In 1952 Congress established a National Day of Prayer “to be held on the first Tuesday of May for the purpose of allowing citizens to turn to God in churches, in groups, and as individuals.” Early this morning, I was honored to take part in my city’s public prayer breakfast that was organized by our Mayor, Steven Hunnicutt. At the prayer breakfast, clergy and chaplains from across our city led prayers for the various segments of our country and community, and the keynote speaker was Sherriff Grady Judd (who happens to be the greatest Sherriff in the world).
I’m now sitting at my desk reflecting on that prayer breakfast, and the more I think about it, the more significant that event seems to be. There was something unique and important that happened this morning. People from all walks of life assembled, bowed their heads, and prayed together. Religious leaders ignored denominationalism and prayed together. Politics was left outside and a united faith in Christ reigned.
As I think about the prayer breakfast, here are some personal observations that I came away with. First, I was reminded again that people in authority positions need prayer. Paul reminded Timothy of this fact in I Timothy 2. Leading people is hard, and getting a consensus among a large group of people is nigh on impossible. I’ve learned that in spite of what they want you to think, people in authority positions don’t always have it all together, and they don’t always know what do to. They need us to pray for them.
Second, our country needs prayer. Desperately. No matter which political persuasion you might claim, pretty much everyone across the spectrum agrees that our country is broken and getting worse. The problems are deeper than elections, they are deeper than policy changes, and most problems don’t have clear and easy solutions. If our country were our children or our spouses, we would immediately load it into the back seat of our cars and seek immediate medical help. We need help now.
And last, I was reminded that it’s important for me to pray. It’s so easy to criticize the decisions that are being made, and it’s also easy to assume (wrongly) that there’s really nothing we as individuals can do about anything. But for followers of Christ, we actually can do something about the state of our country. We can pray. When we pray, we actually take some responsibility to be part of the solution. We become part of the process. We become involved. And when we pray, God most certainly hears.
It was an honor for me to an active participant this morning. But even more valuable was the insights that I came away with. I hope that in some personal way the insights I gained would be insightful for you, too.