As some may be aware, the first Thursday of May – May 3 this year – has been established as a National Day of Prayer.
As a Christian, I am aware of how our faith – and even other faith – is constantly under attack. But I must say this one was new to me. So while some may already be aware of what I’m about to write, I was unaware of such assaults against faith in general until recently. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, whether you put your faith into practice or allow it to lie dormant in your life, please listen up. Uh, I mean read intently, because war is being waged against all of our beliefs in America.
I knew that the National Day of Prayer was coming up soon, as I missed participating in the event last year because I wasn’t active in faith. As I began my research, I found that there has been controversy surrounding this particular nationally designated day for many years, particularly since 2003. That year, Atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the American Humanist Association (AHA – not to be confused with the American Heart Association AHA) began working to enact their own National Day of Reason. This Day of Reason was read into existence in the U.S. Congress in 2009.
A writer for the Atheism Examiner wrote in that year, “It is a protest, of sorts, to the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer… The National Day of Reason encourages groups that are opposed to the National Day of Prayer to organize events in their respective areas to show unity against the continued perversion of our government’s nature by religious ideology. Just as important, these groups are doing things in their communities that actually contribute to the overall well-being of our nation, unlike prayer, which is a fruitless time waster.”
That writer continued, hoping that then newly elected President Barack Obama would “put an end” to the nationally recognized day of prayer.
Another writer at the Manchester branch of the Examiner – not sure which Manchester as I didn’t care to research the location further – that same year, 2009, wrote, “For the freethinking people who reject myths and superstitions, this is a great way to counteract the unfortunate National Day of Prayer.”
I am most offended by the word “unfortunate.” The author describes it as the “unfortunate” National Day of Prayer and seeks to “counteract” it. The first writer says that prayer is “a fruitless time waster” and that Americans should “protest” it.
The second author’s bio states that she “looks to educate others on the problems caused by believing in the magical and invisible guy in the sky,” and “hopes to further enlighten her community with reason, logic, and science.”
Another Examiner writer in Oklahoma, this year wrote, “On Thursday May 3rd, 2012, many Americans led by our elected officials will turn to God in prayer and meditation in a day observed as the National Day of Prayer (36 U.S.C. 119). While prayer and meditation are recognized for their self-satisfying benefits in lieu of action, a better sense of well being and gratification can be experienced by actually doing something good for one’s community. As the saying goes, two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”
I have intentionally given the editorialists I’ve quoted anonymity here, God knows who they are!
Reading more into these articles, I found that Atheism is not a religion. This puzzled me because they seem to be trying to convert as many people as possible to their faith – or lack thereof. Most who believe in a god are content to be peaceful with others. However, those with a lack of belief seem to be mounting an attack against the rest of us, regardless of what we believe. I mean with the hope to “further enlighten her community with reason, logic, and science,” it seems that Atheists consider anyone who believes in anything beyond themselves are apparently irrational boobs. Is it unreasonable to recognize a higher power than myself? Some believe it is.
I am a believer/knower of Christ. Christianity is NOT a religion, but rather a relationship. I believe that religions, and I include Atheism, are false and meant to divert man from the one true GOD, the Bible says this. I won’t apologize for believing this way. If you believe something else, you should know that I don’t think you’re an ignoramus, as some human(ist)s apparently do.
But as a believer in this century, I can work Google just fine, despite those who think faith makes me foolish. I also believe/know that gravity, the inertia of a speeding train and hydrogen atoms exist. So I must be a freak-of-nature because I am a believer and I understand logic, reasoning and scientific principles too. Of course, I’m joking other believers can comprehend reasoning also, but don’t tell the Atheists.
Without being judgmental, it’s obvious to me that the last author, among others, has never experienced the power that can be experienced when two hands are clasped in prayer. One thing I noticed about these articles, other than their disbelief in “the guy in the sky,” was that on the side there was a place for comments on various platforms. All of the articles had something else in common, “0” tweets, “0” Facebook Likes, “+1” Google hit, “0” In Shares and “0” comments. I assume that I gave them the “+1” on the g, because that’s how I came across them.
Now for a history lesson: On many occasions prior to a National Day of Prayer being enacted by Pres. Harry S. Truman in 1952, our leaders have called for the country to pray. Prior to the nation’s founding, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending, not forcing, a day of public “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be observed on July 20, 1775. George Washington, John Adams and other presidents have called for the nation to pray. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln blamed the country’s lack of prayer for “that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land.” He claimed it “may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins.” He called for “national humiliation, fasting and prayer,” hoping that God restore “our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace”. In 1988, the day was announced to be held the first Thursday in May from then on.
Americans of all walks acknowledge that one of the reasons the United States was founded was for religious freedom. That includes those with the lack of religion. But just because you don’t have something in this country, doesn’t give you the right to take it out on those of us who do have. To balance that – or to force religion – would be communism. Our government isn’t forcing anyone to pray, or to pray to a specific god, with us on May 3. That would be unconstitutional. But setting aside a day for prayer across the land isn’t. Many of our leaders are believers; many of those are brave enough to embrace faith publicly and will join us.
After reading this, and the excerpts from other writers, I hope you of little or great faith are paying attention, as I admittedly was not before now. Believers must realize that by not practicing our faith, we are neglecting it. By not standing together in prayer, we are losing it.
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.” – 1 John 1:1-6.
To those who believe in nothing, I repeat these wise words: If I am wrong, what do I lose? Nothing. If you are wrong, look at what you stand to lose!
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time,” – 1 Peter 5:6.
So I ask you to join with us in prayer. It isn’t forced. It isn’t required. But if you believe, then pray. If you are reading this after the National Day of Prayer this year, it’s ok. God will forgive you if you pray to Him today. Hopefully next year, we can all pray together. And to Atheists, those who don’t believe in anything, we will pray for you.
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” – 1 John 2:17.