Author Topic: National Day of Prayer  (Read 4180 times)

D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2021, 09:43:36 AM »
We went through a fairly heated partisan election in 2020, and it was certainly reflected on this discussion board, to the point we had to work hard to pull back from it and install new protocols.  I think that deliberate disrespectful attacks on a past president could be avoided in this forum for the sake of what we hope might be a less partisan-inflicted environment in which we work harder to discuss issues impacting the church. Can we just leave this stuff out?
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

peter_speckhard

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2021, 09:54:41 AM »
Charles, not everything is about Trump and the alternatives to Trump. My point is that prayer has to have an object. Of course Americans disagree about to whom or what we pray. So does AA. In that sense it like the phrase "under God" in the pledge. It doesn't matter so much what God we're talking about so long as we're acknowledging that our country/government/constitution is at best penultimate in our allegiance, and it doesn't matter for recovery purposes what an addict thinks God is so much as the addict know he cannot overcome his addiction on his own but that sobriety is not therefore impossible. But in both cases it does matter that there be an object. The effort to avoid one is fraught, and in this case there was a clear effort to ascribe power to prayer rather than to any object of prayer.

Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2021, 10:06:43 AM »
If you try to make a parallel between President Biden and the hyper-lying scoundrel who formally held that office, and who still contends that he ought to be in that office, Constantly lying about how it was stolen from him, you do that. But I won’t buy it.
Both men were duly elected to the office that they held, your contention that you should determine for the rest of us who should be accorded the respect due the office and be above criticism notwithstanding.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Jeremy Loesch

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2021, 10:35:54 AM »
I'll admit that I've never given any attention to the National Day of Prayer during my ministry.  I really can't see the purpose of it, especially since it comes from a government proclamation.  In the church every time we gather for worship is a "day of prayer."  If someone hadn't highlighted it here I might not have even known it occurred.

Completely agree.  I don't pay attention to it either.  I just don't see much purpose in it, as prayer is something that is done every day by the Christian. 

And I think that some people are shocked when I say that I am opposed to prayer in public schools.  When I then highlight the diversity in the classroom and the pressure placed on the teacher and the theology of prayer, then it becomes a little more understandable. 

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Norman Teigen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2021, 10:51:32 AM »
The responses in this thread demonstrate the divisions that exist in this Forum and in the society at large.  I have been trying to understand this for some time.  Here is an idea:  "Belonging is Stronger Than Facts."   See today's NY Times.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
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Michael Slusser

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2021, 10:54:54 AM »
I'm not one for "National Day . . ." (much less "World Day of . . .") either, but in this case it is Congress that is responsible. Here is this year's actual proclamation:
Quote
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a “National Day of Prayer.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 6, 2021, as a National Day of Prayer.  I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in prayers for spiritual guidance, mercy, and protection.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

If, like me, you didn't even learn of it till today, you and I are already too late.

Peace,
Michael
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Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2021, 11:20:10 AM »
The responses in this thread demonstrate the divisions that exist in this Forum and in the society at large.  I have been trying to understand this for some time.  Here is an idea:  "Belonging is Stronger Than Facts."   See today's NY Times.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Interesting article and I find it on the whole quite credible. I would note, however, that the sharing and believing of false information and fake news is not one sided. How much traction has the notion gained that Donald Trump did not believe that Covid 19 was a real threat and did little to combat it or prepare for mass vaccination? This despite the effort that he sponsored to develop a vaccine in the face of mockery that such a program would at best take years to produce a vaccine.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2021, 11:40:14 AM »
The responses in this thread demonstrate the divisions that exist in this Forum and in the society at large.  I have been trying to understand this for some time.  Here is an idea:  "Belonging is Stronger Than Facts."   See today's NY Times.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Interesting article and I find it on the whole quite credible. I would note, however, that the sharing and believing of false information and fake news is not one sided. How much traction has the notion gained that Donald Trump did not believe that Covid 19 was a real threat and did little to combat it or prepare for mass vaccination? This despite the effort that he sponsored to develop a vaccine in the face of mockery that such a program would at best take years to produce a vaccine.

