May Voice Message
National Day of Prayer
by Mark S
The following message from Pastor Mark was published in the May issue of the Voice Newsletter available online here.
The National Day of Prayer is on Thursday, May 3rd this year. According to Wikipedia, “The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked ‘to turn to God in prayer and meditation.’” On the one hand, I see this designation as a nice encouragement for prayer, and designating a day to remind and encourage prayer is a really good thing. On the other hand, as a Christian, designating a day for prayer seems a bit like reminding and encouraging me to breathe. Prayer is such a natural daily part of my existence that every day is a Day of Prayer. I’m reminded of the Apostle Paul’s writings, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Scripture encourages us to pray, encourages us to be in conversation with God, and encourages us to be aware of God’s presence continually.
I’m not trying to knock our National Day of Prayer. I am actually lifting up prayer as an important and integral part of being Christian. So, what to do on our National Day of Prayer, if prayer is something you already do regularly? Perhaps it is a designated time to focus on praying for our country.
- Pray for our President to be surrounded by sound counsel, and to make wise decisions that are fair and just for all.
- Pray for our local, state and national governments to be united in working together across party lines for the good of the people and world that God loves.
- Pray for racial and cultural tensions to dissipate as people learn to “love their neighbor, as themselves” (Mark 12:31).
- Pray for jobs that provide living wages for people to support themselves and their families.
- Pray for individuals and systems to remember those who are hungry, and establish ways for all who are hungry to have food to eat.
- Pray for vision to see the world that God loves. To see that all people across the globe are created in God’s image, and our lives are connected. “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16).
The list could go on and on. I hope that your list of prayers for our country is even longer.
There is one more prayer to add to the list. This prayer is for our military and their families. Evangelism Committee put a box of small toy soldiers on the service table in the Fellowship Hall. If you haven’t picked one up yet please do. I have one on my desk in my office and my family has one on the window sill over the sink. Every time you see the toy soldier offer a prayer for those in the military and their families. I always like to include the families, because they carry a tough burden as well.
On the National Day of Prayer let’s send up our prayers together for our country. And, every other day let’s remember to “pray without ceasing.”