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My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?
President Barack Obama praying at a White House Easter event in April.
May 3rd, 2012
09:51 AM ET

My Take: Dear God: How to pray on National Day of Prayer?

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Dear Deity,

In the Milky Way, on planet Earth, in the United States of America, Thursday is our National Day of Prayer, so I am writing to ask You how to pray.

Seventy eight percent or so of U.S. citizens are Christians, so should we pray today to the Christian God? This seems to be the conviction of the folks at the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which pops up first if you Google “National Day of Prayer.” (By the way, do You Google, God? And if so do you ever Google "God"?)

The NDP Task Force refers to itself as “Judeo-Christian,” but it sure looks evangelical to me. It has been chaired since 1991 by Shirley Dobson, the wife of Focus on the Family founder (and evangelical stalwart) James Dobson. Its site quotes liberally from the New Testament, and one of its goals is to “foster unity within the Christian Church.”

A NDP Task Force press release begins: “Americans to Unite and Pray on Thursday, May 3rd, for the 61st Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer." But will their sort of prayer really unite our nation?

Twenty four percent of Americans are Catholics, and God knows they don’t pray the way evangelicals do. Nearly 2% are Mormons and another 2% are Jews. And neither of those groups talks to You with the easy familiarity of born-again Christians.

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And what about American Hindus and Muslims and Buddhists?  Muslims agree with their Jewish and Christian neighbors that there is one God. But how to pray as a nation when some believers affirm more than one God and some affirm fewer?

As You obviously know, the 1.6% of Americans who call themselves atheists and the 2.4% who call themselves agnostics refer to today as the National Day of Reason. On their web site, they argue that our National Day of Prayer represents an unwanted and unconstitutional intrusion of religion into the workings of the U.S. government.

In his various proclamations of the National Day of Prayer, including this year's, President Obama has referred to prayer as an important part of U.S. history. He speaks of the Continental Congress and Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. being driven to their knees by the force of the tasks set before them.

But when our national icons have prayed on our behalf, they have done so in generic terms. Washington addressed “the Almighty”; Jefferson called on “that Infinite Power.” They did so because they wanted prayer to unite us, not to divide us, and they knew from the start that different Americans call You by different names.

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But addressing “Providence” in vague pieties will not satisfy everyone either. The evangelicals at the NPD Task Force reject efforts to “homogenize” America’s many different ways of praying into one common prayer.

I see their point. Like language, religion is a specific sort of thing. If you are going to speak, you need to choose a language. If you are going to pray, you need to choose a religion (and a god). So if they want to pray to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, more power to them.

But what happens when that particular prayer language is put forth as our collective national language? What happens when we pray, as Rick Warren did at President Obama’s inaugural, “in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus”? Then prayer turns into a wedge, dividing those who call you Christ from those who call You Krishna (or do not call on You at all).

So I return to my original question: How should we pray on this National Day of Prayer?

But while I have Your attention (do I?) I have one more.

This year the NDP Task Force has chosen for its theme “One Nation Under God” and its Bible quote is: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalms 33:12). Is our god You? Since 1954 we have bragged in our Pledge of Allegiance that we are "one nation under God." Are we?

All too often, it seems to me, we use You rather than following You. Democrats ask You to shill for them on tax policy and immigration. Republicans claim to speak in Your name on abortion and gay marriage. Does this annoy You — playing the pawn in our political chess games? Don't You sometimes just want to smite us?

Finally, before I let you go, I must ask You about the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans. Perhaps You have more important things on your plate, but while I have Your attention (do I?) I must ask: What portion of their income should millionaires pay to the U.S. government? When President Kennedy came into office the highest income tax rate was 91%. Was that too high? Today it is 35%. Is that too low? (Just curious.)

This prayer is already too long, so I should stop. But if You are still there (are You?) maybe you could just tell me whether You follow the Roman Catholic Church. If so, could you comment on the recent fight the Vatican has been picking with American nuns? Do you think our nuns should be spending more time fighting contraception and less time caring for the poor and the sick?

And do get back to me on that how to pray thing. We’re all supposed to do it on Thursday, together.

Sincerely,

Steve

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Catholic Church • Christianity • Politics • Prayer • Uncategorized • United States

soundoff (4,673 Responses)
  1. Murph

    Dear Jebus, can you please call of your followers to heaven early? They are really getting on my nerves...

