A call to prayer

There is never a time when humanity does not need to utilize its spiritual resources. But with the war in the South Atlantic intensifying and tragically taking a high toll in lives, with Polish truncheons and tear gas trained on demonstrating Poles, religious conscience should be especially aroused. If the forces of conflict and oppression seem rampant at the moment, they can never prevail over the divine power to rule the hearts of all men and lead them to peace and reconciliation. To reaffirm and reach out to that power is the demand of the hour.

President Reagan gives the American people a special occasion for thoughtful devotion by designating Thursday, May 6, as a National Day of Prayer.

While most citizens may not feel they need such an official devotional day, they nonetheless will want to respond to the President's call ''to join with me in giving thanks to Almighty God for the blessings He has bestowed on this land and the protection He affords us as a people.'' Each such heartfelt acknowledgment of providential blessings prepares the way for receiving more.

Amid the sounds of war, the fear of nuclear annihilation, the anxieties brought on by a faltering economy, it can be known that it is the ''still small voice'' which embodies true power and calms the turbulence. Listening for that divine voice is not the work of one calendar day, however. It is a constant requirement. Retreating into the haven of their own thoughts, Americans can pray daily and hourly--in their homes, on the street, at their jobs. It is such prayer, unfettered by place or time and made practical in compassionate living, which enlightens, restores, guides.

As they contemplate the moment's events, many Americans will be particularly mindful that two nations of Judeo-Christian tradition are at war in seeming contradiction of their religious faith. Surely their prayers will embrace the British and Argentinian people as they seek to prevent more bloodshed and settle their dispute.

Such prayers can be based on this biblical assurance that God blesses those who listen for His guidance and strive to obey His will: ''The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.'' The war may seem to be the responsibility of others but the seeds of conflict are to be fought--and vanquished--in every heart.

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