National Day of Prayer Reminds Us Of The True Source of Power
WORD ON WASHINGTON
With the National Day of Prayer approaching on Thursday, May 2, many communities across the nation, including local towns here in eastern North Carolina, are preparing for a special time for citizens to come together and pray for our country’s future.
Over 200 years ago, when the first Continental Congress met amidst escalating tensions with the British, they turned to God for wisdom to help chart a course for the future of our great nation. Even in its infancy, prayer was shaping our nation’s history, and that tradition of prayer continues today with both chambers of the U.S. Congress opening each day with prayer. Prayer is deeply rooted in the traditions of our society and rooted in the very fabric of American history.
As Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, Congressman Randy Forbes and I are working to protect and preserve the Constitutional right that all citizens are afforded under the First Amendment. The Congressional Prayer Caucus was established to acknowledge formally the pivotal and powerful role prayer plays in American life, and we defend the individual right to religious liberty and expression. Approximately 100 Members of Congress - Democrats and Republicans - have come together in this important endeavor, and political labels are left at the door when we meet privately to pray for wisdom as each week’s legislative session begins.
The Prayer Caucus is committed to protecting religious freedoms, and some of the initiatives we have undertaken include:
- Ensuring that our nation’s religious heritage is properly included in the new U.S. Capitol Visitor Center;
- Supporting the National Day of Prayer and the National Prayer Breakfast;
- Reaffirming our national motto, “In God We Trust;”
- Fighting attempts to remove “Under God” from our Pledge of Allegiance;
- Opposing efforts to remove a memorial cross honoring military veterans;
- Working to retain the practice of reference to God during flag-folding ceremonies for veterans’ funerals; and
- Protecting the ability of military chaplains to pray according to their consciences.
In the small chapel of the U.S. Capitol, there is a beautiful stained glass window called “Washington’s Gethsemane.” It depicts a kneeling figure of George Washington on a cold winter day in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, just days before Christmas, praying for his soldiers and our country. It serves as a powerful affirmation of faith and patriotic duty, and it embodies the deep spiritual underpinnings of the founding of our nation.
The power of prayer knows no bounds. Indeed, if any of us desire to know the true source of power, it cannot be found in the halls of Congress, the chambers of the Supreme Court or the Oval Office in the West Wing. It must be found in the One who is the only true source of power. Prayer gives us an opportunity to express our heart to God, and it gives Him the opportunity to speak to a receptive heart.
You, your family, your fellowship group or your place of worship can readily join us in this effort to pray for our country. You can join us in this endeavor on the national level at www.mcintyre.house.gov/prayercaucus.
You can also go to your local National Day of Prayer ceremony and take a few minutes to join your fellow citizens in prayer for our nation, our state and our local communities. I trust that you will agree – our country is worth it!