Guest editorial by Robert Kossak, Trinity Community Church

Those who don’t believe in God may think that what went down Thursday, May 3, was an exercise in futility. Boy, did they miss out.

The sun was shining, birds were singing, people were gathering. People of every age, color, and political difference gathered because they all shared one thing in common – God. To Him be all the glory, honor and praise. To Him, we all prayed.

We prayed for our military, our economy, our government, our media, our schools, our families, our churches. God saw, God heard, and it was very good.

As we congregated nationwide outside of courthouses, public schools, and businesses to pray, I could not help but remember how my mother told me that prayer happened everywhere “back in the day.” Mom was a teacher for 35 years in the public school system.

She told me that every school day opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and Bible reading. Things sure have changed.

I am not that old, but I am not too young to look around and not notice that things aren’t getting any better. In the world today, there is a lack of education, a lack of parenting, a lack of respect, a lack of stewardship, a lack of love, and a lack of God.

I asked Mom the other day to what she attributes all this lack. Mom didn’t hesitate to answer, “The day they took prayer, the Bible and our God out of the public school system.”

We as humans struggle with why a loving God would allow horrific things to happen in this world. Why Columbine? Why 9/11? Why Katrina? Why Haiti? Why Harvey? Why Parkland, Florida? Sometimes even I, a preacher, ask why. Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham, was once asked a similar series of questions. I believe her answer hit the nail right on the head:

“I believe God is deeply saddened by all this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

Prayer is a necessity, yet there is something seriously flawed about us all. We foolishly think we can solve our own problems. Perhaps, as individuals and as a nation, we have tasted prosperity, and therefore, think we are bigger than God. Or perhaps we have seen so much calamity that we no longer accept that there is a God.

"Mama taught me how to pray before I reached the age of seven.
When I'm down on my knees, that's when I'm closest to heaven.
Daddy lived his life for two kids and a wife, you know you do what you must do.
But he showed me enough of what it takes to get me through. He said
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water,
Put your hand in the hand of the Man who calmed the sea.
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently,
By puttin’ your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee!" *

Yes, He is still up there, and He is listening. He is still waiting to be welcomed back into the life of His people and our nation. He still cares for us. He still hurts with us and cries with us ... and He still loves us.

Question: Did you pray last Thursday?

Question: Are you listening today?

Robert Kossak is an ex-federal inmate, husband of one wife (Yo, Adriane!), father of two girls, Ava and Presley (who is named after Elvis), college and university speaker, Discipleship Pastor of Trinity Community Church Delaware and Campus Pastor of The Well in Hockessin Delaware.

* from the song “Put Your Hand In The Hand” by Gene MacLellan