Day of Prayer a time to celebrate, worship

"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


P.T. Forsyth

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 or through the

mail at P.O. Box 6140-No. 505, Newport Beach, CA 92658.

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