National day of prayer

I am not a good joiner. That’s why I’m not part of any of the National Day of Prayer activities in our area. I shy away from events that talk about the spiritual but get close to being political. And this day is one of those kinds of events.

There are big rallies planned, prayer events on courthouse steps and congressional offices. Churches are having special services and vigils and all day prayer events.

It’s fine. It’s good. The Bible tells us to pray for our countries, whichever they are. The Bible tells us to pray for leaders, to seek the good of our community. The Bible tells us to seek peace, to pursue justice, to speak on behalf of the widows and the ophans and the poor.

Here’s my concern.

It’s too easy to build up to one day and then say, “Yep, we had our day. Time to start planning for next year.” The problem, of course, is that prayer is conversation with God, not proclamations to people.

Sometimes these days feel like a family reunion where everyone comes together to visit the patriarch and spends most of their time talking to each other. They hope that the neighbors will be impressed with the size of the turnout. They  hope that he will be impressed with the size of the turnout when what he really wants is daily visits and quiet conversation with individuals and small groups.

Here’s my other concern.

It’s too easy to criticize this event without doing anything. I could have spent the time it took to write this post praying for our leaders and that would have equaled the time I have spent in the last 3 months in that kind of prayer. I could have spent the time it took to write this post asking God to show me how to speak on behalf of widows who are ignored and orphans who are being abused and that would have equaled the time I have spent in the last 6 months in that kind of prayer.

I could go on in confession. But I won’t. Not to you.

That’s enough time on writing. Forget the national day of prayer. I need to think about a personal life of prayer.

4 responses to “National day of prayer

  1. Agreed, Jon. It’s another day at the home-office for me.

    A similar concept is the “think globally, act locally” angle. We need to do big things but start with our selves, on a small scale. At least.

    I should take time out to pray today. Here.

  2. I skipped the National Prayer Day too, two of my daughters were home and made cookies and I worked on laughing and lightening up.

    I do pray with a group of people that do healing prayer work and collect names to pray about…and I meditate for myself.

    Today on my mind are all the women in the world who have been raped and then are stoned to death or burned with acid because they were raped. These thoughts are haunting me…
    Laughter is the start of prayer…
    warm baked cookies are loving prayers…
    It was a good day

  3. Once again…you’ve journaled my thoughts well. Maybe it’s the same spirit or maybe, as you said in closing I too need some more personal time for prayer in my life too.

  4. Pingback: Dear Canonist » Blog Archive » Becoming an Atheist: Prayer