Prayer: a call, a duty, a humble privilege by Theresa Lussi

    Many days have passed since our nation was called to join in a day of united prayer for our communities, our cities, our families, our country. Yet the need for individual and corporate prayer has not waned. On the contrary, a sense of urgency has pervaded this land with constant reports of calamities, sicknesses, wars and rumors of wars filling the airwaves day and night. Where are we to turn?

    On the most recent National Day of Prayer last May, there were no large gatherings that I was aware of in our small town, as usually occur. Instead, one of the local churches opened its doors for townspeople and visitors to enter for private prayer and meditation throughout the day. 

    Tables arranged around the sanctuary held pictures and other helpful suggestions to facilitate prayer for each area to be covered by intercession: government, church, military, family, education, media and business. Each table offered little items to be taken as token reminders to continue to pray for these seven key factors that constitute our society. A couple of examples were toy soldiers on the military table and yellow ribbons on the family table with markers provided to write the names of prodigals. Soft, reflective music played in the background. 

    For me, it was a meaningful and memorable experience, a time well-spent for quiet reflection and meditation, away from the noise and distractions of everyday life. Perhaps more memorable than a large gathering with music and singing, though, such events are also beneficial and have their place.

    After months of contemplating the challenges set before us, I am filled with hope and a renewed commitment to persevere. Yes, as long as we walk this earth, there will be difficulties, heartaches, trials, and men opposed to the God we serve and the values we hold dear. But, our God is greater than all of these and His grace is sufficient. 

    I am hopeful because as I look around, I see babies and young children growing and thriving. Though our archenemy would destroy life and all that is good, life — precious life — continues.

    After a recent close brush with death, an adult son lives and is recovering. Another reminder that each of our days are numbered, determined by the one who gives us life.

    So, when and how and why do we pray? Pray at all times, not just on one day set aside for that purpose; pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; pray to draw near to the heart of God, to learn of Him and to please Him.

    To close, I recall the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered on D-Day so long ago as he asked his fellow countrymen to “devote themselves in a continuance of prayer.” And reminding them that “with Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.”


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