What are you praying for today? Today marks the National Day of Prayer. This day was signed into being by Harry S. Truman, originally as a Spring counterpart to Thanksgiving. The idea was that Americans, from all faith backgrounds, would take a day to give thanks and to offer prayers for the United States and her leaders.
This celebration was designed to be interfaith and ecumenical. The most recent past has seen this day largely dominated by those from conservative Christian traditions. I believe what makes the United States unique is the diverse faith backgrounds and traditions of our population. At our best, we are a rich tapestry of folks seeking to find the holy as we each understand it. A day of prayer among this tapestry can bear a powerful witness. Here are several items on my prayer list on this National Day of Prayer
Our Nation Take Gun Violence Seriously
After the Synagogue attack in Poway, six months to the day since the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, a television pundit remarked that “he couldn’t believe this happened again.” Really? We mourn after each incident of gun violence but take no tangible action to reduce or eliminate. If anything, the pro-gun lobby and legislators become more resolute. In addition, white nationalist forces continue to dig their heels in deeper in opposition to those who don’t fit their vision of America. This continues to be a deadly combination, yet we do nothing. Life is so precious to God. God has made that abundantly clear to us. It’s long past time that we take it seriously as well.
Our Nation Be Welcoming to the Immigrant, the Refugee, and the Stranger
As a Christian, I cannot reconcile our current treatment of and attitude towards immigrants and refugees with Jesus’ teachings. I pray that people of faith can learn to see all people as children of God and worthy of dignity and the fullness of life.
Our Nation Confront Systemic Racism and Sexism
Many difficult conversations loom on the horizon. Our institutions are filled with years upon years of systemic racism and sexism. There is a ton of collective wisdom in our midst about how we can untangle and imagine our collective life together differently. I pray that we are willing to have hard conversations and make the decisions necessary.
Our Nation Reclaim the Concept of Neighbor
It is a gift to live in community with one another. I’ve read that our concept of neighbor began to shift when homes were built with large back porches and yard spaces rather than being built with large front porches that allowed neighbors to gather. A piece of us reclaiming community centers around forming bonds with our neighbors. When we get to know one another, we break down false walls we put between ourselves and others.
Lord in Your Mercy…