Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Today’s the Day to Pray

I took photo with Canon camera.

Image via Wikipedia

This is the National Day of Prayer. Is it a day set aside for our entire nation to pray or a day set aside to pray for our nation? Whichever way you understand it, today is a day to pray!

According to Wikipedia, the first Thursday of May is “an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked ‘to turn to God in prayer and meditation’. The law formalizing its annual observance was enacted in 1952.”

So there has been a NDOP for a looooong time. I don’t know when I first heard about it, but it has always seemed just a little bit silly to me to set apart a day to pray. Don’t most Christians pray every day?

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (New International Version, ©2011)

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 Did we need to have a day set aside for it?

Recently, I started thinking. (Good thing to do now and then.) It’s not really a day to remind Christians to pray. It’s a day set aside to remind everyone in the world that America is a praying Christian nation.

We may not all pray in the same posture. Some do it standing, some kneeling, others face down on the floor and yet others lifting hands to the Lord.

We don’t all pray the same prayers. Some pray only scripture, some prayers written by others and some of us wing it. 

And we don’t all pray in the same way. Some pray aloud, some silently, some murmuring and some through tears. (And some of us combine them all!)

But the point is, we are a praying Christian nation. And the world should know.

While I’m on the subject of prayer, I wanted to share a blog I happened on today that really blessed me. It’s written by a woman in Denver. I don’t know her, but I loved what she had to say.

This woman has a sweet voice, and on this blog she has a Bible Study she wrote on a “new” way to pray. (It’s not really new, but she shares it with a fresh view.)

If you have a moment, check it out. It’s called Pale Pearl. In the upper right hand corner, there’s a link to her Bible Study.

 In it she refers to scriptures that thrill the heart. James 4:8-“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” Zephaniah 3:17-“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you but will rejoice over you with singing.

Don’t you love the idea of God taking great delight in you? Not just delight but great delight! And to think of God rejoicing over each one of us, singing, just brings me to tears. 

Check out Jennifer’s blog if you get the chance.  

And don’t forget to pause today to pray.

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Just One More Day!

Elementary kids gather around the American fla...

Image via Wikipedia

Are you excited? Do you feel the pressure mounting? It’s almost here!

Remember the “Obama stopped the National Day of Prayer” spoof someone got me with on Facebook? (Thanks, Larry.) I blogged about it here.

Tell me the truth. When you first heard that rumor, in that very first twinkle of an instant, did you think, He can’t do that. We don’t need presidential approval. We’ll do it on our own!

All right, maybe everyone isn’t like me (Be very glad about that!) but I was ready to line up people along C-Town’s main street so we could make a statement while we all prayed together on the National Day of Prayer.

Now it’s May. And the National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday of May. Let me repeat that. The first Thursday of May. That’s like, uh, tomorrow. I can’t believe the time has flown so quickly, and now it’s here.

Just one more day! And *sigh* I still don’t know how I’ll be spending the day. But I will be praying.

When I realized the time is nearly here, another thought hit. What are we supposed to be praying about? Is there assigned praying? You know what I mean. Has anyone issued a list of things that need praying about? Are they listed in the order of importance? Will we know what to ask?

Or is free-for-all praying–where you talk to God about any and everything–the order of the day?

Did you know there are 224,457,000 (that’s two hundred twenty four million!) Christians in America? If every Christian in America spent a portion of this Thursday praying for America, can you imagine what might happen?

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

If Christians (not everyone in America, just the ones who call themselves Christians) would humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face and turn from their wicked ways, then He will heal our land.

Be humble. Pray. Seek God. Turn away from sin. Isn’t that what being a Christian is about? Don’t all Christians already act like, well, Christians?

Apparently not.

From what I hear every day on the news and in the streets, our land needs healing, and needs it bad. We can do it–well, God can. If we’ll just act like the people we’re supposed to be.

So here’s my question for you. Will you pray tomorrow? And if so, what will you pray about?

I’ll be praying for America and her leadership. For my Small Town World. For my church and my family. And I’ll also be praying for a woman I’ve never met who has hit Another Lump in the Road.

What about you?


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National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer sign in Washington DC

Image by On Being via Flickr

Have you read this? I saw it on Facebook.

President Obama has decided that there will no longer be a “National Day of Prayer” held in May. He doesn’t want to offend anybody. Where was his concern about offending Christians last January when he allowed the Muslims to hold a day of prayer on the capitol grounds. As a Christian American “I Am Offended.” If you agree, copy and paste no matter what religion you are, this country was built on Freedom
(Thanks for sharing, Larry!)

My flash response–“Do what?!?”

Okay, it’s not true. G-Man knew immediately and started telling me while I read it to him. It took me a moment or two longer.

It’s a hoax/rumor/whatever that’s been going around since 2009. I don’t know its purpose. As you’d expect, several people commented when it was posted on FB. I have a feeling that, like me, many were ready to fight for the right to have a National Day of Prayer.

For those first few seconds, I felt like someone had burned me. No one can stop us from having our NDP. So what if someone in the government blah, blah, blah. I looked it up about that time and found it was just a cheat. We will have our NDP.  We haven’t been stopped, blocked or otherwise messed with.

Then I started thinking. (That’s not necessarily a good thing.)

I was riled in those moments when I thought we’d lost it. But now that I know we do have it . . . what? Back to the old, “Ho-hum it’s NPD”? Or am I going to realize what a blessing and previlege it is?    

I didn’t even know when NPD started. Answer–1952. (John Adams and Abe Lincoln each called for a day when the nation was in prayer.)

So . . . how did you observe that day last year? Did you spend it on your knees? Did you attend a special observance? Did you even slow your life a little to talk to God?

I’ll be very honest here–I didn’t. I remember that day last year. I think the churches in C-Town might have had a special prayer service during the lunch hour. I didn’t go.

I remember praying for our leaders and our government, but I didn’t stop what I was doing to talk to Him. (I pray on the go a lot.) I didn’t take the day off from work to pray, and no, I didn’t fast.

When I read that rumor, I was ready to let people know I wanted the right to a NDP. I wanted to tell someone how important it is. I was even ready to help start a grassroots effort. “We don’t need the government. We can do it ourselves!”

But now that I know I will have my NDP and have had it since 1952 (and have pretty much ignored it) what am I going to do?

What about you? Do you remember the first Thursday in May last year? How did you observe NDP? What are your plans for May 5, 2011?