Thoughts on the National Day of Prayer

Happy National Day of Prayer!  I checked- Hallmark does not make a specific card for this occasion, but they did have a surprisingly large collection of cards under the title, “religious.”

I would not have known about this particular day of commemoration unless I was a Police Chaplain.  Apparently President Reagan signed into law that the first Thursday of May would serve as a national day of prayer and since then the day has been commemorated in communities around the country.  My observance this morning took me to the Cobb County Prayer Breakfast where I was able to join the table sponsored by the Sandy Springs PD.

The morning was very interesting and challenged my perception of what it means to truly be interfaith.  After all speakers except one made reference to Jesus as the Christ, and with the meal containing pork, rendering it un-edible to observant Jews, I questioned whether it was truly interfaith or just non-denominational.  So I placed a call.  And the person who received my call answered my questions with a clear and decisive: “I don’t know.”  Is it non-denominational Christian or truly interfaith?  “I don’t know.”  Because if it was intending to be interfaith, it would have been offensive to Jewish sensibilities.  “I don’t know.”  And not just in the meal, but that several speakers invoked Jesus Christ and other referred to the sacrifice God made for all of us in attendance.  “I don’t know.”  Right, but do you see what my question is?  If it is non-denominational Christian, let me know- there is nothing wrong with that, but it was passed to me as an interfaith event.  “Sir, again, I don’t know.  I can’t answer your question.”

Perhaps my upset is in part due to my recent experience in Turkey.  While on the World Pilgrims trip, we were all very sensitive to each others faith and behaviors, including dietary restrictions.  To go from that “high” to the breakfast this morning was a real disappointment.

Which is not to say that the event was not wonderful this morning.  Again, if my expectations had been managed better- had I been told that it is a Christian event and that I was being invited to attend, I would have been fine.  But now I find myself speaking up- and speaking out- and if I am not careful, I just may find myself on another committee, planning the event for next year.

Which, come to think of it, would not be so bad.

Published in: on May 6, 2010 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment