We had one here in Finland. Most Finns were totally oblivious to it. It was organized by some of the more active evangelical movements in Finland. They gathered to pray for the political institutions and the people of our nation. Apparently they were asking for the goodwill of the creator entity for our government and all the people living in our country. If that entity is benevolent, why would it require goodwill to be asked for?

We do not have a direct separation of the church and state here as many other western countries have. The Finnish Lutheran church and the Finnish Orthodox church are actually a part of the state and majority of Finns are part of the Lutheran government endorced religious organization, though typically do not attend to church for any other reason, than a wedding, or burial ceremonies. Oh, and they pay taxes. The bishops earn a very good living on that tax money.

It is interresting though. What is the national day of prayer organized for? What do these people expect to achieve by organizing one? Social consent among like minded I guess, but the implications are more than that though. Are they not?

Why are these prayers appealing specifically for a one particular nation? Do these people think that it is somehow significantly easier for themselves to concentrate on the issues of a nation, or do they think that it is easier for their god to get the message and engage in micro-managing of a nation, than if they asked for all the trouble in the world to be at minimum level? What does it tell of them (to their god, or to to anyone else), that they are asking for their own nation? That they are specifically asking for their own benefit as members of a particular nation? No, doubt the same people might ask for the needy in Africa, but why not ask it at the same time? Would it not give less selfish picture of themselves, or is it just simply about being honest? That in fact they prefer their god would concentrate on taking care of the issues of their own nation, and that they actually fear that, if they do not ask for it, their god might think they are not deserving of help and indeed might decide not to help out their own nation?

Perhaps my problem is, that I have never understood the idea of a prayer anyway. For a human individual, or a group to specifically contact a powerfull supernatural entity, that at least in the Abrahamic religions, is supposedly all ready all-knowing and all-capable and benevolent towards humanity. Regardless the fact that this entity alledgedly allready knows what each of these individuals in their inner most heart desire, and even what they would choose in the future, it is somehow necessary for people to make a fuss about it and build special houses for this activity and indeed engage in this activity.

Presumably, such an entity allready knows wether fullfilling any such hopes and desires, as mentioned in any particular prayer is “good” or not and chooses to fullfill them according to that knowledge. No prayer seems to have any effect on the reality we live in. Because, if a prayer is not fullfilled it seems all too easy to assume, that the entity allready had a “good” reason not to fullfill it and if it is truly a benevolent entity, it would bring such an effect, that has “good” results to reality even, if no one would ever have asked for it. Right?

If you have some sense, or insight to explain prayer, please do.