The National Day of Prayer is certainly an important part of the social fabric of our country, wouldn't you agree? So how did I do it justice? I prayed more during the day than I usually do - and with good reason; we need God's help and grace SO much right now. Randy and I joined friends in prayer this afternoon, and that was great, and then, after dinner, we watched the YouTube of the official Prayer Service at the White House that took place earlier in the day. It was not the first time I prayed more on the National Day of Prayer, but it was the first time I watched the service that took place at the White House. I was blessed by so much about it. Firstly, that an official day calling all Americans who would to prayer, is back on the map, or should I say, the calendar again. How sad those years (at least for me) when that day in May came and went without the acknowledgement and blessing of our government.
Secondly, it was good for me to hear the prayers of the leaders from other faiths - particularly now. I have heard prayers from the leaders of a bevy of different faiths at other formal gatherings, but this time it was somehow different. There seemed to be an undercurrent of unity that went far beyond the fact that each leader prayed concerning the same people and the same crisis - the dead, the dying, the bereft families, the medicals, the first responders, the under- and unemployed, and of course, the virus. Yes, they all prayed for the same people and for the eradication of the same virus, not surprisingly calling upon different deities for help. But today, what I heard were men and women who got up to say their prayers in front of the small, socially-distanced crowd to share their heartfelt and sincere best through those prayers. It was not the "My Faith Tradition is Better Than Your Faith Tradition Competition" that I have heard in the past, in the form of overly-long and overly-eloquent diatribes to the particular Maker being addressed. This afternoon they were humble, and even somewhat desperate, and since desperation should makes us humble, it felt to me to be very genuine.
Thirdly, I read a lot more than I listen to any kind of broadcast, so I have not heard the President actually speak since maybe the Inauguration, I think. And President Trump just cracked me up! Throughout the ceremony, the President went out of his way to thank, to compliment, and in some way to express appreciation for each and every person, big or small on the national scene, and I found it very endearing! It made me smile at first, and then, as he kept making sure that each person understood they were valued, it made me laugh. Not the big, guffawing laugh in response to a joke, but the joyous laugh that comes when you are happy that something good is happening. We are all familiar with the verbal gaffes and missteps the President has made, both before and after election. Some have been genuine errors in judgement, but it has gotten to the point where even to open his mouth is to be accused before, during, and after the fact. Where are the acknowledgements of the gracious words, the kind words, the appreciative words, the encouraging words. Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but rather what comes out of his mouth, for that is the product of his heart.
I pray that God would open our ears, and as a nation we would begin to recognize and acknowledge - and appreciate - the work that our LORD, a God rich in grace and great in power, has done and will continue to do, in the heart of the man who leads our country.