I agree that "the sharing and believing of false information and fake news is not one sided."  But in the highly charged partisan environment in which we now live, fueled by this powerful engine of social media, it often comes down to whoever 'shouts' the loudest. 

But "divisions" in this forum are sustained by more than misinformation and so-called 'fake news.'  There are true and honest differences among us which are informed not by false information, but by differing interpretations of the good information we use.  Case in point is our ongoing debates on the Word of God itself.

Unfortunately in the highly charged partisan environment of our times, disagreeing without being disagreeable seems to be a quickly disappearing art. Emotions often overcome reason and our words reflect our anger and frustration more than they do our desire to have an honest discussion.  So we plant our partisan flags and shout from across the street at our 'enemies' on the other side.  And if the emotions rise to a high enough pitch, we take that a step further.  Which is why some people I know have disengaged almost entirely from both watching the news and from social media. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Donald_Kirchner

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2021, 12:02:13 PM »
No, PastorvPreus, the better way to evaluate a call for a national day of prayer is to recognize that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.

We all know that not everyone in our country prays to Jesus.  Is this not good reason for us to evaluate the National Day of Prayer in light of what our Lord Jesus says?  Or should we not consider what Jesus says about prayer?  Rev. Austin, what is your point?

Whatever it is, it misses Peter's point. I.e., that it is misleading to talk about prayer "without acknowledging an object of prayer," that is that one prays to someone. Okay, as one understands that someone, but we acknowledge an object of prayer rather than leading one to conclude that there is power in prayer itself.

It looks like someone still suffering from TDS is looking to pick a fight.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Charles Austin

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2021, 12:18:26 PM »
My point, Pastor Preus , is that given the reality of our national civic and religious situation, I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer. As noted above, I thought Peter’s comment was  simply as a snarky remark about the presidents words concerning the national Day of prayer.
And, Pastor Fienen, The man who formally occupied the White House is no longer the president. He does not deserve 1 ounce of my respect, especially as he is spreading the absurd, disproven and seditious lies about the political situation in our country. We’ve already seen what this has done to his followers who attacked the capital on January 6.
His words fuel the attack on voting rights. His words potentially fuel actual physical attacks on our civic leaders, possibly the governors of states. His grip of the republican party is leading that party some very dangerous directions. They are now at the point of saying in some places, “if we lose an election, it must be because of a fraud.“
These are very dangerous things, these things that are going on in the republican party at his direction.
And if you don’t think so, I worry.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #25 on: May 07, 2021, 12:28:29 PM »
I think, Peter, that you and others are just itching for a fight. “See! Democrats can’t even say ‘God!’” Let it go. Prayer outside our narrow, isolated “church” circles is rarely a theologically nuanced as our beloved systematics. Why not just be glad for the reference?
People in recovery pray all the time, seeking help in their life struggles. But not necessarily in LCMS ways.
The 11th step of AA’s 12 says “we sought through  prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.“
AA has also adopted the famed “serenity prayer.”
“God, grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.”
That’s talking to God.
Why pick a fight over the president’s proclamation?
I suppose, Charles, that you're especially sensitive to those who might pick a fight over the current occupant of the White House having vigorously done just that for the last four years. Your example of the AA 11th Step pointed out precisely what was objectionable in President Biden's proclamation. By not acknowledging that prayer by its very nature is to someone however the prayer understands God, LCMS, Catholic, or Great Spirit of Progressivism, he subverted the very nature of prayer. What he specifically did not do is talk about talking to God.


We've had this discussion before. Most (but not all) agreed that our God is able to hear the prayers that are addressed to other gods.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #26 on: May 07, 2021, 12:32:34 PM »
I'll admit that I've never given any attention to the National Day of Prayer during my ministry.  I really can't see the purpose of it, especially since it comes from a government proclamation.  In the church every time we gather for worship is a "day of prayer."  If someone hadn't highlighted it here I might not have even known it occurred.

Completely agree.  I don't pay attention to it either.  I just don't see much purpose in it, as prayer is something that is done every day by the Christian. 

And I think that some people are shocked when I say that I am opposed to prayer in public schools.  When I then highlight the diversity in the classroom and the pressure placed on the teacher and the theology of prayer, then it becomes a little more understandable. 


