WASHINGTON – Thousands of Christians are donning the full armor of God – and the military stands with them – as they unite in one voice to fight a spiritual battle for America and her sovereignty.
Ann Graham Lotz, the National Day of Prayer honorary chairman, composed a prayer especially for the event, which will be broadcast live May 1 from 9 a.m. Eastern to 12 noon.
It reads, “In times of uncertainty, You are the rock on which we stand. In our weakness, You are our Strength. In our grief, You are our Comfort. In our despair, You are our Hope. In our confusion, You are our Wisdom. In time of terrorism, You are our Shield. In time of war, You are our Peace.”
The National Day of Prayer activities include speeches and gatherings of many faiths every year, but the 2014 event is already facing opposition.
Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, recently sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking that the Department of Defense distance itself from next month’s observance in Washington. Weinstein said military participation in the event would suggest government endorsement of Christianity.
“The planned participation by uniformed U.S. military personnel in this private fundamentalist Christian religious event, run by a non-federal entity, is an unequivocally clear violation of [a] plethora of DoD regulations and instructions,” the letter stated. “The U.S. military absolutely cannot endorse these searingly sectarian events by its public participation in them.”
Dr. James Dobson of Dobson Family Talk told Fox News Thursday that Weinstein “gets a very big salary to do this.”
“The truth of the matter is that the National Days of Prayer are an American tradition in history,” he said. “There have been 44 presidents in the U.S. and 34 have called for National Days of Prayer, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. It is something people appreciate. There were over 40,000 prayer gatherings last year, and it’s going to be a big success again.”
Weinstein said he takes no issue with the National Day of Prayer itself, but believes that the task force is using the event to push Christianity on the people.
“The National Day of Prayer Task Force is to the National Day of Prayer as what a National Football League al-Qaida chapter would be to the National Football League,” he told the Army Times.
Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., had requested military participation in the event, which will include a color guard, a military band, a vocalist and a chaplain. Other scheduled speakers will include Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham; James and Shirley Dobson; and Vonette Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Weinstein said he has received more than two dozen complaints from Pentagon workers who object to military participation in the prayer gathering. He also expressed disappointment in his correspondence that the only Jewish representation at the event will be a messianic leader, since Weinstein himself is a Jew.
Weinstein is referring to Jonathan Cahn, author of “The Harbinger,” who will open the prayer event.
Cahn didn’t allow Weinstein to deter his message.
“If ever America were in need of prayer, it is now,” Cahn told WND. “God calls His people to pray and intercede.
He cited 2 Chronicles 7:14, which speaks of repentance: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
“[The Military Religious Freedom Foundation] respectfully demands that [Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel] aggressively investigate and appropriately punish any of the individuals and/or organizations that would have allowed for uniformed personnel to participate in this sectarian spectacle,” he wrote.
The military hasn’t indicated it plans to withdraw from the gathering, which has been observed annually via the National Day of Prayer Task Force for the past two decades.
Other national prayer observances have been held since the nation’s founding and often centered on Christianity. In 1798, President John Adams proclaimed a national day of humiliation, prayer and fasting.
“As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,” he wrote, “… this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities – the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity – are a loud call to repentance and reformation.”
The thematic prayer ends with a call for people to return to the sanctuary of an infinite love given only through salvation in Christ.
“We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ who offers us salvation from Your judgment, forgiveness for our sin, and reconciliation with You through His own blood shed on the Cross,” the prayer reads.