    Thanks...I owe ya one.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Murph, I like that one!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Mr. Snerdly

      Dear Murph-

      Not likely to happen you can send yourself, your starting to get on my nerves

      May 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  2. JB

    Here is how you pray:

    Our Father,
    who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy Name.
    Thy kingdom come.
    Thy Will be done,
    on Earth as it is in Heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread,
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    Lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
    For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory
    forever and ever.
    Amen

    May 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Just Another Citizen

      So, that's how you pray? I can't just bow my head and talk to God? And what if it's not your God that I believe in? Will he hear anything? Will it matter. I'm not sure how your response was intended, but please, do not tell anyone how to pray. That's exactly what our forefathers didn't want to happen when they wrote the first amendment.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Luis Rubet

      You pray to a corspe

      May 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • steve

      The author of the artical is asking how to pray. I think JB is answering him. Calm down! Don't take it personally.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • LVThinker

      @ steve: The author of the article was asking how to pray in an open letter to God. I don't think JB is qualified to answer.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  3. Jared

    I say pray you want to. Personally, I pray that God would give the leadership of our country wisdom and good health.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Christian

      Exactly! This is what the National Day of Prayer is supposed to be all about!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  4. Papaw Nick

    If you don't want or believe in prayer then pray to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and HLN as they think they are God. Where were these non-praying on 9/11 ? They probably went to a bar and had a drink to celebrate.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Thomas

      huh? Not sure I get the connection.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • gatecrasher1

      The ones who prayed the wrong way and rejected Jesus Christ killed 3,000 people.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • William Demuth

      Paw Paw

      I sat in Clifton watching people jump from the towers on 9-11. I felt I could hear the prayers of the thousands SCREAMING out to the heavens.

      I also knew it would do no good.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Keep up the good work displaying your lack of intelligence!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Mary

      Or, you can worship the almighty dollar.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Patty

      Well we know where a handfull of people who believed in prayer were on 9/11, they were flying planes into buildings.

      May 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Just A Fact

      While you were busy praying, I was joining the Army. Which did more?

      May 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  5. G D

    Prayer and belief are personal, as are equally free opposing beliefs. There should be no national prayer day for the same reason that our country separates church & state.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • johnkearney

      What church are you referring to? Catholic, Baptist, Church of Satan, Atheism, Humanism, Budhism, Agnosticism. You simply cannot separate "church" and state since everyone is in some type of "church" whether they admit to it or not.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Cason Snow

      /lol. Atheism is a church. Well, since I'ma member, I should ask, what is our dogma again?

      May 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  6. judith

    I pray – but to whom I pray is a mystery. Having been brought up in a evangelical family, I often questioned my father's
    hypocrisy. I turned to God but am not sure who or what "God" is. Whatever – our government, with all of its' use of religion as a campaign theme, and with all of the evil and mischief perpetrated by it as a whole, gives me a bad taste in my mouth.
    Religion is THE most personal for those of us who struggle with it – and it should stay personal.
    Christians in particular seem to use it for personal gain. God help us.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • William Demuth

      Change teams!

      We non believers always accept converts!

      May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • jv2012

      Everyone has the freedom of choice. Politiicians if they are sincere about God and their faith then they wouldnt act all corrupt and backstabbing each other for power. If you are sincere and steadfast with your relationship with God, then He will honor you at the right time. The comes down to the way we treat ourselves, familys, friends and even strangers. Do we go out of the way to be helpful and kind without wanting anything in return. Selflessness is the key.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • itsme

      judith, you found religion but you never found Jesus

      May 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • doug

      Man is the worst person to represent what God is. – If you rely on any man or church to define God for you. I guarantee that you will be disappointed.
      God represents what is good in us, helping others in need.
      Helping the sick get better without expectation of reward.
      Loving unconditionally as he does.
      It is written in the Christian Bible that believing in God is so easy that a child can do it.
      But what tears us apart in religion is the details that really don’t mean much if you follow the basic principal of love thy neighbor as thy self. Killing over the details is not what god is about.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mr. Snerdly

      Judith –

      Dont become a non beliver thats a joke. If you want to learn who God is and start making sense of it all, listen to the Missionaries that go door to door from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Seriously it takes only a few minutes see what you think. Alternatively you could try and logically make sense of the Triune, everywhere and no where, filling the emmensity of space but living in your heart concept and end up an Atheist like the morons on this blog. Its sad to see that the weakling arguements of Atheists are causing Christians to fall away from the Lord becuase too many churches have oversimplified salvation and overcomplicated who and what God is. Its almost as if the creeds of cristendom were designed to separate people from identifying with their heavenly father. Leaving the pathetic wisdom of men as a filler for the desire for direction.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Mleecarte

