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Memorial Day is of great importance

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This week we observed Memorial Day.

In 1986, the uniform Monday Memorial Day Act was passed which declared Memorial Day occur on the final Monday in May. In 1971 it became an official federal holiday.

Memorial Day occurs at one of the best and most beautiful times of the year, the end of spring and the beginning of summer. The holiday has become the probably largest indicator of vacation scheduling in our nation. That’s surely OK. But the real meaning of the day of observance should be foremost in the minds of all United States citizens. The real meaning and intent was to pay honor and respect to those brave men and women who have paid the huge price to defend our freedoms. We’ve drifted too far from the practice of making that our importance for the holiday.

Sadly, while beautiful weather was observed this year in most places, horrible devastation caused by massive, destructive tornadoes hit large areas in the central plains and, especially the state of Ohio. Amazingly, indeed miraculously, the death toll was small considering the damage inflicted. How can one doubt the hand of God at work in sparing life in such massive destruction? The most common comment from those surviving such devastation is thankfulness and that by prayer, life was spared.

Prayer is the most powerful force on earth. This Sunday, there has been issued an appeal to prayer for our President. Franklin Graham along with more than 250 Christian leaders have asked followers of Christ across our nation to set aside Sunday as a day of prayer for the President.

Citing this as a critical time for America, Rev. Graham admonishes that “Time is short. We need prayer for God to intervene. We know that God hears and answers and He rules over the affairs of nations The Bible instructs us to pray for those in authority.”

This Sunday set aside for special prayer, the leaders of the prayer effort have asked that pastors would lead congregations, Sunday school groups, and others would join together and pray. The Bible instructs us “ to pray for those in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the site of God, our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:23).

America surely needs prayer, especially in these perilous times.

J. Russell Capps is a Republican former member of the N.C. House.