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5.05.2005    |    National Day of Prayer
Well, it's official. Today, May 5, 2005, is the National Day of Prayer. There's a Presidential Proclamation giving it the government's imprimatur. Just in case you were wondering.

While I'm hardly against prayer, I am against having a single day marked as a specific "National" day of prayer. But then, I'm generally against any and all such special days, months, years, decades, millenia, whatevers. It seems that whenever we try too hard to "celebrate" something or another, we cast it in the light of being unable to sustain itself.

National Pickle Month, for example, is July. Also in July, we have these tasty treats:
Lasagna Awareness Month
National Baked Bean Month
National Hot Dog Month
National Ice Cream Month
National July Belongs to Blueberries Month
National Picnic Month
Now these are all worthy things. Who among us, after all, doesn't really like at least one of these things? The point is that dedicating an entire month to any of them is simply a marketing gimmick. After all, there is no food so foul as to not have some association of growers or packers or distributors or grocers pushing them on us.

Wait, we say -- isn't prayer totally unlike such commercial boosterism? Doesn't prayer to the Almighty deserve special recognition in the form of a Presidential Proclamation, a special day? Yes, prayer is totally unlike ice cream, although they do share certain attributes. They can both be exceptionally tasty, and the can both satisfy an intense inner craving. Not only that, but prayer isn't fattening.

The point is that to have one day set aside as the "National Day of Prayer" trivializes what should be second nature to believers. OK, it's May 5th. You can pray today. What you do tomorrow; what you did yesterday, that's of no concern to us. Not that we are ever prohibited from praying. Oh. We are? If you think we are not, try having your child lead his classroom in prayer.

Paul, in 1 Thessalonians 5, provides us with this instruction:
16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Pray without ceasing. Not just on May 5. Always. Every day, every moment of our lives. How to do this? Well, this will vary depending on one's beliefs. Some people prefer rote prayers, mandated and repeated time and time again. Others to pray in groups with a set liturgy. Some don't admit to praying, but give thanks to our creator in their own way; itself a form of prayer. Mix and match, and let no one tell you your form of prayer is insufficient in God's eyes. Who are they, God's optician?

No one in ths world is keeping score. Just pray. Without ceasing.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.