I agree with you about prayer in public schools. In addition, there is nothing to stop Christians from praying in school privately.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2021, 12:45:19 PM »
The responses in this thread demonstrate the divisions that exist in this Forum and in the society at large.  I have been trying to understand this for some time.  Here is an idea:  "Belonging is Stronger Than Facts."   See today's NY Times.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage


I'm thinking that Maslow's hierarchy of needs might fit into this discussion, too: belonging and love needs vs. cognitive needs.


There's also John Westerhoff's stages of faith in Will Our Children Have Faith. Movement from the "affiliative faith" stage comes through the "searching faith" stage.


He writes:


It appears, regretfully, that many adults in the church have never had the benefit of an environment which encouraged searching faith. And so they are often frightened or disturbed by adolescents who are struggling to enlarge their affiliative faith to include searching faith. Some persons are forced out of the church during this state and, sadly, some never return; others remain in searching faith the rest of their lives. In any case, we must remember that persons with searching faith still need to have all the needs of experienced and dependent faith met, even though they may appear to have cast them aside. And surely they need to be encouraged to remain within the faith community during their intellectual struggle, experimentation, and first endeavors at commitment. (p. 97)




"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Dan Fienen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2021, 12:46:20 PM »
My point, Pastor Preus , is that given the reality of our national civic and religious situation, I see no point in fussing about a Day of prayer because the words do not meet your particular definition of the theology or pious practice of prayer. As noted above, I thought Peter’s comment was  simply as a snarky remark about the presidents words concerning the national Day of prayer.
And, Pastor Fienen, The man who formally occupied the White House is no longer the president. He does not deserve 1 ounce of my respect, especially as he is spreading the absurd, disproven and seditious lies about the political situation in our country. We’ve already seen what this has done to his followers who attacked the capital on January 6.
His words fuel the attack on voting rights. His words potentially fuel actual physical attacks on our civic leaders, possibly the governors of states. His grip of the republican party is leading that party some very dangerous directions. They are now at the point of saying in some places, “if we lose an election, it must be because of a fraud.“
These are very dangerous things, these things that are going on in the republican party at his direction.
And if you don’t think so, I worry.
Is "prayer" another of those words that has been cast loose from it's standard meaning to take on a new meaning so that it can no longer be used in its original sense? I'm not talking about a narrow sectarian meaning that would theoretically restrict prayer to what I as an LCMS Lutheran would call a proper prayer, but prayer as a activity of addressing supplications, thanksgiving, praise, or other thoughts to an external entity considered in some way superior to oneself. Many people of many religions pray to whatever they believe functions as what we would call God and whether it is a Christian praying to the Triune God, a Muslim praying to Allah, a Hindi praying to Brahma, or what it is prayer, a devotee praying to the one he worships. But in Pres. Biden's proclamation, prayer becomes just a spiritual exercise that the person finds enriching. The idea of praying to someone or something drops out.


As for taking a swipe at the President, you didn't used to find that at all objectionable. I will note that contesting the results of an election and persisting in claiming that the wrong person was elected was not invented by Donald J. Trump. Partisan violence was not invented by Trump followers but has been a feature of American politics since the beginning and in the last decade has been practiced also by those on the Left and by followers of Democrats. Violence in the streets and against governmental, even Federal, buildings has been committed not just by people on the Right but also by people on the Left.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: National Day of Prayer
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2021, 12:47:25 PM »
The responses in this thread demonstrate the divisions that exist in this Forum and in the society at large.  I have been trying to understand this for some time.  Here is an idea:  "Belonging is Stronger Than Facts."   See today's NY Times.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/07/world/asia/misinformation-disinformation-fake-news.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage
Interesting article and I find it on the whole quite credible. I would note, however, that the sharing and believing of false information and fake news is not one sided. How much traction has the notion gained that Donald Trump did not believe that Covid 19 was a real threat and did little to combat it or prepare for mass vaccination? This despite the effort that he sponsored to develop a vaccine in the face of mockery that such a program would at best take years to produce a vaccine.


What did Trump do as president to cause the development of the vaccine to happen faster than it would have if he had done nothing?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]