"Prayer is for the religious life what original research is for
science -- by it, we get direct contact with reality. We pray because
we were made for prayer, and God draws us out by breathing Himself
Last Thursday was a great day in many ways. It was the first of
the month, it was the first of May, and it was May Day. I love May
Day. When I was young, my friends and family members often gave or
received May Baskets, May flowers or big tasty May cookies.
Occasionally, we even danced around Maypoles at a friend's house who
lived out in the country. If I close my eyes, I can still picture it
all, and even remember how warm and fresh the cookies were as they
quickly melted into my mouth.
Last Thursday was also a day of deeper significance than fun and
festivities. There's certainly nothing wrong with those, but life is
about more than just playing. There is a time for praying, too. Last
Thursday was a day focused on prayer. It was the 51st annual National
Day of Prayer. Following our victory in the American Revolution,
there must have been a sense of optimism and excitement. There was
also a sense for the need for God, and for prayer.
In his first inaugural address, George Washington is quoted as
saying, "It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first
official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who
rules over the universe."
People across the country were encouraged to take moments during
the day to spend time alone or with others in prayer last Thursday.
Some celebrated the day with songs of praise and worship in homes or
neighborhood gatherings. Others went to churches and met with pastors
or sang along with live or recorded music, or even media-guided
prayer. Others quietly prayed alone in their homes. Since even before
the war began, we've prayed for the health and safety of our troops
and the innocent lives caught in battles. Last Thursday was a day to
continue to pray for those overseas, but also for clear godly wisdom
and guidance for our nation's leaders and decision-makers.
Boys and girls, men and women of all ages and stages in life knelt
on their knees or at least in their hearts to pray for the needs of
the nation and many for personal needs as well. On my morning walk
last Thursday, I overheard a little boy say to his mother, 'I'm
praying for the new baby in you, for our President far away, for our
flag, and for a new puppy for me." I smiled at the sweet honesty and
reality from such a young child.
No matter how busy we are or make ourselves, we can always make or
take some moments to pray, regardless of whether it's the official
day to do so.
And you can quote me on that.
* CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks
who speaks frequently to parenting groups. Her column runs Fridays.
She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or through the
mail at P.O. Box 6140-No. 505, Newport Beach, CA 92658.