It is that time of year again for the National Day of Prayer. It’s a time where orange juice and biscuits will be the highlight of prayer breakfasts. Pastors and ministers will speak words of faith. The President will invoke words of encouragement and hope. Many individuals will gather at various prayer events in their cities and pray for their families, country and fellow man.
These events are certainly a synopsis of our religious culture. It serves as a reminder of how important these traditions are in Christendom and the need to commemorate them.
But there is something deeper missing in all these festivities. There is a bigger longing than a few scriptures quoted, a couple of choruses and melodies harmonized together, and an inspirational theme. There is a genuine lack of a prayerful lifestyle in America.
Prayer cannot simply be condensed into a holiday. It is not something that can be dusted off a shelf once a year and expected to perform at its highest magnitude. Prayer must simply be a lifestyle. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonians to “Pray without ceasing.” It is something that should be a consistent factor in our lives. Prayer is communication between man and God, and there should always be an active interaction between the Creator and his creation.
I am not desensitized by the traditional events surrounding the National Day of Prayer. The spiritual unity that is witnessed during this day is beneficial and definitely needed. However, this lone event does not account for a personal relationship with God and an active prayer life. Philippians 4:6 states: ” Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.” Regardless if there is a national event, prayer breakfast or a host of religious officials around us, we must seek the Lord in prayer in all things.
There is a common and typical tradition of reaching out to God in times of crises and tribulations. This is not effective use of prayer. While God is truly certain to hear us in our times of desperate need, he is also worthy of prayer and praise when times are going well. Our prayer life should not be based on the ups and downs of the economy, our marital status, or our job outlook. It should be effective and active regardless of what surrounds us.
Prayer can change and alter any situation. When God sees an adamant desire by one to communicate with him, he feels compelled to intervene on our behalf. It is the power of prayer that makes an alcoholic feel an eradication for his desire of drunkenness. It is the power of prayer that can take a wounded heart of a depressed soul and set it free. The power of prayer faces no limits or boundaries. It is not bound by natural obstacles or setbacks.
In order to know God, we must communicate with him. A man doesn’t learn to love his wife by talking to her on a once-a-year basis. He talks to her constantly and builds a relationship with her on a day-to-day basis.
We will never learn to grow in our faith and relationship with God by simply waiting for a National Day of Prayer event to speak with him. Prayer must certainly be a lifestyle. It should be something we yearn to do. Prayer must be a lifestyle.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”– 2 Chronicles 7:14
Make EVERYDAY your National Day of Prayer.