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Thursday, May 05, 2005

The National Day of Prayer: a damned useless gesture if there ever was one

I'm not going to waste a single moment today on the "National Day of Prayer". Because the entire idea of it is a blasphemous joke. It insults my intelligence. It insults the memory of those who fought and died for our freedoms. And worst of all it insults God.

It used to have real meaning, back in the day when the Continental Congress and General George Washington asked their countrymen to pray for wisdom and guidance from divine Providence. Theirs were prayers of humbleness and contrition: those men and women knew where they stood before God. I think that was a far more noble era than today because for the most part, those people weren't afraid or ashamed to admit before all that their lives were meaningless without the grace of God. Nor were they too proud to confess the need for personal communion and fellowship with God to the extent that it had a higher priority than their relationships with others.

And it was considered a far nobler thing to desire that God's will be done, instead of OUR will be done. Look at many of the political and military leaderships of both sides of the Civil War: Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee were on opposite sides, yet both sought counsel from God and were content to let Him judge how the conflict should end. And in the end, General Lee harbored no bitterness toward either God or his conquerors for suffering defeat.

As for Lincoln, he was the first president to proclaim "a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer" in 1863. You can read the proclamation yourself at the link. Including this passage from it...

...We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

That's what the National Day of Prayer used to mean: the nation humbling itself and crying to God for His will to be done.

It was not intended to be a platform upon which the nation exalts itself and demands that God allow its own will be done.

I went to the National Day of Prayer's website to see what we're supposed to be praying for today. Starting with the President of the United States and members of Congress, the list of who/what to pray for goes on to mention members of the armed forces, "school authorities", law enforcement agencies, presumably "mainstream" journalists (where the heck are bloggers?!) and families at last.


The "National Day of Prayer" is not an exercise of our freedom to worship and seek out God as we understand Him.

The "National Day of Prayer", rather, is a means of controlling the American people.

I see nothing here but a reassertion of "authority" over the people of this country. As if there were common people and then an elite "priestly caste" of politicians and power-mongers that intercede on our behalf before Almighty God. As if we have no right to discourse with God regarding the state of our national affairs in our life on this Earth.

We're supposed to pray for wisdom for them. But where the Hell do you see it that we are asked to pray to God for wisdom for ourselves?

God didn't put "the government" in authority over America. He never decreed that this country is something only Democrats and Republicans can boast of controlling. Nowhere has it ever been commanded that we are supposed to follow men like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and George W. Bush as if they were anointed apostles of the Almighty without question. Who the *&$# do they think they are, anyway?!

And now we're supposed to pray that they do the right thing, when they have *&$#-ed it up so many times already in spite of our prayers for them?!

No sir. I will not partake in the National Day of Prayer. Because I have chosen to worship God. I will not worship America. Nor will I worship anyone who expects me to believe they have power over America.

Besides, the idea that prayer is a one-day out of the year thing cheapens it. We are told to "pray without ceasing". So instead of following through with what those who expect us to believe have authority over us would have us to do, I will pray in my own fashion. And include among them this petition to God: that He might give ALL of us, as Americans, the wisdom and the strength to govern ourselves in the stewardship He gave us.

Time to quit letting "them" handle things while we run away from it.