In the face of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping through the country and the world, President Donald Trump designated this past Sunday as a national day of prayer.
“It is my great honor to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer,” the president tweeted Friday.
“We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.” he added.
“President Trump is going to be recommending a national day of prayer,” Carson began. “And you know we’ve gotten away from prayer and faith a lot in this country. There’s nothing wrong with godly principles no matter what your faith is.
“Loving your neighbor, caring about the people around you, developing your God-given talents to the utmost so that you become valuable to the people around you, having values and principles that govern your life.
“Those are things that made America zoom to the top of the world in record time. And those are the things that will keep us there too,” Carson said.
However, Trump and Carson’s appeal to prayer did not sit well with everyone.
WARNING: The following tweet contains vulgar language that some readers may find offensive. Reader discretion is advised.
“Don’t let this administration address COVID-19 like our national gun violence epidemic. F— a National day of prayer, we need immediate comprehensive action,” gun control advocate David Hogg tweeted.
Hogg is one of the survivors of the 2018 Parkland mass shooting. His post received more than 30,000 likes and 5,000 retweets.
Don’t let this administration address COVID-19 like our national gun violence epidemic. Fuck a National day of prayer, we need immediate comprehensive action.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) March 15, 2020
“Let me be clear as someone who has been praying through this all & as someone who attended the National Prayer Breakfast,” Tlaib explained on Tuesday.
“My retweet was not to be an attack on prayer. It was to bring attention to the need for meaningful action to combat this public health crisis,” she said.
Let me be clear as someone who has been praying through this all & as someone who attended the National Prayer Breakfast. My retweet was not to be an attack on prayer. It was to bring attention to the need for meaningful action to combat this public health crisis.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) March 16, 2020
It is hard to take seriously Tlaib’s defense that her retweet “was not to be an attack on prayer” when she supported a message reading, “F— a National day of prayer.”
Clearly, she deleted the retweet when she realized it was too much heat to bear.
At the moment, the country is at a standstill.
People are staying home, “social distancing” from each other or even self-quarantining. Some are sick.
It’s a scary situation, and one that’s unlike anything we have ever experienced.
And let’s face it, many of us miserable and on edge. Some folks are panic-buying and spreading fear as they do.
We have serious questions about the crisis and a dearth of knowledge to answer many of them.
Americans are looking for ways to cope. There are plenty of doctors and nurses risking their well-being to help others in need.
But most of us are not health care providers. We’re at home. What can we do?
What the likes of Hogg and Tlaib fail to understand is that to a great many people, faith prayer is “meaningful action.”
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless,” C.S. Lewis once wrote. “I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God. It changes me.”
What we do matters, no matter how little it may seem — staying home, practicing good hygiene, helping take care of others and yes, praying that the sick will be healed and the crisis will abate.
Our prayers to God seek mercy, wisdom and strength. Prayer is real action — because we know that God is listening.
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