By Fidel "Butch" Montoya
Today is the National Day of Prayer, a day in which our nation pauses to recognize the importance what prayer has meant for our nation. It should also be a day in which we express our faith in a higher Being. It is also a day in which we can proclaim the blessings given to our nation. A National Day of Prayer can also help to remember that we were established as a nation founded on the biblical principles of justice and righteousness.
Our nation has been blessed since the founding of this great nation by founding fathers who recognized the importance of a Supreme Being guiding and watching over our country. President George Washington, our nation’s first President issued a proclamation declaring the first “National Day of Prayer” on Thursday, November 26, 1789. It was done in recognition of our dependence upon God to guide our nation.
Over the years we have been a nation that has represented the best in democracy and justice. We must never take this privilege for granted and be on guard to protect our right of prayer.
The April 15 ruling by a federal judge that ruled that a National Day of Prayer violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment and thus ruled it unconstitutional is a step away from what our founding fathers wrote, accepted, and established in our country’s constitution.
However, as with other nations in the Bible that turned away from God’s guidance and rejected their faith in God, God’s word is clear on what happens if we reject his Word. The threat of what can happen if we reject the very basic principles of faith in God are told in story after story in the Bible. God’s judgment of destruction and punishment are shared throughout the Bible when people begin to turn to idolatry and other evil practices and reject the Biblical principles of justice and righteousness.
Today we find our nation at the crossroads of either moving forward and continuing to accept the importance of having a day in which we can express our faith and dependence on a Divine Being as an important tradition.
The whole notion of separation of Church and State is merely a wedge issue used to create confusion and fear over accepting the great tradition proclaimed by the prophets of the past.
Today as we gather across this great nation, may we once again renew our faith and determination to always find a day in which we declare not only a “National Day of Prayer” in recognition of God’s hand in the formation of our great democracy, but as a way to publicly express our continuing dependence on God’s hand in the affairs of our nation.
The Family Resource Council issued a statement regarding the importance of declaring a National Day of Prayer. In part it states, “The National Day of Prayer has a monumental place in our nation's history, but more importantly, its annual observance is a living expression of our collective faith in God today. It is a sign of our hope for the future of our nation and lends truth to our national motto; "In God We Trust." Those who have labored to promote this day have played a major role in envisioning, birthing, encouraging, strengthening and expanding the much larger trans-denominational prayer movement. This movement may be the brightest star in an America darkened by troubles on every side. “
As we gather today, let us once reclaim the spiritual heritage of our founding fathers and extend our faith and liberty in God, the One in whom we trust.
Political correctness and rulings by activist federal judges who mettle in the affairs and historical heritage of our nation by declaring a National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional should not stand in the way of a national tradition.
Let us join together recognizing a model and tradition of prayer handed down over the years so that today, on May 6, 2010, we can gather to renew our faith and trust and our commitment to remain a nation committed to justice, fair play, and righteousness for all.
As we pray today, may God’s Word refresh our commitment to continue in this battle for faith and justice. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Fidel "Butch" Montoya is Director of H.S. Power and Light Ministries - Latino Faith Initiative. He was the Vice President/News Director of KUSA - TV Channel 9 News from 1985-1990, and worked at the news station for 24 years. Montoya also served as Deputy Mayor of City and County of Denver from 1995-1999; as the Manager of Public Safety for the City and County of Denver from 1994-2000. Montoya was Licensed to preach in 1972. He serves on the Executive Council for the Hispanic Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.