Thursday, August 19 |

Prayers and Presidents Pt 1 Introduction

In the introduction of Prayer and Presidents, William Federer gives a summary of several occasions in which days of prayer were issued.

 Starting from the first recorded, in 1668, until the year the Declaration of Independence was issued, (in 1776) I counted, in this book, seven instances of a 'Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer' being observed.

From the year of our Independence until our first president was inaugurated, I counted six more.

At the Constitutional Convention, 1787, Ben Franklin stated: "In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection".
I assume that doesn't mean they all prayed, necessarily, but that every day at least some did pray.

President Ronald Reagan said January 27th 1983: "In 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first national Day of Prayer... In 1783, the treaty of Paris officially ended the long, weary Revolutionary War, during which a National Day of Prayer had been proclaimed every spring for eight years".


One thing stood out. In all instances of these proclamations, not only was everyone required to observe that day by prayer and fasting, but they were penalized, either in coins, or crops for not observing this day, unless there was a good reason. They were to 'abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day' and to even go to church! In one entry of the Continental Congress' journal was even mentioned having gone to two services, one right after the other.

The Continental Congress wasn't the only governing body to proclaim such days. Governors of the colonies also followed suit, such as New Hampshire Governor John Langdon, who asked that "he would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion, and spread abroad the knowledge of the true God, the Savior of man, throughout the world."

 The Bible says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to be saved. Why is that? Because only those who are in need see themselves as in need of a Savior. When our country first began its infant steps, we saw our need for a Savior. How sad that the Lord has blessed us so richly that now we believe we have no need of Him.

Do you know when the national day of prayer is? How important is it to you?

The national day of prayer is held the first Thursday in May.

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