Pray for America

By Jim Allen

A former president of the United States wrote:
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! [1]
If you are a student of history you will recognize these words from Abraham Lincoln's proclamation appointing a national day of fasting and prayer that became effective on March 30, 1863. The purpose of this special day of prayer was to recognize God as our gracious provider having bestowed upon us immeasurable blessings, to humble ourselves in prayer and confession of national and personal sins, and to seek God's merciful forgiveness and restoration.

Lincoln's proclamation was written 151 years ago. Its message is more relevant today than ever before in our nation's rich history. Lincoln's prayer echoes through the halls of time, giving new meaning to the urgency of the hour. Many Americans have forgotten God. They no longer care or recognize God or that they have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven.

Since Lincoln's time and through the turbulent decades, America has grown in numbers, wealth and power. There has never been a nation like the United States, a country that reverentially printed In God We Trust on its currency.
Congress first approved the inclusion of In God We Trust on U.S. coins during Civil War in 1864. In 1956, Congress passed a resolution to recognize the words officially as the national motto, replacing the de facto phrase, E Pluribus Unum. A year later, it began being printed on paper money. [2]
Now, people brazenly reject the existence of God and those who love Him. The Freedom from Religion Foundation tried to have In God We Trust removed from our currency in 2012. The Democratic national political party said they did not need God to rule over them, and proved it by voting to remove all mention of His name from the 2012 Democratic platform language. Soon after, they were forced by public outrage to put God's name back in to the language. Now, more recently, a new movie entitled Noah is reported to occasionally refer to God as the Creator but never as God.

While there is a long list of people and organizations blaspheming God, it is clear the mere mention of God's name is not only offensive but intolerable to these people.

The Bible says God will not be mocked by the likes of such men (Galatians 6:7) and this mocking is the reason why He has given them over to debased minds (Romans 1:28). A debased mind is a confused mind, exchanging good for evil. A good number of Americans, including politicians and movie producers, support all manner of debased behavior the Bible abhors. If Lincoln thought God might be lifting his hand of protection from the United States during his day, then surely today He has removed it altogether.
Although I wish it were not so, the truth about this nation's current situation should not be glossed over with "fairytale solutions" promised by either political party. If Lincoln thought we were in need of prayer during his time, then today we are in need of nothing short of a miracle. The steel super structure of the United States, although severely damaged, is still holding but in danger of being torn apart by ungodly forces ruled by debased minds. This unimaginable time of testing for our nation is strongly suggesting God will have the last word in the debate between Himself and the arrogance of prideful men in America (Hosea 4:6). [3]
In closing, Lincoln was right to lead the people in prayer for America, and the nation recovered. We too are right to pray for America although now more earnestly. I am convinced our beloved and tattered flag is still waving in the breeze of freedom because there is in this nation a remnant of God's people who still pray (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Peter 4:7).

Note: The National Day of Prayer…was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America's leaders and its families. [4]

Proclamation of a National Day of Prayer

1. "Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day"
2. Nick Wing, "Athesists Lose Battle to Have 'In God We Trust' Removed from U.S. Currency
3. "Godless Leadership: When they don't want God" (revised)
4. National Day of Prayer

Image Credit: Kersley Fitzgerald

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Published 3-31-2014