You guys! Did you know today, May 3rd, is the National Day of Prayer? Me neither! I’d no idea the U.S. even had an official National Day of Prayer, let alone that it was today. But it is.
We’ve apparently had an official National Day of Prayer since 1952. According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force (you guys! we have a National Day of Prayer Task Force!), the National Day of Prayer created “by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.” That’s good old ‘Give ’em Hell, Harry’ Truman, you guys. He knew the value of prayer. He even had a favorite prayer:
Help me to be, to think, to act what is right, because it is right; make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me. Give me the ability to be charitable, forgiving and patient with my fellowmen – help me to understand their motives and their shortcomings — even as Thou understandest mine!
Intellectually honest! Truthful, patient, charitable, forgiving! Now, that’s a prayer, right there.
If you’re anything like me (and, okay, you’re probably not, but IF you are) then you’re probably asking yourself why we have an official National Day of Prayer (okay, I’m just going to call it NDoP because it takes too long to write ‘National Day of Prayer’ over and over, and besides if you pronounce NDoP as ‘endop’ it’s more fun). The NDoPTF (TF for Task Force, obv.) says the NDoP is all about
[I]nviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.
Okay. Thanks, NDoP, for the invitation! We appreciate it. And, if it’s not too much to ask, what’s the purpose of the NDoPTF?
NDoPTF “exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”
Okay, then. But what about folks who aren’t, you know, Christian? Wait, what am I saying? This is probably just an oversight, right? Maybe sloppy copy editing. I mean, the ‘en’ of ‘endop’ is for ‘national’, right?
And yay, the NDoPTF comes through with an explanation! You guys, NDoPTF assures us that the NDoP “belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.” ALL Americans, you guys! And guess what the theme for the 2018 NDoP is! It’s UNITY!
In 2018, our theme will be Pray for America – UNITY, based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America.
Unity, you guys! Unity based upon a Bible verse to mobilize prayer for…wait, what? A Bible verse? That mentions America? Uh, NDoPTF, are you sure you’re doing this right? I mean, I’m no historian, but I’m fairly confident that Paul, who was locked in a Roman jail writing to a Greek city in what’s now Turkey, didn’t know dick about America. Maybe if I looked a the actual verse in Ephesians?
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Uh, NDoPTF, I’m beginning to see a problem here. I mean, I’m totally down with the ‘forbearing one another in love’ business, but I feel the need to point out that there are a lot of us here in These United States that don’t fall into that ‘one lord, one faith, one baptism” bit.
But c’mon, you guys! Let’s not nitpick, right! Probably the actual official 2018 National Prayer (we have an actual official national prayer for 2018!) written by the President (no, not that president, c’mon) of the NDoPTF will be more inclusive, right? Probably? I mean, the NDoPTF itself said the NDoP was about inviting ‘all faiths’ to pray, right?
So lets just take a quick look at the actual P of the NDoP and see if it will be more…well, gosh darn it.
Our Dear Heavenly Father, while we come to You in complete humility, we also come to You with boldness in the authoritative name of Your One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In Jesus’ name, fill us now with Your Holy Spirit and lead us as we pray in Jesus’ name for America.
I dunno. Seems like there’s an awful lot of Jeebus in the first of the ten paragraphs of the NDoP’s P. But hey, you guys, there’s still this: the White House has announced that President Comrade Trump is going to introduce the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative this afternoon. It’s “intended to signal to religious groups that they have a voice in the government.”
Religious groups, you guys! It just says ‘groups’! So probably this afternoon groups of Wiccans and Buddhists and Jews and Hindus and Druids and Muslims will be included. Probably. Right?
Also today? President Comrade Trump said, okay, maybe he did sorta kinda know that his lawyer paid US$130 thou “to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by” an adult entertainment actor that she got horizontal with Trump while his third wife (with whom he’d cheated on his second wife, with whom he’d cheated on his first wife) was sitting home in their luxury apartment with a new-born baby — BUT “money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction.” No roll. Praise Jeebus and pass the spell-checker.
Also too, this: you can get your NDoP merch here.