George Washington was a man of prayer. He led our nation through its difficult and tumultuous birth, thanking and giving credit to God. He acknowledged the risks, the perils, the tremendous trials that we faced could have only been overcome by the favor of God.
God has indeed been merciful to us. Washington said in his first inaugural address,
“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, [the Presidency] it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being
who rules over the universe,
who presides in the councils of nations,
and whose providential aids can supply every human defect,
that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people
of the United States a Government instituted by themselves
for these essential purposes,
and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge…
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency…”
And yet again, we are facing tumultuous times and threats of danger seem to be at every turn. It seems the heart of the nation is sick, that we’ve forgotten that the blessings of God are invariably tied to the laws of those blessings. Think of the simple commandment, “Thou shalt not kill.” Terrorism, abortion, murder would not be what they are if we as a nation would abide by the laws of God.
How can we expect God’s favor if we thumb our noses at His laws? How can we say His Word is outdated and then plead with Him to come down and fix the messes we’ve made? How can we dare blame Him for the calamities that befall us when we turn away from Him and pursue whatever is good in our own eyes?
May God have mercy on us and save us from ourselves.
Even with all of our mistakes and horrible evils we have committed or allowed, God, in His amazing love, still wants us, still promises to hear the humble prayer, to answer the repentant sinner, and to wash us with His blood. He paid an unimaginably great price for us.
May this year be a year of prayer, a year of repentance. May 2016 find us, His children, bowed on humbled knees, searching our hearts with contrition, offering our broken hearts in repentant prayer, and determinedly turning away from the ways of evil to the ways of God.
May 2016 be a year of revival.
George Washington’s Prayer for America
“We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.
“And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
— B. Payne