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May 1, 2008 Edition

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National Day of Prayer
Praying for God's guidance for the future of our nation

In his recent visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the importance of deepening our faith by developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Editor's View
Mary C. Uhler

In his talk to young people at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y., the Holy Father said this relationship "is expressed in prayer." He said, "God by his very nature speaks, hears, and replies. Indeed, St. Paul reminds us: We can and should 'pray constantly' (1 Thes 5:17)."

Prayer becomes hope in action

Some people may feel that prayer is turning in on ourselves or withdrawing from the ups and downs of life. But Pope Benedict insisted that's not true. "By praying we turn toward God and through him to each other, including the marginalized and those following ways other than God's path. As the saints teach us so vividly, prayer becomes hope in action," the Holy Father said.

2008 Prayer for Our Nation

Holy Father, in a world where so many are hungry,
You have given us food in abundance;
In a world where so many are hurting,
You offer to bind up our wounds;
In a world where so many are lonely,
You offer friendship to every heart;
In a world longing for peace,
You offer hope.
Yet, we are so stubborn and resistant.
Have mercy upon us, Lord.
Our nation is at a crossroads this year;
we look to you to be our strength and shield.
Please give us the guidance to elect one who will honor you
and to respond to the wisdom from above
so that our hope may be renewed and our blessings be treasured.
In God's holy name.

He told the young people: "Your personal prayer, your times of silent contemplation, and your participation in the Church's liturgy bring you closer to God and also prepare you to serve others."

National Day of Prayer

I'm sure the Holy Father would agree that praying for God's guidance for the future of our country should surely be one important theme in our prayer. It's even more crucial in this election year of 2008.

May 1 marks the 57th annual National Day of Prayer in the United States. This year's theme is "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield." I encourage people to join with the millions of people expected to pray for our nation, its leaders, and its citizens. (See the prayer at right.)

Pray for Election Day

Besides the May 1 event, the National Day of Prayer organization headed by Shirley Dobson has added another campaign: a call to seek God's guidance for the 2008 elections. "I believe our country is at a crossroads," she said. "Whoever is elected president will play a pivotal role in determining the future of our country."

The new campaign, called "Pray for Election Day," is asking people to put a red dot on their watches, computers, cell phones, steering wheels, or bathroom mirrors as a reminder to pray for the elections. More information and monthly updates are available at www.ndptf.org

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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