In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?
“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.
Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders.
The Line Between Faith and Reason
Atheists offer an alternative to National Day of Prayer
By Carol Hatcher
Christians walk a fine line. We must stand firm on biblical principals, but also accept all people – notice I didn’t say all beliefs. We must grasp truth but not leave out grace. But in showing love, we must not alter the gospel. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)
This truth and grace is what we must remember when deciding our response to the proposed resolution from Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.). Honda proposed a Day of Reason as an alternate to the National Day of Prayer, suggesting it be held on the same day this year, May 5. The American Humanist Association is on board. Their executive director, Roy Speckhardt, said, "While some may seek personal guidance from their god or gods, we encourage our elected leaders to use reason, compassion, and egalitarianism as their guides in determining what's best for America."
Historically, Harry S. Truman officially put the National Day of Prayer into practice in 1952, but America was praying together as a nation long before that. In September of 1768, the city of Boston called for a day of prayer and fasting over Britain’s plan to station troops in the city. In June of 1774, the House of Burgesses in the Colony of Virginia observed a day of prayer and fasting to protest the Boston Port Act. In 1775, a proclamation to pray was spread throughout all the colonies and was so widely accepted Congress called for a day of fasting and prayer in the spring and a day of praise and thanksgiving in the fall. These two days eventually became our nation’s observances of Thanksgiving and the National Day of Prayer.
The Day of Reason was offered as a secular solution to those who don’t believe in God. It isn’t a new proposal; Honda tried last year, as well, with no success. But with 75 percent of Americans identifying as Christians and only 20 percent who don’t believe in God, is it any wonder? America remains as our forefathers intended – one nation under God.
Even still, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a lawsuit in 2008 over the day of prayer. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled the day unconstitutional, but the ruling went to the court of appeals and was overturned stating the National Day of Prayer had caused no harm, “a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury.” The court further stated the president could make a proclamation about prayer if he wanted, as the participation in such requests were not mandatory for all citizens. In other words, if you don’t like it, then don’t do it. And as Christ followers, we can’t expect the 20 percent who don’t believe to like it. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)
So how do Christians respond? First, you must recognize where this opposition originates. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) This is not a fight against the FFRF or any other foundation. It’s not a battle against another religion or those with a lack of one. This is a battle against Satan. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)
Honda said, "I introduced this resolution declaring May 5th, 2016 a National Day of Reason because the application of reason has proven to improve the conditions in which people live, offer hope for human survival on Earth, and cultivated intelligent, moral, and ethical behaviors and interactions among people." Guess what? God is the author of hope, and He goes beyond human survival on Earth. God offers life after this earth is gone, through His Son Jesus. In His Word, we have guidelines for “cultivated intelligent, moral and ethical behaviors and interactions among people.” “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)
The humanists are missing the key to this way of life – Christ. Christians can spend a day thinking about reasoning, but they will also recognize the One who gave them that ability, and offer Him thanks.
Ask God to give you wisdom in all things. Then as the Lord leads, pray:
- For the many lost in this nation
- For the courts to make wise decisions
- For Christians to take a stand with truth and grace
Carol Hatcher is a former elementary school teacher turned speaker and writer. She has contributed to many books and magazines and is a regular contributor to the Vantage Point devotional series. This southern belle lives with her husband and three children in Commerce, GA.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
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