Today is the first Thursday in May, which means it’s the National Day of Prayer! NDP is, of course, the fourth-best holiday of the year, right after Mischief Night, System Administrator Appreciation Day, and National Corndog Day.
I know what you’re thinking: shouldn’t National Day of Prayer be one of my least favorite holidays?
Well, some of you may be too young to remember this, but it used to be the case that Jews prayed three times every day, Muslims prayed five times every day, and Christians prayed pretty much continuously. Then it became only once a day, then only once a week, then only once a month, and then only on major holidays like Christmas and Yom Kippur and Eid ul-Fitr and Earth Day.
That we find ourselves in a country where prayer has been relegated to a once-a-year event is a huge victory for reason. How can you not celebrate?
Now, every year the NDP has a theme. Past themes have included “One Nation, Under God,” “Prayer! America’s Strength and Shield,” and “We Got To Pray Just to Make it Today.”
This year’s theme is “Prayer … America’s Hope.”
Although my research skills are typically impeccable, I have been unable to figure out what the full theme was before they abbreviated it. I suspect it was one of the following:
- Prayer Is Not America’s Hope
- Prayer Never Helped Hope Williams Brady, Who Was America’s Hope
- Prayer Couldn’t Bring Forgiveness to Bill Clinton, Who Was Born in America’s Hope
- Prayer is America’s Dope, which is incompatible with America’s Hope
- Prayer is Not a Good Strategy in International Sailing Events, Which Are Typically Won by Well-trained Crews Sailing Ships with Names Like Stars & Stripes, Old Glory, 2 Legit 2 Quit, Captains Courageous, U Can’t Touch This, and America’s Hope
Apparently there is also some sort of controversy on account of President Obama not inviting a bunch of evangelical nuts to pray with him.
The following criticism is pretty typical:
I feel sorry for everyone who does not know the love and hope of Christ during these hard times, especially politicians who trust in their own reputations, political influence, strength, and riches. One day, all will give account to the Living God, one day every knee shall bow, and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, (Philippians 2:10-11). That includes but is not limited to: President Barak [sic] Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, Arlen Specter, etc.
However, Obama has also received praise from those who argue that he has more important things to be working on, like nationalizing the auto industry, shutting down small toymakers, and proposing tiny budget cuts that he knows Congress will end up rejecting.
In any case, that won’t stop me from celebrating. Happy Prayer Day!