Exercise your right to pray on Thursday

Published 11:34 pm Friday, April 30, 2010

I looked around for something to write my commentary on, and found some easy targets. The Alabama Legislature throwing up a brick on what should have been a slam-dunk law against texting while driving, what to get my wife for her birthday on Thursday, and some kind of lamentation about my Atlanta Braves’ meteoric fall from the top of the National League East Division through the floor all came to mind.

I thought I would write about the National Day of Prayer, to be held this Thursday — which coincides with my need for divine intervention in finding my wife a birthday gift.

Much has been made recently of a federal judge in Wisconsin ruling on April 15 that the federal statute establishing the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. She may be right, but that certainly does not mean that there cannot be a day of prayer; just that the government cannot make a law recommending it.

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Where the government went wrong was in making a federal law regarding the National Day of Prayer. It should have simply made a proclamation, which is not binding in any way. However, even if the federal law regarding the National Day of Prayer is repealed, that does not mean that people cannot organize their own National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May.

Our Thanksgiving holiday was coordinated through a Presidential proclamation to fall on the fourth Thursday of November, and it’s hard to say that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. Who are we supposedly giving thanks to — the people at Butterball? The NFL?

Prayer is a very personal, very private thing. For me, it does have power as a communication between me and my creator and therefore, the ability to be answered.

It has been said that God answers all prayers, and sometimes the answer is “No.” Since we don’t know the plan God has for us and everyone else in this universe, it is impossible for us to see the reasons that prayer is answered or — to our knowledge — not answered. I believe that the answer is never “No,” but maybe more like “Not now.”

If you can, come on down to the gazebo Thursday at 12:10 p.m. for Demopolis’s Day of Prayer celebration. It is a great precursor to the community-wide worship service to come on May 23. Bring a friend. Bring a loved one. And bring your prayer list.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of The Demopolis Times.