Let's get into the "way-back" machine and take a close look at how our country started out:
The Great Awakening, occurring in the 1730s- 1740s, set the stage for the American Revolution by creating a cultivating a desire in the population for the freedom and liberty that the Bible promises. The Awakening produced preachers, unafraid of 501c regulations, espoused political thought from the pulpit. I'll spotlight a few preachers who were essential to the founding of our nation.
Rev. Johnathan Mayhew - He began preaching against the tyranny of England in 1750. The famous American historian George Bancroft said of Mayhew:
Whoever repeat the story of the Revolution will rehearse the fame of Mayhew. He spent whole nights in prayer for the dangers of this country. Light dawned on his mind on a Sabbath morning of July, 1766, and he wrote to Otis saying, "You have heard of the communion [unity] of the churches; while I was thinking of this..[the] importance of the communion of the colonies appeared to me in a striking light. Would it not be decorous in our Assembly to send circulars to all the rest (of the colonies) expressing a desire to cement a union amoung ourselves? .. It may be the only means of perpetuating our liberties." "This suggestion," said Bancroft "of a more perfect union for the common defense originating with Mayhew, was the first public expression of the future Union which has been the glory of the American republic; and it came from a clergyman, on a Sabbath morning, under the inspiration of Heaven."Rev. Samuel Davies - He was a lawyer, an ambassador to England (before the Revolution), and was President of Prinecton. E.L. Magoon writes:
He had made himself a a thorough master of English law, civil and ecclesiastical, and always chose to meet every persecuting indictment in the highest courts with his own plea... He went to England and obtained the explicit sanction of the highest authority with respect to the extension of the Toleration Law to Virginia. It was during this mission that...George II and many of his court were in the congregation of this preacher. When his majesty spoke several times to thsoe around him "Davies paused a moment, and then looking sternly at the king, exclaimed, "When the lion roars the beasts of the forest all tremble; and when King Jesus speaks the princes of the earth should keep silence."Rev. John Witherspoon - A signer of the Declaration, who was a mentor to James Madison and also discipled many of our early leaders. Here is an excerpt from his sermon, "The Dominion of Providence over the Affairs of Men:"
Upon the whole, I beseech you to make a wise improvement of the present threatening aspect of public affairs and to remember that your duty to God, to your country, to your families, and to yourselves is the same. True religion is nothing else but an inward temper and outward conduct suited to your state and circumstance in Providence at any time. And as peace with God and conformity to Him, adds to the sweetness of created comforts while we possess them, so in times of difficulty and trial, it is in the man of piety and inward principle that we may expect to find the uncorrupted patriot, the useful citizen, and the invincible soldier, -- God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable, and the unjust attempts to destroy the one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both.These excerpts come from the book America's Providential History, which contains all that good stuff omitted in your state-sponsored textbooks.
Our nation came to be by a series of miracles: from Dorchester Heights, Valley Forge, to the other innumerable factors that led our defeating the world's strongest military, prayer was at the center of it all.
Hear how our first Congress did business and think about our current
When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with Prayer. It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments, some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians and some Congregationalists, that we could not join in the same act of worship. Mr. Samuel Adams arose and said, "that he was no bigot; and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue who was at the same time a friend to his Country. He was a stranger in Philadelphia, but had heard that Mr. Duche` deserved that character and therefore he moved that Mr. Duche' an Episcopal clergy man, might be desired to read Prayers to Congress tomorrow morning." The motion was seconded, and passed in the affirmative. Mr. Randolph, our president waited on Mr. Duche` and received for answer, that if his health would permit, he certainly would. Accordingly next morning he appeared with his clerk and in his pontificals, and read several Prayers in the established form and then read the Psalter for the seventh day of September which was the 35th Psalm. You must remember this was the next morning after we had heard the rumor of the horrible cannonade of Boston, "it seemed as if Heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning." After this, Mr Duche` unexpectedly to everybody, struck out into extemporary Prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess I never heard a better Prayer, one so well pronounced. Episcopalian as he is, Dr. Cooper himself never prayed with such fervor, such order, such correctness, and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, especially the town of Boston. It had excellent effect upon every body here. I must beg you to read the Psalm. Here was a scene worthy of the printers art. It was in Carpenter's Hall, in Philadelphia, a building which still survives, that the devoted individuals met to whom this service was read. Washington was kneeling there, and Henry, Randolph, Rutledge, Lee, and Jay, and by their side there stood bowed in reverence, the Puritan Patriots of New England, who at that moment had reason to believe that an armed soldiery was wasting their humble households. It was believed that Boston had been bombarded and destroyed. They prayed fervently "for America, for Congress, for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston", and who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to Heaven for Divine interposition and aid. "It was enough", says Mr. Adams to melt a heart of stone. I saw the tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave Pacific Quakers of Philadelphia."
-John Adams Letter to Abigail Adams, September 7, 1774
Read the Psalm they read and you will find that it is perfect for our times as well, when tyranny is lurking around every corner and in every new regulation:
Psalm 35Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
There is a spiritual component to all that is going on in our country today that hardly anyone is talking about. Just consider our "dear leader," Barack Obama, who I believe was spiritually abused as a child. I bet that he never went to VBS or Sunday School seeing how his mom was not religious. I think he may have tried to identify as a Muslim to fit in with his dad's world. Ultimately, he winds up in a black liberation church that blasphemes God's name and now attends no church at all. I believe, based on the way he talks, that he is his own god and really doesn't give it much thought. We ought to be fervently praying for this man that God would soften his heart and make him wise unto salvation. We ought to be praying for all these lefty tyranny types because they are really pawns in a much larger, spiritual game. Ephesians 6:12 makes it plain: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Check out this link from which the above pic came. Pretty cool stuff.
Check out this link from which the above pic came. Pretty cool stuff.
When all of this becomes to much for me to fathom, I repeat this verse to keep me anchored:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
To sum it all up, is the Alex Harris family singing I Can Pray.
The Dove Brothers did the original version, which is awesome, too.