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A reflection on National Day of Prayer

Light for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Pastor Chris Wheatley, Senior Director of Pastoral Care Services
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7, NIV

Today is the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance in the United States since 1952, based upon the following joint resolution, “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

Last year, our Light for the Way devotion focused on the openness of this request, and the many ways that we could fulfill it. This year, I want to talk about something specific that Presbyterian Homes & Services says about prayer.  

We teach--for instance, in our spiritual care practice called Praying Hands--that Christian prayer is by definition relational.  

This means that it is never a single communication, like an S.O.S. message, asking anyone nearby for help in times of emergency. It is always a communication with somebody close to us. Indeed, the One who is closest to us. Even when we are not aware of God’s presence, or if we intentionally try to reject the truth, God is as close to us as our very selves. As Paul said in Acts 17:28, "In God we live and move and have our being.

So, when we pray, we are talking to One who is always there, who has loved us since before we knew it, and who is talking to us our entire lives, whether we listen or not. We are engaging in a relationship with our Creator, our Savior, and the one who sustains us at every moment.

Today, I invite you to pray as a part of that relationship. And whether that means you are talking to God like you do so often, you are picking up a conversation after a bit of a break, or even recognizing for the first time that God is there … know that this isn’t a beginning. It is the newest moment in a relationship that has been part of your life since before you were conceived, and with the One who will always be closer to you than anyone else, and One who wants this to last forever.

Pastor Chris WheatleyRev. Chris Wheatley serves PHS as Senior Director of Pastoral Care Services. He is an ordained Lutheran pastor and has served in hospice, eldercare, hospital, HIV/AIDS and congregational settings. He and his wife Nicole are perpetually outnumbered by cats and Dobermans.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:

A living hope
Made worthy
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website

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