Thursday, May 02, 2013

Thoughts on the National Day of Prayer

Today, May 2, is designated as the National Day of Prayer and has been officially observed every year since 1952. There are massive public prayer gatherings all over the nation today, which is great.

Two thoughts as I ponder this day and what it says about our culture:

1. Participate in these gatherings for the right reasons, not just to make a show. Matthew Paul Turner put it perfectly, borrowing the form of Matthew 6:5-6:

And when you pray on National Day of Prayer, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to post about their praying on Facebook and Twitter and take pictures of themselves kneeling beside flags and in groups so they can be seen by others on Instagram. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

2. Let your prayer motivate you to action. If you attend a downtown prayer rally but ignore half a dozen homeless people as you walk back to your car, then you've wasted your time. Let your prayer open your heart to see the person at your job or in your school who is lonely and excluded. As the apostle James wrote (James 2:14-17), your faith isn't alive unless it leads you to action.

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