President Barak Obama recently canceled the prayer breakfast started by President George W. Bush, but he did NOT cancel the National Day of Prayer, we need to make that clear. However, I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be good thing for the Church if he did. I believe the “national” Day of Prayer needs to be reformed. I believe it needs to become a “Christian” Day of Prayer.
I believe the power of the Church has been hampered in the U.S. and other places due to the well-meaning, but misguided belief that our Christian identity is under-girded by our national religious ideals. The reality is that our Christian identity goes far beyond the borders of our country. We are citizens of the Kingdom along with our brothers and sisters in every place and every nation. Our country needs us to be Kingdom people first if there is hope of making disciples of Jesus Christ and transforming this nation.
What our nation would benefit from the most is the presence of God working in and among the followers of Jesus regardless of whether or not God is officially recognized or honored by national proclamations. I believe the greatest effort we can make is to bear witness to our faith and seek to help others discover the love and grace of God that comes through Jesus Christ. I believe that happens more effectively if we free ourselves from the belief that we need the national underpinnings of our government to make our faith valid and significant.
Here’s the first draft of what I would propose for all Christians in every nation across the globe – A “Christian Day of Prayer”:
Make it a day dedicated to praying for our countries, our world, and all leaders.
Make it a day for the followers of Jesus to pray together in a way that moves us beyond the bounds of nations and governments.
Encourage all Christians to voluntarily take the day as a vacation day.
Encourage churches to open their doors for people to come pray and to sponsor prayer events.
I believe this proposal allows the followers of Jesus to declare our belief that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life without the burden of facing a court challenge. I believe this “Christian Day of Prayer” proclaims the truth that we are first and foremost citizens of God’s Kingdom who long to see the people of our country immigrate to that same place. I believe taking this as a day of vacation will be a tremendous witness in our workplaces and will have a greater impact than a Presidential decree.
My proposal is not so different from the National Day of Prayer as it is right now, but I believe it would be more powerful if given our full attention. I believe it will help restore our nation to where it began – where our national identity is under-girded by our Christian religious ideals.
That’s one man’s humble opinion.
Holy high five to you, Mike