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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thoughts About Praying

The National Day of Prayer is tomorrow. Interestingly, this observance was established in 1952 by a resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

Who can pray? Everyone – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people who don’t know what they believe, people who want to believe in something, people who feel like they have no hope, people who feel that they have no future, toddlers, children, teenagers, parents, single people, middle-aged people, elderly – everyone

What to pray? Pray for the welfare of this nation and wisdom for its leaders. Pray that the people of this country would walk in compassion for their families, their neighbors, their enemies, their fellow citizens and for citizens of the world. Pray for wisdom and compassion for yourself.

How to pray? Say the words of your request to God out loud – any time or anywhere.

History documents that George Washington was a man of prayer. According to Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, an ordained Presbyterian minister, graduate of Princeton with a degree from Dickinson College, "I felt much impressed in his presence and reflected upon the hand and wonderful Providence of God in raising him up and qualifying him with so many rare qualities and virtues for the good of this country and the world. Washington was not only brave and talented, but a truly excellent and pious man of God and of prayer. He always retired before a battle and in any emergency for prayer and direction."

Even Joni Mitchell believes in prayer (from “The Same Situation”, Album: Court and Spark):
“Still I sent up my prayer
Wondering where it had to go
With heaven full of astronauts
And the Lord on death row
While the millions of his lost and lonely ones
Call out and clamour to be found
Caught in their struggle for higher positions
And their search for love that sticks around”

So, these are my prayers for tomorrow: First, what Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” Then, what the ancients recorded: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” And, finally, St. Paul’s words: “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”

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