By congressional resolution and presidential proclamation, today, May 7, is the National Day of Prayer.
For many if not most Americans, the day will pass unnoticed, as they hurry and scurry through their business-as-usual routine. The secular-centered life dissuades its devoted adherents from giving any thought to unseen and spiritual things.
Yet, as we grope our way through the coronavirus national emergency, at least a few people — call them a remnant — may ask questions that trouble some and amuse others. Consider: Is Someone On High trying to get our attention?
If such a thought makes postmodern people feel uncomfortable, recall our leaders of yesteryear believed the Creator God was indeed interested in human events.
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States,” George Washington spoke at his inauguration as the nation’s first president.
“We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained,” he warned.
A fellow Virginian and compatriot of Washington, George Mason, admonished Americans then and now.
“As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities,” Mason said.
In the dark days of the War Between the States, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed April 30, 1863, “a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
“We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God, ... and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own,” Lincoln wrote in his call to his countrymen.
Do those words of old fit our nation today?
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving us,” Lincoln continued.
Lincoln urged Americans “to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
We may also do well to consider a recent message from no other prophet than Hulk Hogan. Writing of the present situation, the famed wrestler offered this message:
“In three short months, just like He did with the plagues of Egypt, God has taken away everything we worship,” he wrote.
“God said, ‘you want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down the civic centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market,’” Hogan concluded.
These musings past and present call to mind words of hope and promise ascribed to the Almighty and recorded in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Does our nation need healing? Will we heed the call? Will it work?
We may never know, because we are so sophisticated. We are so advanced. We are so progressive.
We have outgrown the need for God — or have we?