The Government And Prayer

Texas Governor Rick Perry called for August 6, 2011 to be a Day of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in addressing the issues facing our communities, states, and nation. It raised a protest. In part his proclamation said:

“Given the trials that beset our nation and world, from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and continued debasement of our culture, I believe it is time to convene the leaders from each of our United States in a day of prayer and fasting.” He continued, “I urge all Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities, and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.”

In an effort to insure no good deed goes unpunished, the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a federal lawsuit challenging the governor’s proclamation.
Consider these proclamations by his predecessors.

“WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer…..’”

George Washington, First President of the United States in a National Declaration November 3, 1789.

“I have therefore thought it fit to recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next be observed throughout the United States, as a day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; That the citizens…offer their devout addresses to the Father of Mercies….”

John Adams, Second President of the United States in a National Declaration on March 23, 1789.

“Whereas the Congress of the United States, by a joint resolution of the two Houses, have signified a request, that a day may be recommended, to be observed by the People of the Unit ed Sates in a National Day of Humiliation, and Prayer….”

James Madison, Fourth President of the United States in a National Declaration on July 9, 1812.

“It is therefore recommended to the several states to set apart the THIRTEENTH day of DECEMBER next, to be religiously observed as a day of THANKSGIVING and PRAYER; that all the people may assemble on that day with grateful hearts to celebrate the praises of our glorious Benefactor, to confess our manifold sins….” Thomas McKean, President of Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, November 26, 1781.

The Founding Fathers were so emphatic in their belief that prayer was to be an integral part of daily public life and public service that by 1815 they had called the people to prayer 1,400 times! It is interesting to note originally Congress considered it was such a lawful and efficacious use of time they began every session with two continuous hours of prayer.

Could it be that is what is missing in W ashington today?

At a time when our government is allowing Muslims to set aside daily time for prayer in our institutions let’s not try to keep Christians and Jews from praying publicly.