Our Heritage of Prayer

April 2, 2010 by Paul Chappell

There are ongoing efforts today to remove every semblance of God from our society. Ironically, those who are pushing these efforts from a platform of “tolerance” are increasingly intolerant of Judeo-Christian values and beliefs.

Historical precedence, however, points to America’s Christian heritage in which many of our political leaders recognized our need for God. All through our history, even in recent years, our leaders have offered public prayers seeking the hand of God’s blessing.

“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
Benjamin Franklin
addressing the Constitutional Convention of 1787

“I have a tender reliance on the mercy of the Almighty, through the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am a sinner. I look to Him for mercy; pray for me.”
Alexander Hamilton
upon his death bed, July 12, 1804

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
Patrick Henry
in a speech to the House of Burgesses, May of 1765

“May we be willing to stop our feverish activities and listen to what Thou hast to say, that our prayers shall not be the sending of night letters, but conversations with God. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Peter Marshall
Chaplain of the US Senate, in the opening prayer for Congress, June 27, 1947

“May we strive to be of one heart and mind as we seek to accomplish Your divine purpose, here on earth as it is in Heaven. We ask all of this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Vaughn Baker
in the opening prayer for Congress 
October 7, 2009

“To preserve our blessed land we must look to God….It is time to realize that we need God more than He needs us….We also have His promise that we could take to heart with regard to our country, that ‘If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’”
Ronald Reagan
in a speech given February 6, 1986

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity….Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
in an address to the American people, D-day, June 6, 1944

“Almighty God, our Father, everything we see and everything we can’t see exists because of You alone. It all comes from You. It all belongs to You. It all exists for Your glory.”
Rick Warren
in his inaugural prayer for President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

The current movement to erase our Christian heritage and deny the right to public prayers is not an issue concerning the separation of church and state; it is an attempt to remove God from hearts and minds.

Is it possible for our nation to return to her heritage of prayer?

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

We can complain about the godless trends of our day (and certainly we should use every resource available to change them), but when was the last time you cried out to God to heal our land? Why fight for prayer in public if you do not pray in private?


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