Thursday, May 07, 2009

National Day of Prayer: A Call to Transformation

On this National Day of Prayer, we are called to pray, reflecting on America's noble heritage of spirituality that honors the diversity of faiths. It is a heritage found in the wisdom of the Founding Fathers and protected through the years in the teachings of Presidents, Statesmen, Constitutions, and Court Decisions. It is a heritage lived in the extraordinary example of ordinary Americans throughout the entire course of our nation’s history.

The great churches, magnificent synagogues, resplendent mosques and all places of prayer throughout this nation are in need of a transformation animated by Americans gathered in prayer. These places of sanctuary, petition, praise, forgiveness, intercession and blessing are entirely too empty; they should be once again filled with standing room only assemblies. The words of Abraham Lincoln on March 30, 1863 ring ever true:

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

"But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

"It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

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