by Jen Green
With every dark cloud there is a silver lining.
Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. Organizers of the event say that in the six decade history of the event, more people participated this year than ever before. People gathered in thousands of locations across the country to pray.
In D.C., Pastor and theologian David Jeremiah gave the keynote address. The honorary chairman of the event gave this prayer, which was read at every NDP location across the country:
“Heavenly Father, [e]very good gift and perfect gift comes from You. You are a faithful God and Your mercy endures forever. You have promised to bless the nation that trusts in You. Our currency proclaims ‘In God We Trust,’ but in our culture we are far from You. In the words of the prophet Daniel, ‘We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.’ We come before You once more, seeking Your forgiveness and mercy. You, O God, are our only hope…. Hear our prayer and, for Your honor’s sake, shine Your face upon this nation. Give our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and the courage to follow Your guidance. . . . and watch over the men and women of our armed forces as they sacrifice for the cause of freedom. We give You thanks for all You have done for us, and we earnestly pray that You will help us become, once again, a nation whose God is the Lord. In the name of Your Son, and our Savior, we pray this prayer. Amen.”
If our country ever needed a collective prayer of repentance like this one it’s now–when our choices for President are a man with no morals and another man with all the wrong ones.
But, if the position our country is in is finally driving us to our knees, there is good news in that. It’s a silver lining, so to speak.
I attended the NDP event in Des Moines at our capitol building. I stood and listened to children from two area Christian schools singing praise songs and reciting from both the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. They performed well enough to bring tears to my eyes (but I should probably divulge that my daughter was one of the performers).
Then, high school students from the central Iowa area each stood up and prayed what the program called, “Intercessory Prayers.”
Now, I know that I often come across as extremely cynical . . . well, because I am. I cover politics, it’s sort of a prerequisite. But, I have to tell you, after listening to half a dozen teenagers step to a podium to lift their voices up to God for our families, our legislature, our judiciary, unborn babies, the military, our churches, and more–my heart was encouraged. As they prayed before about a hundred people in a crowd, not to mention the dozens who were milling in the balconies up above, their words reverberated throughout the building. Each one imploring God to get us back on track.
Those young people represent the hope for our future–and hearing their prayers showed me yet another silver lining. Their numbers may be small, but their God is Mighty.
Our country needs much more than one national day to pray for its restoration. It’s very nice to have an official one to celebrate, but we simply cannot rest the other 364 days of the year. We need to embody the humility that we can see and hear in Dr. Jeremiah’s prayer, where he is simply echoing Daniel praying for the nation of Israel.
Or, in the words of Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence,
“[Our] only hope of salvation is in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the Cross. Nothing but His blood with wash away [our] sins. [We] rely exclusively upon it.”
In a word, He is our silver lining.