There had been several casualties at the urban park. The most recent at the time was a double murder in the wee-hours of the morning during what seemed to have been a drug deal that went bad.
The National Day of prayer that year was an excellent time to pull the urban churches together with the citizens of the community for a time of prayer for healing and change. That day, there was a man who heard us praying and praising God from a far. He testifies to having been on the precipice of suicide. But the sounds of prayer and praise became a compass for him. He followed the sounds to the park where he received prayer. Patrick Gray, a Ph.D. candidate from Yale University who accompanied us in the National Day of Prayer event, took the time to talk with the raggedly dressed, homeless man to find out his situation. Patrick introduced me to the man and sponsored the man to a rehabilitation center in New York. I accompanied Patrick to New York to visit the man and watched his life turn from a suicidal state to the hope that only God affords in prayer.
Recently, I heard and noticed several rumors on online sources that President Barack Obama was going to cancel the White House’ recognition of the National Day of Prayer due to complaints about it. I was devastated!
I thought, “We are living in some of the most perilous times ever. How could this be?” I could not accept that the gossip was true. So, I hastened to the official White House website to see if there were any authentic information there.
I was so relieved to see the Presidential Proclamation that affirms that Thursday, May 6th, 2010 is the National Day of Prayer for 2010.
See this quote from his proclamation:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2010, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks…and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.
The National Day of Prayer remains official– Hallelujah and AMEN!
While I am pleased that the National Day of Prayer remains official in our country, everyday should be a National Life of Prayer. We remain in dire need for God. Sometimes, I wonder if the eschatalogical hell is worse than this, it must be something terrible– and I am sure it is.
Yet, we remain involved in two wars, the economic crisis is plaguing our country and the world, tornadoes and floods are destroying homes, cars, properties, lives and more. Earthquakes continue to shake the earth and poverty is at an all time high; abuse, violence and decadence seem to be the order of the day. How much more can this world take?
Just last Saturday night, a terrorist from Bridgeport, CT drove a SUV to Time Square in NY and left it there full of time-bombs! This brings terror closer to home for me. I learned that the guy responsible for this failed attempt lived only two blocks from one of our church members from a church I once served in Connecticut.
When I sit and think about all of the national crisis and the local tragedies, I feel overwhelmed! The Psalmist exclaims, “From the end of the earth will I call unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2 ASV).
I feel like that Psalmist in our world’s beleaguered state. Yet, the fact is that I am not feeling overwhelmed and paranoid alone. In this nation, and world, in many ways, many of us feel besieged and often fearful in what I call a “fiendish maze” or a simply “hellish times.”
I implore all of my fellow citizens of this nation to submit before God in this particular National Day of Prayer with sincerity and fervency. Even more so, I propose that as a nation, we consider a “A National Life of Prayer!” Even so, I suggest that as a world in need of divine intervention, we turn back to the creator of all things in repentance and prayer. I don’t know about you, but I am turning to God in times like these.
What a great opportunity to acknowledge our limitations and recognize that our extremity is God’s opportunity!