February 5, 2012

Join Me in Prayer for America

Dear friends from across the country and from around the world:

I am so humbled and grateful to you for praying with me through the reflections offered on this blog, a blog whose only purpose is to encourage and protect the truth about prayer.   I have a special and urgent request.  Please join me in praying for the United States, especially the Obama Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.  We need the mercy of God now more than ever -- his mercy is a deluge waiting to cover the world and your prayers are floodgates through which his Living Waters flow onto a parched and dying land.  America needs this Living Water.

On January 20, the Department of Health and Human Services has made a ruling which forces the Catholic Church to act against its teaching concerning abortion, contraception and other bio-ethical matters.  The irrationality of this ruling is very chilling.  Several Bishops including Archbishop Chaput and Cardinal Designate Dolan have declared that by so doing the Obama Administration is attacking religious freedom. The bishops have never been so outspoken or united in their concern as they are now.  Thoughtful voices in both the media and politics are speaking out as well like Hugh Hewitt. Indeed, this is a grave attack on a very basic human right -- the right to live according to one's faith.  I stand with these bishops and other religious leaders like them.   I beg you to stand with them too by prayer -- for nothing in this world is more powerful than bowing our heads and humbly requesting what God yearns to give.   

For those with courage enough to seek the Lord in prayer, He will ignite them as fiery icons of hope for all those who hunger and thirst for what is right and just.  It is the power of prayer which helps people think in new ways and venture to stand up when to do so seems like it will serve no real purpose.  On Candlemas, Eric Metaxas,speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, proposed that faith in the living presence of Christ can open up possibilities for our society today just as it did for Dietrich Bonhoeffer and William Wilberforce.  I agree. Just as the light of Christ shone forth in the darkness of the slave trade through Wilberforce and in the shadow of Hitler's final solution through Bonhoeffer, so now the grace is offered us in this present moment when so many vulnerable human lives are on the line in the face of such heartless policies.  It is time to turn to the mysterious presence of the Risen Savior again -- He who is the glory of Israel and a light to the nations.   We must trust in Him.

Jesus Christ is our only hope -- because the power of his love is the only thing that can change the heart.  Ultimately, when governments make irrational and immoral policies this is only a sign of a much deeper disease that has afflicted a people and robbed them of the dignity which is their due.  This means that more than policies need to change if we are to realize the blessings that God yearns to give.   The change America needs is the same change both you and I need:  a change of heart.  

If you are discouraged by any of this, it is time to trust Him even more.  I have no idea what God will do by your prayers, but I do know that because of your faith, He will do something wonderful.  At a time when hearts are growing cold and forgetting love, we who struggle to begin to pray must not lose heart--for the fire of God's love cannot be extinguished in those who hold fast to their hope in Him. 


For more information on this see Bishop Conley’s column, “The Bell is Tolling:”   You can also join the Facebook Rosary Campaign and sign the Online Petition to help block this ruling.