Celebrate World Prayer Day

by Derek Holser, Tastemaker in Residence

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. – C.S. Lewis

From the beginning of time, humanity has sought connection and communion with the realm that lies beyond our primary senses. The supernatural, the extra-terrestrial, the Divine; these terms are used, sometimes interchangeably, to express our collective awareness that this universe contains more than meets the eye. From cave drawings to the Egyptian pyramids, from Mayan temples to the Wailing Wall, every era and area of human inhabitation reflects the universal desire for transcendence. 

Our sense of mortality and our perception that this world is inscrutably complex combine to compel us to seek meaning beyond our current reality. The extraordinary complexity of our biology, physiology, psychology, and a dozen-other-ologies point for many to proof of a Creator. 

According to Genesis, our Creator made us in His image. We obviously are communicative – the complexity of human language is the greatest distinction between man and animal and is the basis for our development of every area of human advancement. As we are communicative, so must be our Creator. Therefore, we have prayed to God in manners and methods as unique and diverse as our humanity allows.

Some ridicule the modern notion of “thoughts and prayers” as a response to tragic situations. It is quite natural for most people to seek comfort in prayer when evil invades our daily routine. In addition to the spiritual and psychological benefits of prayer, the body itself is refreshed by turning to God in times of crisis. A web search of the topic “health benefits of prayers” yields over 34,000,000 results! Many of those articles contain medical research that documents the power of prayer to improve longevity, health, and psychological stability. 

As World Prayer Day is celebrated, may we find ourselves reminded of the power of prayer to soothe, to inspire, to heal. May we be delivered from the cynical spirit of the age that purports to know best and which ridicules the many who begin their day’s work and enter their night’s rest by speaking to God. On this Day of Prayer, I pray that our eternal quest is not quieted. I pray that, as C.S. Lewis noted, we continue to express our earnest need, our gratitude, and our faith in God through active daily prayer. Lord knows it won’t hurt, and it may just help far more than we could ever imagine.