A Call for a Pre-Election Day of Prayer

Like many citizens, I have become increasingly apprehensive about the deterioration of our national spirit.  I think the principal reason why this is happening is because we don't pray anymore.

Consider the irony of the names of our holidays.  With the exception of a despised minority of "religious extremists," we no longer thank God on Thanksgiving Day, think of Christ at Christmas, or pray for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.

This "ethic cleansing" of the American way of life has been (if you'll pardon the pun) progressive.  Liberal activists have persistently nibbled away at the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment.  Since 1962, it has been illegal to pray, even nondenominationally, in our public schools.  Even the wearing of religious symbols by teachers or students is under attack.  Although Congress declared a National Day of Prayer in 1952, judges in Wisconsin  and Colorado have recently ruled that such a government-sponsored event is unconstitutional.  At present, we have a president who has often omitted "by their Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence and who has repeatedly attacked public acknowledgement of religion or religious values.

In essence, God has been declared politically incorrect.  The antireligious faction has successfully built a wall of separation between church and state -- and the state is spiritually starving in consequence.  Prayer is the life support line that connects us to the vivifying sustenance of God; when we cut that line, we begin to die.

Often, we pray only when all else fails us.  Therefore, God sometimes allows our enemies to prevail against us so that, as a last resort, we begin to pray again and therefore to revive.  The Old Testament describes how the people of Israel went through this cycle repeatedly [1].

In spite of modern interpretations of our First Amendment, a religious spirit has been integral to American political life from its beginning.  Our founding fathers were well aware of our need to pray.  The Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending that "a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer" be observed on July 20, 1775.  At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin said:

God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.

Since then, National Days of Prayer have been designated by Presidents Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Reagan, G.W. Bush, and even (once) Obama.  Moreover, we have habitually begun most contentious occasions, such as battles and congressional sessions, with a prayer and have even appointed chaplains to minister to these events.

It is therefore puzzling that only a few have called for a day of prayer before national elections [2].  It was proposed on YouTube in 2008, as a private exercise.  Election-eve prayer sessions have been organized by Christian and local Tea Party groups, but no national effort has so far materialized.

This year provides a perfect opportunity.  The Sunday before Election Day falls on November 4, after Halloween and All Saints' Day have passed.  It would be a perfect time for religious groups to call for a national day of prayer as a preparation for voting.  This should be a multi-denominational, nonpartisan event, during which we ask God to inspire the hearts and minds of the voting public to vote wisely and in conformity with His will.  No specific candidates or political parties should be mentioned, although pertinent issues might be appropriately cited.

It would therefore be fitting for our major religious leaders and organizations to unite in declaring a pre-election day of prayer on November 4.  So far, no one has stepped forward to spearhead such a movement, but there is still time to do so.  Failing that, I hope that those who read this will be inspired to initiate a pre-election day of prayer in their communities, their churches, or at the very least, within their families.

It is likely that the lives of ourselves and our children will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this election.  We must implore God to inspire us to choose wisely -- or else prepare to endure the consequences of our folly.

­­­­

 


 

[1] Having become a secular state, with a majority of its population non-believers, I greatly fear that Israel is going through this same cycle today.

[2] The National Day of Prayer has always been scheduled in May and is generally forgotten by election time.

Like many citizens, I have become increasingly apprehensive about the deterioration of our national spirit.  I think the principal reason why this is happening is because we don't pray anymore.

Consider the irony of the names of our holidays.  With the exception of a despised minority of "religious extremists," we no longer thank God on Thanksgiving Day, think of Christ at Christmas, or pray for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day.

This "ethic cleansing" of the American way of life has been (if you'll pardon the pun) progressive.  Liberal activists have persistently nibbled away at the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment.  Since 1962, it has been illegal to pray, even nondenominationally, in our public schools.  Even the wearing of religious symbols by teachers or students is under attack.  Although Congress declared a National Day of Prayer in 1952, judges in Wisconsin  and Colorado have recently ruled that such a government-sponsored event is unconstitutional.  At present, we have a president who has often omitted "by their Creator" when quoting the Declaration of Independence and who has repeatedly attacked public acknowledgement of religion or religious values.

In essence, God has been declared politically incorrect.  The antireligious faction has successfully built a wall of separation between church and state -- and the state is spiritually starving in consequence.  Prayer is the life support line that connects us to the vivifying sustenance of God; when we cut that line, we begin to die.

Often, we pray only when all else fails us.  Therefore, God sometimes allows our enemies to prevail against us so that, as a last resort, we begin to pray again and therefore to revive.  The Old Testament describes how the people of Israel went through this cycle repeatedly [1].

In spite of modern interpretations of our First Amendment, a religious spirit has been integral to American political life from its beginning.  Our founding fathers were well aware of our need to pray.  The Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending that "a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer" be observed on July 20, 1775.  At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin said:

God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.

Since then, National Days of Prayer have been designated by Presidents Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Reagan, G.W. Bush, and even (once) Obama.  Moreover, we have habitually begun most contentious occasions, such as battles and congressional sessions, with a prayer and have even appointed chaplains to minister to these events.

It is therefore puzzling that only a few have called for a day of prayer before national elections [2].  It was proposed on YouTube in 2008, as a private exercise.  Election-eve prayer sessions have been organized by Christian and local Tea Party groups, but no national effort has so far materialized.

This year provides a perfect opportunity.  The Sunday before Election Day falls on November 4, after Halloween and All Saints' Day have passed.  It would be a perfect time for religious groups to call for a national day of prayer as a preparation for voting.  This should be a multi-denominational, nonpartisan event, during which we ask God to inspire the hearts and minds of the voting public to vote wisely and in conformity with His will.  No specific candidates or political parties should be mentioned, although pertinent issues might be appropriately cited.

It would therefore be fitting for our major religious leaders and organizations to unite in declaring a pre-election day of prayer on November 4.  So far, no one has stepped forward to spearhead such a movement, but there is still time to do so.  Failing that, I hope that those who read this will be inspired to initiate a pre-election day of prayer in their communities, their churches, or at the very least, within their families.

It is likely that the lives of ourselves and our children will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this election.  We must implore God to inspire us to choose wisely -- or else prepare to endure the consequences of our folly.

­­­­

 


 

[1] Having become a secular state, with a majority of its population non-believers, I greatly fear that Israel is going through this same cycle today.

[2] The National Day of Prayer has always been scheduled in May and is generally forgotten by election time.