      You say Christians use it for political gain??? Excuse me what world are you living in???? Christians rights are being taken from them daily in this current administration. Why do you want to take away this country's very heritage???? Do your own research do not listen to the media. This country and our laws were founded on Christian beliefs and the ten commandments. But we have let the special interest groups do all the speaking for this country and corrupting of our politicians and we are facing the music right now because we the people elected this administration to lead out country down a very dangerous path. And I pray that God will have mercy on us and let us correct our error in Nov.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • maho

      pray to God sincerely and ask him to help you find him, you will find him in Islam for sure.
      Good Luck.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  7. Matt

    Maybe it is a waste of time... but if so, it's those people's waste of time to choose to do as they please. Is praying any better or worse of a time-waster than playing video games, watching movies, bar-hopping, or any other menial relaxations that people do?

    Additionally, a number of you imply that people who pray do not contribute their time or efforts on helping the world. Where does this idea come from? Most people of religion I know are just as generous with their time and finances to good causes than my non-religious friends.

    I don't see religion and non-religion as clashing ideals myself. I do see how the church/temple/synagogue has historically and even currently attacked non-believers... and I have also seen how non-believers have historically and currently attacked believers. However, I want to think that we can move past the pain and hatred that exists between the two groups. There are intelligent and caring folks on both sides of the aisle just as there are non-intelligent and non-caring people on both sides of the aisle. Hypocrisy can be found everywhere, but I don't think we should negatively lump a whole group of people based on the actions/words of a select few.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • jv2012

      As a christian, i dont believe in taking my faith and beliefts and shoving down the throats of non believers. I believe in sharing my thoughts and opinions so that if a non believer is going through something privately or publicly it will give them a different way to look at things. i have to think that its is more than just talking its the way i treat them, an act of selflessness, that gives them a different view point to maybe better their day or their lives. in the end, i cant make a person believe, its got to be their own decision. Regardless, I would be their friend, pray for them and help if i can.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • b

      It isn't so much that we think that people who pray don't go out and help society. What we are saying is that during the time in which one is praying (aka doing absolutely nothing productive for the world), that is when they should actually do something that matters.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  8. tony

    Pray for less wicked Tsunamis.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  9. Javier

    For an article ostensibly chastising a lack of unity and understanding in the NDP, the author is astoundingly smarmy and self-satisfied. You almost lose track of his (Your?) rhetorical points (do You have them?) in between his cloying asides (that get increasingly frequent) and congratulatory pats on the back (Audience, I am clever! Love me! Please?). Not bad discussion points for such a serious topic, but wading through the wording is tiresome and embarrassingly unfunny.

    To the people who seem to have logged on to dump on imaginary people who apparently do nothing but pray: Do you actually think that people the same people who set aside time to pray wouldn't set aside time to "pick up trash, train someone in a skill, sweep (what?), plant a tree, support a small business, feed someone who is hungry (seriously?), prototype an invention, repair something"? Like what, everyone in the world is some kind of single-function robot? There is no dilemma there; a person can meditate, pray, or commune without interfering with other volunteer activities and civil services and personal past times. Religious leaders and followers are just as likely as anyone to help improve the world. Don't have knee-jerk disregard to somebody and their potential for positive change because you disagree with their personal beliefs or else you're as bad as you think they are.

    May 3, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  10. Kate

    Indeed, what has happened to Reason? Where is that Flying Spaghetti Monster when you need her?

    May 3, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Kevin Harris

      Comparing God to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (or the oldie The Invisible Pink Unicorn) is the biggest Category Error I've heard atheists use.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Luis Rubet

      how about Zeus or Hera ? they where prayed and worshiped ..what makes them different?

      May 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Kevin Harris

      Luis, those "deities" would be finite, limited, spatial, etc. and would be subject to creation themselves. They would not be ontologically ultimate. And if you want to simply imbue some deity with the attributes of God, "a rose by any other name....".

      May 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  11. J

    Washington and Jefferson used "almighty" and "infinite one" because there was no need to clarify who they were talking about back then. I believe you're using their terms to your rationalize your point of view and taking them out of context.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Mara

      LOL!! You *actually* believe that the Divine Providence/Nature's God that the Children of the Enlightenment believed in is the same God that modern Christians pray to?!! Bwahahahaha!!!!! Read a fricken' history book! Jefferson re-edited the Bible, fer christ sake. He took out all the 'miracles", the talking fauna and flora, the zombies, the angels and demons, the 'magical' tranmorphing of loaves and fishes...If anyone had the chutzpah to do that today, do you *really* think anyone would be running around touting what a good Christian they are? If Clinton or Obama did it, would the Religious Right be praising them for their faith? Or would they be vilified as having adulterated and trivialized their Holy Book?

