Faith

For Christians, Shouldn’t Every Day Be a Day of Prayer?

Thursday was the National Day of Prayer, an annual event set by Congress as the first day in May.

I hadn’t realized that the National Day of Prayer was a Congressionally-mandated observance. These days, since people are so lawsuit-happy when it comes to anything regarding religion, I suppose I just assumed that National Day of Prayer was something set up by a coalition of churches.

I also hadn’t realized that the day is “overseen” by Shirley Dobson, the wife of Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson.

How does one “oversee” a prayer day, exactly? That must be a stressful job. I have to wonder how much prayer is made in advance for the strength to oversee a day when everyone else is supposed to pray,

Dobson — James, not Shirley — took advantage of the occasion to get political, warning attendees of the “dire implications” if the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage.

…Dobson warned that legalizing gay marriage would undermine and weaken the family and tear this nation apart because “it will divide us further and the implications of it are breathtaking.

There’s nothing like sowing division on a day in which we’re all supposed to be on the same page.

I think, if I had the chance to speak out publicly on National Prayer Day to “warn” anyone about anything, I might suggest these two important points:

First, the number one priority for the day should be getting ourselves closer to God, not worrying about what other people do — legally recognized or not — in their private lives.

The day, after all, wasn’t labeled “National Day of Prayer to Block the Legalization of Gay Marriage.”

If the Supreme Court decides to legalize gay marriage, and I’m guessing it probably will, that does absolutely nothing to undermine someone else’s family unless that family is already undermined for some other, more serious, more personal reason within that family.

The fact is gay people have already been getting married for quite some time now. How does a gay couple who weds in Washington, D.C., or any of the other places where same-sex marriage is legal, affect a mother, father and their child in Dubuque, Iowa?

Unless there’s something already seriously wrong with that little family in Dubuque that’s completely unrelated to the marriage in the nation’s capital, there’s absolutely no reason in the world that union should have the remotest impact.

One family doesn’t gain its value, one relationship doesn’t gain its strength, because of someone else’s relationship somewhere else.

The second point I might make would be to suggest that the Christian community might pray for the wisdom from God — since we don’t seem to be doing a good job on our own — to make the church more welcoming to the people we are so quick to assume have “abandoned” God or “strayed” from His plan (or any of the other poetic little ways we phrase it), so that they might feel a stronger pull to expose themselves to God and His teaching among people who are supposed to be loving them to begin with.

I have never understood why Christians seem to act “surprised” people they label as “separated from God” don’t feel welcome in the church community where that bond should be nurtured.

You can’t, after all, declare war on someone and expect them to join you at the same time.

I think Christians should pray for more unity and less division, more love in the name of God and less hate in the name of a political agenda.

That’s probably why I’ll never be named an “overseer” of National Prayer Day.

But then again, I think prayer is important enough that it shouldn’t relegated to a single day, anyway.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.