America is not like most other nations around the world. We have a different history and heritage. America is a nation that was founded on prayer. That is something we should not forget during this election year.
A History of Prayer in America
In December of 1621, Gov. William Bradford and the Pilgrims in Massachusetts called for a day of thanksgiving and prayer to Almighty God for His provision and protection.
During the Revolutionary War, Congress issued a total of 15 official proclamations, calling for times of fasting and prayer.
On the celebration of the first national Thanksgiving Day, President George Washington declared:
“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November  . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.”
The most visible signer of the Declaration of Independence, Gov. John Hancock, proclaimed in 1790:
“[I] appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications…that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth.”
In an appeal for prayer, Benjamin Franklin said to his colleagues in the Continental Congress:
“All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without his Notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?”
All throughout the history of our nation, our leaders have called for prayer to Almighty God.
It’s Time to Seek the Lord
In this election year, many people are expressing fear and anger. Both of these emotions come from a similar place. Things feel out of control. Our future seems uncertain. People are desperate for something that can stop the freefall our nation seems to be in.
The fact is, our greatest problems in America all have moral and spiritual roots. We cannot, as a nation, turn our back on God, and pretend that we don’t need Him, and then expect His blessings.
Ronald Reagan’s words at the 1982 National Prayer Breakfast ring so true:
“I also believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way, a country created by men and women who came here not in search of gold, but in search of God. They would be free people, living under the law with faith in their Maker and their future. Sometimes, it seems we’ve strayed from that noble beginning, from our conviction that standards of right and wrong do exist and must be lived up to. God, the source of our knowledge, has been expelled from the classroom. He gives us His greatest blessing, life, and yet many would condone the taking of innocent life. We expect Him to protect us in a crisis, but turn away from Him too often in our day-to-day living. I wonder if He isn’t waiting for us to wake up.”
I believe now is the time for us as Americans to wake up, and hear the call for repentance and humility. Rather than the anger and arrogance that has typified much of this election season, let’s approach our Maker with bended knee, and seek His mercy and pardon for our wayward hearts. Only then can we expect the needed rebuilding and restoration of our country to begin.
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me,
and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me,
when you seek Me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, declares the LORD.”