      May 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Sarah

      J- I agree with you, there was no question. And Mara- Jefferson's Bible is a fantastic example of someone so devoted to God that he was willing to spend years compiling the words of Jesus Christ in chronological order, gospel by gospel, to better understand his Creator. No one would vilify that.

      May 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  12. Judy

    I will pray for you.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • William Demuth

      I would prefer a nude pic (assuming your not hideous?)

      May 3, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  13. tony

    Let us reform US Nuns who dare to have brains, get more churches to not pay for heath insurance for contraception an abortion, enpower more pharmacists to refuse to serve the same, beget masses more unwanted babies, and help them die without medical care, once they are born.

    In the name of our ????.
    Amen

    May 3, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  14. Voice of Reason

    Being an atheist on this day of National Prayer is like being in a bar in the wrong side of town and you just beat joe the nose at a game of 8 ball.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • Huebert

      lol, yep that's it.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Jared

      Really? It affects you that much? I would think it would affect you more like taking a nap on your couch or getting a glass of water.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • jv2012

      If it really bugs you that much its because you really wish you believed in God because of something you are going through or have been through or you wish you knew what your true purpose in life really is. If you didnt then you wouldnt care so much to make stupid comments and let people be, if they want to believe n pray so be it, if you choose not to its your choice no harm no foul.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  15. james

    Ill pray for you

    May 3, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  16. Matthew Kilburn

    You pray to whom you pray, how you pray. And if you don't pray, you can butt out for 24 hours and stop the incessant need Atheists seem to have to make a mockery of anything and everything that relates to what, in their view, is just a fairy tale.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • tony

      Prove otherwise!

      May 3, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Hard not to make a mockery of something based on faith and not actual evidence. A Day of Prayer goes against the consti.tution where it specifically states 'separation of church and state'.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Mark

      Prove that God doesn't exist, Tony and Truth.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • William Demuth

      Matt, we do NOT make fools of you.

      We merely point out how you have made a fool of yourself.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      Jesus taught that prayer was to be a private affair. It was a personal connection between you and God. Why do you have to have these showy prayers, like the Pharisees? I have no problem with you praying. Keep your prayers silent, in your home, or in your church. Nobody is keeping you from praying silently in school. We just don't want any prayer led by any government officials or teachers in public schools because then you are crossing the line of state-sanctioned religion.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      @Mark: Here's the issue with what you said...we have stated we don't believe (so to speak because those are not quite the words we used). We see no evidence for your god, just as you see no evidence for unicorns or leprechauns...it is hard to prove a negative and given that you are making the claim, the burden of proof lies on you, not the one claiming it doesn't exist. Can you provide evidence that your god exists?
      "When you understand why you dismiss all other gods, you'll understand why we dismiss your god."

      May 3, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Athiest1

      @Mark: prove that pink unicorns don't exist!

      May 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Luis Rubet

      I had a lovely chat with the king of unicorns, very chatty fellow.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  17. maaccaa

    Let's conduct an experiment: pray for the opposite of what you want. See if it makes a difference. Spoiler alert: it won't

    May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • LOVE

      Spoiler Alert!! God knows you're trying to trick Him. Way to think you've figured out not only a higher intelligence but The intelligence. Ill even play along with you, God doesn't exist...Then intellegence stops with us and humans have the answers to everything..We must be Gods!! But hey, we still gotta wait until we are smart enough to land one of us on Mars..GET OVER YOURSELVES!! ( Well Im a human, and im so smart, and by golly if I can't explain it, its not real...what a joke..you're a vapor

      May 3, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Luis Rubet

      together our generatons will have the potential to be one day like god's,once we remove all barriers between us.....master's of our own reality

      May 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  18. tony

    National fantasy day. No wonder US kids don't think much of school or adults much of politicians.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Mareen

      You are correct. I'm 15 years old and am ashamed to see people I'm supposed to look up to praying for something. I'll tell them the same thing I tell the Macy's Santa Claus - stop wasting my time and raising my hopes with your bull-dinky.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • tony

      Mareen has seen that the Emperor has no clothes. Carry on thinking for yourself, walk tall and go far.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • jv2012

      I dont see what atheists problem is. This country was founded by people who wanted freedom to worship God. If you dont want anything to do with God then thats you're choice. You dont like people coming down on you yet you come down on them for no reason. I know that prayer is a powerful tool if you are sincere about it and are living the way you should be living in God's eyes. Thats just my opinion though. Its a matter of faith that gets many people through each day. For atheists to come down on them is just plain stupid.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      JV, the problem is we do not want state-sanctioned religion. When you start having government officials and public school teachers offering group prayers, it crosses the line of putting religion into government. That is only a few steps away from theocracy.

