Should Christians participate in the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 4th?

This Thursday, May 4th, is the National Day of Prayer. On that day, Americans of all religious stripes – evangelicals, mainline Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, New Agers, Wiccans, etc., – will join together and pray for the welfare of the nation.

As a born-again, evangelical Christian, it’s my understanding that we should be reaching out to the religious lost in this country with the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, not joining with them in religious activities.

These sorts of ecumenical endeavors might seem right according to worldly understanding but they’re wrong according to God’s Word.

The Southern Baptist church we attended a couple of years ago opted to participate in the National Day of Prayer and that was one of several signs for us that we needed to leave.

Unfortunately, many American Christians take Old Testament passages that refer to God’s covenant with the nation of Israel and incorrectly apply them to the United States, like the blatant misappropriation of Daniel 9:19 in the accompanying advertisement. God is NOT in a covenant relationship with the U.S.. We need to pray for the salvation of the lost souls living in this country rather than joining with them in prayer for the welfare of the nation. Heresy? For many Christians in America, the focus is on national prosperity and patriotic pride rather than on the spiritual battle going on all around us. The ecumenism of the National Day of Prayer is of the evil one.

On Thursday, evangelical Christians should pray for the salvation of the lost in this country – religious and non-religious –  and pray for the nation’s leaders that they will not hinder the spreading of the Gospel, but those are prayers that we should be praying every day.

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14–17

Should we Participate in the National Day of Prayer?

17 thoughts on “Should Christians participate in the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 4th?

  1. I agree with you, Tom. Once a year, everyone in our little town is invited to participate in a “Walk for Jesus” in which they parade a few signs and a cross on wheels for a few blocks. Its purpose is to make a show of the unity of all of the denominations. I see it as a walk; a spiritually dead, meaningless walk.

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    1. Thanks for that example, Hope. One would think Christians would have a little discernment when it comes to this type of stuff but they’re just following the lead of their sorry pastors. A 2015 poll showed 58% of “evangelical” pastors considered the pope their brother in Christ. I’m sure that creeps up a little every year.

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      1. I am glad you accept James. And I also tend to agree with gist of the link you brought up. That is that we really shouldn’t try to separate our faith from our actions.

        Martin Luther who broke from the Catholic Church due to his view of “faith alone” did indeed think it was flatly against Paul.


      2. Yes, I’m aware of Luther’s take on James 2. But Luther never claimed to be infallible. Fortunately, he was overruled by the Holy Spirit.

        But we know that Pope Boniface VIII declared in his Bull Unam Sanctum that only Catholics in allegiance with the pope could merit Heaven. Yet modern popes say even atheists can merit Heaven if they are “good.” Who is right?

        The beleaguered Pope Pius IX, in his Syllabus of Errors, condemned all democratic forms of government as well as religious freedom. Modern popes do not agree with him. Who is right?

        I could make a list from history of moral and faith-related intolerances supported and encouraged by popes of bygone eras that elicit apologies from modern popes. Who is right?

        But we quibble about history. The main issue is how is a person saved? Catholicism teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit. The New Testament teaches salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.


  2. We could quibble about history and how these popes or protestants may or may not contradict each other, but that may lead us off topic. Especially if we are going to talk about the forms of government Martin Luther or the Popes wanted. I was talking about what the bible said about salvation.

    Lets stick to the bible. James says “not by faith alone.” The parable of the goats and sheep suggests our actions are very important and maybe even more important than our belief. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21 “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”Matthew 16:27 Paul says Faith hope and love and the greatest of these is….

    As far as the sacraments they are based in the bible too.

    John’s Gospel and 1st Peter say baptism saves you. According to the Gospel of John the Eucharist also saves us “Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    Now I could go on and on giving different passages that support these views. You could give passages that support yours or various interpretations that you believe are correct. But here is the thing. I am willing to concede this. I am willing to say if anyone wants to read the bible they can get various ideas of how we are saved. And I will even say they can be reasonable interpretations!

    But these passages I quote (and several more I could quote) seem quite plain to me. And even if you can say you have a different interpretations that does not mean all other interpretations are wrong. Or that people who have my understanding of these passages somehow are not using the bible. Because the Bible does in fact say what I quote.


    1. The Bible does talk about works and the righteous being saved, but all of those references must be understood in the overall scope of Scripture. Evangelicals will often use Ephesians 2:8-10 as a succinct summary of the relationship between faith and works. I, of course, have Scriptural responses to the verses you presented, as you mention. To cut through the back and forth I would ask, are you like the repentant thief on the cross without a plea of your own?…are you like the repentant tax collector in Luke 18 without a plea of your own?…or are you like the wedding guest who was removed because he was clothed in his own garments rather than the righteousness of Christ? Good works and charity will follow genuine salvation in Christ but they are never the cause of our justification. The flesh will not accept salvation by faith in Christ alone. The foundation of all worldly religions is the works righteousness of Cain. Only Christianity teaches salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The natural man cannot grasp it. You must ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes.


      1. Joe, No probl. regarding name. The argument over the relationship between faith and works in salvation has been ongoing for quite some time. Eph. 2:8-10 summarizes it nicely. Faith in Christ and hence salvation in Christ are gifts. Good works and charity are the fruit of genuine salvation but they aren’t the basis of our salvation. I see you’re sending serial comments. I’m sorry but I don’t have time to debate or dialogue on all of these issues. There’s no end to it when the Catholic party is only interested in defending their church. If you are sincerely interested in examining the differences between Catholicism and Biblical Christianity, please consider reading The Gospel According to Rome by James G. McCarthy, readily available from Amazon.


      2. Tom. I responded to some of your attacks on the church. I took some time in posting them and would like to dialogue with you and others. If you don’t post them then I will understand you want only one side and no longer bother. You say you don’t have time to dialogue on these issues but they are issues you raise in your blog. You of course don’t need to respond to all comments but I would think in the interest of truth you would at least let my comments be posted. Your readers would then know there is another side of the coin and an idea of what it is.


      3. Joe, I’m sorry but I do not use this blog as a forum for Catholic apologetics. There are already MANY of those out there as I’m sure you know. I’ve already spent quite a bit of time trading thoughts with you. I’m not being a good steward of my time if I engage in endless “dialogues” with Catholics who enjoy a debate.


      4. You do not need to “debate” anything I post. You can be a steward of your time however you want. I am just saying that if you have a public “comment” section you represent that you actually let the public make comments. If you want to call it a “cheering” section and will only allow people who say “oh your so right Tom, good point” then that is your choice. In other words you can keep your audience ignorant of the other sides perspective all you want. But you should at least let everyone know that you will not allow opposing comments to be posted.


      5. RE: “But you should at least let everyone know that you will not allow opposing comments to be posted.”

        I often do post opposing comments from Catholics, although I’m under no obligation to do so. Once again, the purpose of this blog is not to advance the cause of apostasy, there are already many such venues out there. I have engaged you several times and I’ve suggested resources to help with your comparison of Catholicism with evangelical Christianity, if that was your goal. I’m praying that you accept Christ as your Savior some day but that is all I can do for you.


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