I must confess that I’ve never been a participant in the National Day of Prayer nor the primarily evangelical driven, See You At the Pole. These events just don’t sit well with me because I’m not sure non-Christians would be actually welcome to lead the prayers as “equally” relevant to the ears of the divine. Mostly, this feels like another form of theocratic government and helps support the misguided or intentional misinformation that the United States was founded as a “Christian” nation. The founders, many of them, were at best deists fleeing a government that believed in and practiced “manifest destiny.” Odd how our country has become like the “Lords and surfs” of that continent of so long ago.
Please don’t misunderstand, I’m all for prayer and praying for our nation and our leaders is an important thing to do, but the National Day of Prayer is one example of how Christianity is “privileged” in our nation rather than under attack. A friend and peer of mine does a much better job of giving voice to my concerns in his latest post on “Along the Way.”
National Day of Prayer Misunderstands both Nation and Prayer
by Rev. David Cobb
I’m proud of the God and Country award I earned as a Boy Scout. I’m also passionate about preserving the freedom of those whose religion is different from mine as well as of those who profess no religion at all.
We Christians don’t need a National Day of Prayer to work together for the people Jesus called us to serve: the poor, the hungry, the sick, the disabled, and the oppressed. We need a government that protects religion without promoting it, ensuring all of us the freedom to pray or not as we please.
National Day of Prayer misunderstands who we are as a nation. It also misunderstands the source and power of genuine uncoerced prayer.