      You can worship any way you want (so long as it doesn't hurt others), but keep your religion out of politics and our schools. If you want religion in schools, have your kid go to a private school.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • jv2012

      I just dont see the harm though. I am not saying that the government should mandate religion but really of all the things to complain about? People pray because they feel a need to have a relationship with God. If these kids that go through so much want to pray in school why can't they. Something i read a while back made me think. The day we removed prayer from schools since then we have seen an increase in bad behavior and horrible things happen. is it because prayer was removed from public schools? I am not saying that is the sole reason. The question becomes what happens to one who chooses to believe in God and He doesnt exist? Does anything happen to that person? no he continues on his day to day life and continues to believe because it gives him a sense of peace and joy to do so. What happens if he chooses not to believe and God really does then exist? He chose to ignore him so why when its all over, God pay any attention to you at that time? Thats just what each person should decide on their own. I read someone once say that Prayer should be allowed in school . Maybe if it was kept, you wouldn't have kids bringing guns there or teachers sleeping with students . The devil is everywhere in schools like in gossipping, cheating on exams, cursing, lying, and etc but yall wanna cry when we mention God. The devil has made it to where ppl now think its better to be a part of a gang than a church . The devil has tricked a lot of ppl and the result are horrible schools, horrible politics , and just turn on the tv and you'll that we are living in a horrible place. I don't understand how you can say we dont need prayer . Prayer changes everything. I don't care if you believe it or not, that doesnt make it false. We got kids bringing guns, knives, razors, or even using locks in schools but if someone brings a bible then everyone wanna get all upset. Thats why so many school are not achieving like they want because so many kids are being strayed away by gangs or so called popularity groups. Be strayed by the Holy Spirit and see the changes these kids would have.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  19. Rational Libertarian

    This is grossly unconst itutional.

    May 3, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      You are 100% absolutely correct! And here we sit, powerless.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • tony

      Pray for reform?

      May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • Sunflower

      I agree!!! Separation of church and state is CLEARLY written... I don't want government meddling in my spiritual life, and I don't want my church engaging in politics. But it seems this is becoming the norm on both counts. What do they all NOT understand? That was developed for a REASON. Take heed.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Alternate Names For This Day Contest!!! Call For Entries!

      National Day For Talking To Imaginary Beings

      National Day For Socially Acceptable Psychosis

      National Day For Believing That You Can Talk To The Most Powerful Being In The Universe Whenever You Want And He Listens, Even Though You Can't Even Get Your Local County Superviser To Take Your Call Day

      National Day Of Burnt Offerings To Athena

      National Day Of Realizing How Stupid National Days Are

      National Just Another Day

      May 3, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  20. Jonsie

    God I pray – why do only approximately 50% of Americans carry all the tax burden? Do you want me to continue to get up at 5 AM every morning and work 9 to 10 hours a day to pay for so many that want to do nothing? How much more should I give to a government that wastes and squanders it? Is it my turn to stop work and let others pay for me as well? Please God let me know when I have given enough!

    May 3, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      You may as well be praying to a glass of water!

      May 3, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • ryan

      Actually stop complaining and give more to the needy of the world, that's what God would want you to do.

      May 3, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Judy

      just pray. There is only one God. Pray for the good of all. Stop questing the word................................

      May 3, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      @Judy

      Stop posting stupidity!

      May 3, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Thomas

      I pray that people would quit repeating blather like "50% of the people carry all of the tax burden". It's not true, so quit repeating it.

      May 3, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • bigmart

      This is God did you also give 10% or your income to the church, no you didnt so get lost I have no time to waste on dead beats like you

      May 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Justin

      Get a better job. I work 8 hours a day, pay my taxes, and have vacation time.

      May 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • ThereIsMoreToBeUnderstood

      So you want Heaven on Earth and no troubles? Doesn't seem like there would be a need for Heaven then. Please read the Bible and what it says about burdens and troubles before you assume God is suppose to be a genie for all of ones problems. Furthermore, why should anyone expect God's mercy on a country that is kicking Him out of everything? Praying is not about asking and receiving, its about spending personal time with, and seeking the will of God with your heart. I do appreciate you not being lazy and working your tail off. You could stop working and collect like the big group of resource-sucking lazy-head do nothings, but then what would your children and/or future generations have to look up to?

      May 3, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.