The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, the observance is a reminder for people of all faiths that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible. This is a good thing … Lord knows our country needs prayer. I believe in prayer now more than ever … but that wasn’t always the case.
How many times have you heard someone say, “when all else fails, perhaps we should pray.” I’ve been guilty of saying that, then half-heartedly (actually without any heart at all) saying a few words in the hopes to appease those around me. Scripture tells us to “pray fervently” (James 5:16-18). Frankly, I’ve gotten out of the habit of praying far too many times … but any habit that can be broken can just as easily be made anew.
I often fall into the trap of thinking that God knows my every thought and all my needs, and since He loves me and has promised to care for me, why do I need to pray? If God is all knowing, and never changing, then why should I ask for something He might not be willing to give me? Or why would I tell Him about things He already knows? Why should I tell Him of my cares, if I trust He is good and cares for me? Seems like reasonable questions to me.
Prayer changes me and it’s powerful. It changes the people prayed with and for. When I get out of the habit, I need some motivation to pray. A lot of time I’ll say something like, “Lord, this is Debby. I’m here, but I sure don’t feel like being here and I sure don’t know what to say. Can you fix me?” And then … somehow … something changes. I know prayer works. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
I like what Max Lucado (one of my favorite authors) says about prayer: “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”
Isn’t it amazing that I can be awkward and feeble and God still wants to communicate with me through prayer? What do you say?