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.