A Reflection on Day of Prayer

photo by Anna Beth Corson

photo by Anna Beth Corson

Imagine it is utterly dark. All around you there are voices, some high, some low, some so distant they are mostly if not totally inaudible, others so close you feel like you could reach out and touch them. Each voice contributes in turn, but all together they are one. United. Complete. Beautiful. You raise your voice, too, and in that very same way your own voice is distinguishable, and yet it is part of a bigger whole. You open your eyes and there before you is a light, shining brighter and brighter to the cheers of those around you until the entire space that was once shrouded in darkness is now glimmering with light.

That kind of experience seems almost unreal, but for those of you who went to Rock City for Day of Prayer, maybe it’s a little more relatable than you’d think: standing on the mountaintop, hands extended in worship to our Creator as our voices reverberated over the seven states which registered as tiny dots from our viewpoint; lifting our eyes, which moments before had been closed in fervent prayer, just in time to see the sun peaking over the horizon, augmenting in visibility until the entire skyline was permeated by its radiance; later, coming before God with quiet and discerning hearts to the sound of inspirational instruments in the chapel.

For a freshman who had never participated in Day of Prayer before, I couldn’t help but realize how much of a perspective-changer it was. It was hard to take it all in: the symbolism, the beauty, the complexity. Looking over the many states from Rock City and seeing all the dots of cars passing by, I wondered what types of lives each of their passengers led, where they were going, and how I could pray for them. What a providence of God, that, though I never met any of those people face to face and though they were totally unaware of the little first-year college student thinking about them, our lives intersected for a second.

The same thing happened in the chapel, that thought about what prayer truly means. It’s incredible—the closeness you can feel to someone you’ve never even met, the tears that are shed praying that God would comfort them, that for those in the persecuted church God would give them boldness and help them to know that they have brothers and sisters in Christ from every continent on the earth praying for them at this very moment—that even though we don’t know all the faces and languages of our brothers and sisters in Christ, God knows every one of them—and us—perfectly.

Maybe those of you who stood praying that Wednesday morning at Rock City saw the rising sun as a sort of symbol of hope or an emblem of new beginnings, but as wonderful as that moment was, it was only a moment. As beautiful and inspirational as Day of Prayer is, life isn’t just new beginnings and mountain-top views. Day-to-day life can be monotonous, ordinary, and far less extravagant than the sun making its grand entry over the mountaintop. That’s why it’s so important to take what we learned from the overlook into the comings and goings of the day to day, because whether in new beginnings or predictable routines, the things we learn in prayer are ones which apply to every other aspect of our lives. No matter what, we are one church united in prayer. Dr. Kapic said it best during a Christian Mind lecture when he expressed his hope that we would be the same church on our feet that we are on our knees.