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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

Let Us Pray
Column for the week of September 16-22, 2001

There are dates that are etched in our memory that mark events that live in our mind. We remember exactly where we were when we heard about them. Dates like:

December 7, 1941
November 22, 1963
September 11, 2001

Most of us have not lived through a catastrophic event like the bombing of the World Trade Center before. It is certainly the first time an act of war has occurred on American soil in our lifetime. It shows us how quickly things can happen. The Bible tells us that devastation can come as quickly as one hour (Revelation 18:10). After what we've seen this week, I believe it.

It reminds me of a plaque I saw once displayed in a school, "In case of an emergency, the ban on prayer has been lifted." This is certainly applicable in our present distress.
President Bush made Friday a national day of prayer. But even on Thursday, cities, TV stations, and radio stations were setting aside times of silence for prayer or reflection on this tragedy. News commentators were ending interviews with, "God bless!" Politicians were bantering phrases around like, "Will of God," "Though we walk through the shadow of death, I am with you," "May God shed His grace on this nation," and "Let us pray."

I was watching television when Congress opened on Wednesday. The Chaplain prayed, "Lord, free your Holy Spirit…..be with this country where freedom lives….we place our trust in You….now and forever." Tears came to my eyes when Congress said the pledge of allegiance and came to the part, "One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all!" As you drive through the city display signs read, "God is in control," "God bless America," and "In God we trust."

We are living through history in the making. Airports have been shut down. Wall Street was closed for the longest time since World War I. The NASDAQ lobby was made into a makeshift emergency room. For the first time in history NATO invoked a mutual defense clause. Now is not a time to criticize the president because he may mispronounce a word, be slow to speak, or have the wrong tone of voice. Now is not the time to be a democrat or republican. Now is the time to be an American and truly "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." -- John F. Kennedy

What can you do for your country? You can:

  • Give blood
  • Fly a flag at half-mast
  • Not hold a whole nationality accountable for what some of them do
  • Have compassion for those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy
  • Donate goods and services to this cause
  • Be proud to be an American
  • Not take freedom for granted

Oh yes, and you can pray. (2 Chronicles 7:14) Yes, let us pray!

©September 2001

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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