Are they not willing to go to jail for religious liberty? Or, is that just too inconvenient? Let them outlaw our prayer. Then, while we are sitting in jail together, we can pray some more. I bet any politician who gets thrown in jail will pray a lot more sincerely to the Lord once he is sitting in a cell with a bunch of meth addicts.
Please do not think for one minute that I’m opposed to prayer, or a day set aside for prayer. In fact, let’s just set the Lord’s Day aside for prayer and we can all gather in our local houses of worship and pray all day. Too inconvenient… got to beat the Baptists to the local feed trough for lunch (that’s a joke… the only one so far, so please read it as such).
If we are true believers, we are always praying for the things of God and our government and the lost and the wicked, the sick, the poor, etc., etc. That is what believers do. They don’t just show up once a year and pray, or even make a show of doing that. True believers, at least this one, doesn’t care if some Wisconsin judge rules something like the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional. We are going to pray every day regardless and remember the words of our LORD:
The Messiah’s Triumph and Kingdom
1 Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
My trust is not in the courts or the legislation, but in He who rules from Zion. To Him I will pray and put my trust, every day, not just once a year so I can placate my constituents.