Americans Pray It Forward

Barb Wire

As Charles Spurgeon once said, “Prayer moves that arm that moves the world.”

Yesterday, that arm provided a hopeful and encouraging sign — Americans all across the nation praying for our country. On the first Thursday of every May, the spell of religious cynicism is broken, and we declare through the National Day of Prayer what America is — and has been: one nation under God.

It’s a powerful reminder that while the forces of secularism may be doing everything they can to take God out of our culture, they can’t take Him off our hearts. For one brief day, the hammers swinging away at our greatest pillar of strength — faith — fall silent, and men and women enjoy with one powerful voice the freedom to ask God’s blessing on our nation.

How long this solemn tradition will survive the rough seas of religious liberty is anyone’s guess.

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But for now, we live in grateful recognition that no government of man or ruling from the courts is more capable of changing this nation than millions of people on their knees in prayer. We are still a country whose highest leader — whether out of obligation or sincere belief — “invites the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings.”

Unfortunately for America, that same administration spends the other 364 days undermining the religious freedom it extols. But even the President has not been able to uproot from the hearts of this people the deep faith that has sustained the nation. Under the new world order of the Left, it has certainly tried.

While President Obama speaks of the “fundamental right of all peoples to practice their faith how they choose… and to do so free from persecution and discrimination,” dozens of Christian teachers, shop owners, service members, counselors, athletes, public servants, CEOs, lobbyists, and celebrities watch their jobs, life savings, homes, and freedoms vanish under the government’s intolerance.

As he talks of “the strength to do God’s work: to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife,” his own Solicitor General warns of a country where churches, charities, and nonprofits are stripped of the tax exemptions they need to help the hurting.

Thousands of miles away, when the President speaks of the “prisoners of conscience who are held unjustly because of their faiths or beliefs,” American Pastor Saeed Abedini suffers in an Iranian cell, tortured for his faith — and by his President’s indifference.

Others, like Hillary Clinton, seem to be saying, “enjoy this day while you can,” because “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed…” She is just one in a deep bench of liberal oppressors, biding their time until they can force Christians to change their convictions.

Religious liberty, they will tell us, is fine if it’s contained in the four walls of the church. Bring it out into the open and you’ll be treated differently, even punished. “The government should not be giving out prayer instructions,” complained the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State about the National Day of Prayer. “Those who want to pray are more than capable of doing so without government coercion.” Is there anything more ironic that forcing people away from faith in the name of non-coercion?

Still, on this mayday for secularists, there is reason to hope. A handful of committed Christians is the status quo’s worst nightmare. A country of them is culture-changing. If there was ever a nation that needed Jesus, it’s ours.

So together, let’s seek God’s face, ever asking, “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day” — and every day.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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