Trying to move God
Being out of the political arena I was taken off-guard when I heard that today was the National Day of Prayer. First, one of the young guys I mentor mentioned it last night, then it was followed up by Bird Man asking if I had attended the morning festivities. I had not.
Strange how it wasn't mentioned in our church. I did catch a comment about it on the radio today. Unfortunately, at least around here, the National Day of Prayer is an opportunity for politicians to dress up and appear, well, I guess spiritual. Face time really. I told Bird Man that while I used to go to the morning "prayer" breakfast when I first moved to river city, that over the years it took a decidedly political turn. My wife and I were on the mayor's prayer breakfast committee once when Homer Drew came to speak and more recently I introduced the guest speaker, Doc Bowen, a few years back. But when politicians (and mostly Republicans) started leaving their campaign literature on the breakfast tables and glad-handing in a line-up outside of the banquet center....well, it made me sick to my stomach. I mentioned it to one person and within hours got a call from a county commissioner complaining that he wasn't the only one....as if that made it ok. After my ouster I just didn't even bother to go.
Honestly, I can't see how this honors God, or petitions Him in any meaningful way anyway. In fact, I bet it kind of tees him off.....at least the way we do it here in Republicania County. There have been a few, meaningful and heartfelt prayers that have been offered. But, by and large, they are usually self-seeking and selfish prayers. And somehow we expect God to move because of this.....as if our once a year petition for the betterment of our nation and for God to instill wisdom in our elected officials is actually going to work.
It reminds me of how pagans try to coerce or con their gods into action with feudal sacrifices and empty words to a non-existent deity. No, I don't see God being moved by our National Day of Prayer at all.
What we really need is a National Day of Repentance. And I'm not talking about requiring non-Christians to repent....those folk who we self-righteous snobs think are the ones to blame for America's ills. I'm talking about the Christian Church in America falling flat on our faces and begging for forgiveness for really screwing up the message of Christ.
I think that might move God.
"if my people who are called by my name (called by His name: "Christ" followers, Christians) will humble (repent) themselves and pray, I will heal their land (America)"