May 02, 2019
There's a temptation on days like this, the National Day of Prayer, to think events like these are only for certain believers. But this morning, as faith leaders from across America gathered in the bright sunshine of the White House Rose Garden, I think we were all reminded of just how powerful it is when people of every background come together to seek God's face.
Just days after the most unimaginable tragedy struck their community, rabbis from Poway, California made a point of flying to Washington and joining in our prayer that God would heal this nation of the hatred that took one of their own. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, whose life was spared when a longtime friend and Chabad member shielded him from a gunman's bullets, sat in the row next to me. I had the chance to tell him that we're all praying for them. That we stand with his synagogue and others on behalf of religious freedom -- and against the bigotry that's been inflamed by people who use their positions, power and platforms to marginalize faith.
"No one," Vice President Mike Pence emphasized, "should ever fear for their safety in a house of worship in America or anywhere in the world. And yet, we live in a time when we have witnessed unspeakable attacks on people of faith..." He gave a meaningful look to Rabbi Goldstein and said, "As Americans, we mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve. And we condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms."
The theme of this year's event seemed especially fitting then, John 13:34's simple admonishment, "Love one another." As David Closson and I wrote in a new column for Fox News, there have been fewer chapters more challenging for America than what we face now. But in that "prayer is a lifeline to God."
"This [national] call comes at a critical juncture. As political civility wanes, institutional trust declines, and resurgent international terrorism dominates headlines, America faces a spiritual crisis... Although cultural elites increasingly ridicule and deride it, prayer, as modeled in the Bible, is not an empty gesture. Instead, prayer is the believer's petition to the Creator of the universe for justice and righteousness. That is why, throughout the Bible, God's people prayed in all situations, including national emergencies. Their example is worth emulating."
Today, we have an opportunity to set aside partisan bickering and the politics of division to unite in prayer for our nation, leaders, and local communities. As President Trump told us at a special dinner for 100 or so faith leaders last night, "America will be a nation that believes forever, and we certainly believe -- more than anyone -- the power of prayer. It's the most powerful thing there is."
If you agree, join us tonight as we humbly ask for the next great move of God on our nation. Tune in to the livestream of the 7:30 p.m. (ET) service of the National Day of Prayer, as I join Dr. Ronnie Floyd and many familiar faces in asking the Lord's blessing on America.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.