Today was the National Day of Prayer. I hope you prayed for our country, and the world, and the church. Prayer is a way that we can access the grace that God has lavished upon his people. Of course, this grace is only granted to us because of the righteousness of Jesus. Jesus earned that righteousness by obeying God’s law for every moment of His life. The Holy Spirit applies the benefits that we receive from Christ.
In today’s cultural and political climate you do not hear too much about the rich Christian traditions of the United States. We live in a politically correct, pluralistic society, and many aspects of our national life are utterly anti-Christian. Take two extreme examples: abortion and same-sex marriage are incompatible with a Christian worldview. Our idolization of entertainment personalities and sports figures is abhorrent, especially today when so many of them are blatantly hateful of the church of Christ.
Are you aware that it is a law that the President make a proclamation of the day every year?
The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
It’s not a suggestion; it’s a law. It is a generic call for peoples of all religions to pray. But you’ll never hear from the mainstream media that many of our Founding Fathers advocated for such public demonstrations of faith. And in the context of the founding of the Republic, Christianity was basically the only religion around. Yes, there were a few Jewish synagogues around, but when the Fathers spoke about God or religion or providence, it was in the context of a Christian worldview.
I’m not asserting that all of the Founders were Christians. Indeed, many were not. But even Thomas Jefferson, who was not a professing Christian by any reasonable standard, and who was considered a “free-thinker” in his day (not a compliment back then), called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer when he was governor of Virginia. The Second Continental Congress established days of prayer and fasting! I underlined the word “fasting” because it highlights another aspect of religious life. Fasting is often found in the context of mourning, lamentation, and repentance. So the members of the Second Continental Congress were not looking for a limpid ceremony. They wanted the people—including themselves— to dig deep.
I wonder what the Founding Fathers would think about the current religious culture of this great land of ours.