Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The National Day of Prayer and My Love/Hate Relationship

This Thursday is the National Day of Prayer, friends.

I have to admit, I have always been semi-turned off by the corny NDP logos, the predictable Christian radio announcements, the expected conservative leaders joining the NDP task force as spokespeople, the brochures and bumper stickers, the token theme verse, the obligatory endorsement by the President...

Please don't hate me.

My irritation stems from a heart wishing that prayer could be much more organic and much less programmatic, more heartfelt and less obligatory, more diverse and less canned.  And, I wish their logo was a little less predictable.

Here's comes the "however"...  It is a big however.

HOWEVER, I love prayer.  I love my Jesus, my Best Friend.  I love communicating with Him.  I appreciate the hard work and long hours that many people have put into organizing the National Day of Prayer.  If I could, I would hug David Jeremiah and Shirley Dobson.  And, I don't even like hugs.  Heck, I even plan to take part in the National Day of Prayer.  I'll be at a prayer meeting Thursday night, and you can bet I'll be interceding on behalf of our nation.  


Please don't feel obligated to play along or pretend that you like prayer on Thursday just so you will look like a respectable, moral, patriotic sort of person. 

Please don't jump on the prayer-bumper-stickered-bandwagon just because our buddy David Jeremiah endorses the whole thing.  

And, please don't disregard the it all (whether that is prayer or God Himself) even if you are turned off by the conservatism and the hypocrisy of Christians like me.  We're so sorry we've come across in strange and hurtful ways, at times.

Please, please please...
Use the National Day of Prayer as an opportunity, an invitation, a reminder.  Remember the Lord.  Know He is inviting you to join Him in interceding on behalf of our nation.  Make the most of the opportunity to genuinely and sacrificially turn, to seek, to repent, to listen, to follow well.  He will hear.  He will come and meet with you...  Even if you don't attend an organized prayer meeting on Thursday.

Please use the National Day of Prayer as a springboard - the first of many days that you will continue in a lifestyle of prayer.  When the logo is obsolete, when the Christian radio has moved on to the latest MercyMe hit, when the spokespeople are no longer encouraging you to take part, when the brochures and bumper stickers are in the trash can, and when the President has moved on to "more important" things...may we still be living our lives in an atmosphere of prayer.  Always listening, always communing, always submitting to His lordship.  May it be so, Lord!  Help us! 

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