We cannot ask God to bless America if we do not acknowledge and allow God in. Today, we celebrate National Day of Prayer. Although I will be among the thousands of people engaging in a day of prayer, we must not resolve to celebrate this day only on one day of the year. Can you imagine if the hundreds of thousands of people who are participating in some type of service, ceremony or event on today commit to seeking God’s guidance and obeying His statues every single day of the year, I truly believe that our country would be able to overcome many of our trials and tribulations that we are facing today.
Here is a little bit of history behind this designated National Day of Prayer:
Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
As a child of God, and believer in Jesus Christ, prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Let us pray for all of our leaders from the President of the United States to the pulpit. Let us pray for our children, families and friends. Let us pray for our local, state and global neighbors. Let us pray for the homeless and destitute. Let us pray for the abused, falsely accused and the wayward. Let us even pray for our enemies and believe that God will have mercy on them and that they will convert to doing the will of God Almighty. There are many who do not believe that there is a God of Creation and of this Universe. For these individuals, we will pray for you too.
The National Day of Prayer belongs to of us. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together American citizens from all backgrounds. There will be those who will protest against this day of observance, but those of us who commit to daily prayer must make our voices resound even louder. Make every day a National Day of Prayer! God Bless!
Easter holds two personal significances for me. First, it is a constant reminder that Jesus Christ made a major sacrifice on our behalf that resonates long after His Resurrection from His death on the cross. After countless times of reading about the passion of Jesus Christ and the horrific brutality he endured, it still saddens me when I try to “humanly” comprehend how people could mistreat others with unthinkable cruelty and feel no remorse. I understand the spiritual purpose why Jesus became the sacrificial Lamb, but amid my humbleness and gratefulness, playing out this scene during Holy Week is still very painful to me.
My second reason is that my mother passed away on Easter Sunday 2003. The way I manage to find peace with her passing, especially on this Holy Day, is knowing that she became a part of the Renaissance, the Rebirth, a new beginning and a greater Divine purpose in a different realm. Although I still experience periodical moments of sadness pierced by a maternal void that runs so deep, I am reminded that the life I live, the work I do and the heart I have will speak for me one day. When that day of my transition arrives, I want to be certain that I did not waste precious moments on frivolousness, foolishness and selfishness.
Yet, in my moments of sadness over these personal significant Easter Holy Day meanings, I find an unbelievable amount of joy, peace, happiness, gentleness and love that keeps me pressing forward to my higher calling; to be the servant that God purposed me to be and not what man thinks I should be.
I realize that many people perceive, embrace and celebrate Easter quite differently than I do. For me, Easter is not a matter of a basket, bunny or an egg, but a matter of the heart…my heart. So, in celebration of this worthy, historical and sacred commemoration, I wish all of you a very Happy Easter!
As we approach Easter, let us not forget about the true meaning of what Easter signifies. It is not about the Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, Easter baskets, Easter outfits or simply going to church on Easter Sunday. Easter is about the Almighty sacrifice that Jesus Christ gave for us, His Resurrection and God’s divine forgiveness of our sins. All too often, we become entrapped by the commercialism of what our holidays are supposed to really mean and the true message gets lost in the shuffle somehow.
For those of us who gave up something during the Lenten Season, let us continue to carry that spirit of prayer, atonement, fasting, and self-denial throughout the year. Let us not try to neatly fit these all important, life-changing times of reflection and celebration into a convenient package that we tuck away until this time next year rolls around. I cannot say often enough how we are truly blessed to be in a country where we can freely practice our religion, our political views and a myriad of other liberties without deadly persecution. We must not take these areas of independence for granted because things can change when we least expect it. We do not live in a land where dictatorship governs every fabric of our lives. We must rejoice in that fact.
As we commemorate the festivities of this Easter, may we continue to reflect on keeping it a Holy Day instead of just another commercialized holiday. Peace & Blessings everyone!