RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION
America has had great men of faith through our history . In this process of electing a new President, we have heard some of the candidates speak openly about faith directing their lives. And, others speak words and terms regarding faith issues that raise doubts rather than solidify faith’s foundations.
Some of our foremost Presidents boldly professed the impact of prayer, faith, and God’s wisdom being instrumental to them in the Presidency. They were also burdened that this nation never forget or turn from God’s precepts and values based on the Bible.
When George Washington was about 20 years old he wrote this in his prayer journal:
“O most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, but so coldly and carelessly, that my prayers are become my sin and stand in need of pardon. I have heard thy holy word, but with such deadness of spirit that I have been an unprofitable and forgetful hearer, so that, O Lord, tho’ I have done thy work, yet it hath been so negligently that I may rather expect a curse than a blessing from thee.”
Washington would later write…..“I earnestly pray that the Omnipotent Being who has not deserted the cause of America in the hour of its extremist hazard, will never yield so fair a heritage of freedom a prey to “Anarchy” or “Despotism”” (written in a letter to James McHenry, July 31, 1788).
One of the great men that led our nation in the 20th century was Ronald Reagan. Here are some of his thoughts on prayer and faith.
“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying; its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”
“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”
Perhaps the words of John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson (1813) best expose our present state…Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?…And, without virtue, there can be no political liberty….Will you tell me how to prevent riches from becoming the effects of temperance and industry? Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance, vice, and folly?
My heart is heavy for my country and I pray….. “O God, please, here the cries of your people and turn us away from sin and destruction. May we be found on our knees repenting in fervent brokenness! Bring us into your merciful forgiveness. Restore us to the nation that is a Light to the Nations because we walk in the Light of God!”