Tag Archives: Prayer

When America’s Leaders Called For Prayer and Fasting

From my friend William J. Federer – a look back at why America was blessed with victory over our enemies – and blessed above any nation before us.

When suffering the evils of tyrants, the first order of business was to call for a day of Prayer and Fasting.

In these dark days of tyranny from our own leadership – where are even the church leaders on this score?

Fast asleep and lukewarm in the comfort of pews filled with donors.

God bless us with Repentance.

Or this experiment in self-governance is doomed.

When our leaders used to call us to prayer and fasting

By William J. Federer
© 2010

To punish Massachusetts for the Tea Party, King George III decided to destroy its economy by blockading Boston’s harbor on June 1, 1774.

Thomas Jefferson drafted a Resolution for a “Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer” to be observed the same day. It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses May 24, 1774, by Robert Carter Nicholas and supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason, passing unanimously:

“This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile invasion of the City of Boston, in our sister Colony of Massachusetts … deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights. … Ordered, therefore that the Members of this House do attend … with the Speaker, and the Mace, to the Church in this City, for the purposes aforesaid; and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read prayers, and the Reverend Mr. Gwatkin, to preach a sermon.”

George Washington wrote in his diary, June 1, 1774: “Went to church, fasted all day.”

Virginia’s royal governor, Lord Dunmore, interpreted this resolution as a veiled protest against King George III and dissolved the House of Burgesses, resulting in legislators meeting in Raleigh Tavern where they conspired to form the first Continental Congress.

On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, where was fired “the shot heard ’round the world,” the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared:

“In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments … the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer … to confess the sins … to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.”

On May 15, 1776, Gen. George Washington ordered:

“The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th instant to be observed as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please Him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation; the General commands all officers and soldiers to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress; that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory to prosper our arms.”

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.”

Proclaiming a Day of Prayer, Ronald Reagan said Jan. 27, 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.”

Maybe Americans should once again, as Reagan concluded: “… seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future.”

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Thank You For Our Food Amen = Jail Time

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If you pray or ask for a blessing over a meal in a public school – prepare to go to jail.

School Officials Face Jail Time For Meal Time Prayers

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

 

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU’s demands rather than fight them in court.
 
According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.
 
Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay’s and Freeman’s constitutional rights.

 

“In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal,” he explains. “Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt.”
 
Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

 

 

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For America: A Day of Fasting and Prayer

We have chronicled the danger of Barrack Hussein Obama to our liberties, our nation and possibly, our very existence as Christians here on this blog. The masses that Seig Heil and worship him as messiah should jolt every American to his or her core – because we have seen this kind of messiah-worship before – and we know where it leads: to holocaust and death.

In a conversation with brethren in the last few weeks, we recalled how when Haman falsely accused the Jews in the Book of Esther, and sought to have the entire people annihilated, Esther called for her people to a Fast and prayer for God to protect and preserve them from the rising storm being levied against them.

At no time in our nation’s history have we faced a precipice like this one.

Therefore, we are asking ANY and ALL of faith – who love this country; who cherish our liberty; who revere our Constitution and our heritage – to FAST in PRAYER from Sunset Saturday evening November 1st, to sunset Sunday evening November 2nd (The Sunday BEFORE the election) – to pray in earnest desperation for our nation, to repent and apologize to God for our individual and national sins of both COMMISSION and OMISSION. That we would PLEAD with Him to spare us from the despotism Obama and the Socialists will bring when in power.

2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 

__________________

Day of fasting, prayer a prelude to Nov. 4
‘We are about to set a course that will affect our country for generations’

The foundation launched in honor of famed Christian speaker, broadcaster and leader D. James Kennedy, who founded the Coral Ridge Ministries, has announced a day of prayer for Nov. 3.

“We are about to set a course that will affect our country for generations to come,” said a statement from Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy of the D. James Kennedy Foundation.

“For this reason we are calling on all Christian leaders and their congregations to join with us for a day of fasting and prayer the day before the election on Monday, November 3rd,” she said.

“Please join with us as God instructed us in 2 Chronicles 7:14,” she said, citing the Bible:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

“We’re less than a week until the most important election in our lifetime. Must is at stake that is vital to our nation,” she said.

Among the issues on which the 2008 presidential election is expected to have a major impact are life issues such as abortion, Christian liberty (including speech rights), the federal judiciary, taxes, government spending, foreign policy, national security, defense, energy and broadcasting, she said.

James Dobson’s Focus on the Family Action recently released a “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” which targets the many evangelical Christians seeking “change,” particularly the young, who could tip the election in favor of the Illinois Democrat.

At the end of the letter, the fictional Christian laments that these people “simply did not realize Obama’s far-left agenda would take away many of our freedoms as a nation, perhaps permanently,” pointing to a new, liberal-majority Supreme Court unlikely to change for 30 more years.

“Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more,” the letter writer says.

The results the letter speculates may have happened by four years from now:

  • Six liberal justices sit on the Supreme Court after the immediate resignation of John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the later resignations of Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy. 
  • Homosexual marriage has been ruled a constitutional right that must be respected by all 50 states. 
  • The Boy Scouts have disbanded rather than obey a decision forcing them to allow homosexual scoutmasters. (The Scouts already had been kicked out of public facilities because of an expansion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover people who engage in homosexual behavior.) 
  • Elementary schools have compulsory training in varieties of gender identity. Courts rule parents cannot opt out their children, because the training is deemed essential to psychological health. 
  • Evangelical and Catholic adoption agencies cease to exist after the Supreme Court rules they must agree to place children with homosexuals or lose their licenses. 
  • Church buildings are now considered a “public accommodation” by the United States Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples. 
  • High schools are no longer free to allow “see you at the pole” meetings where students pray together or any student Bible studies even before or after school. 
  • The Supreme Court barred public schools in all 50 states from allowing churches to rent their facilities, even on Sundays, when school was not in session. 
  • Obama signed the Freedom of Choice Act, as he promised the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, nullifying hundreds of state laws that had created even the slightest barrier to abortion. 
  • The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and TV broadcasts, and television programs at all hours of the day now contain explicit portrayals of sexual acts. 
  • As a result of a reversal of its 5-4 decision in the D.C. gun-ownership case, it is now illegal for private citizens to own guns for self-defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of state legislatures and governorships 

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The True History and Real Meaning of Thanksgiving

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It is a sad travesty that we are losing our true historical understanding and heritage of our national traditions. They are RICH with incredible meaning, purpose and understanding of our many national blessings that we take for granted.

When you understand our true history – the appreciation we should have for our Patriarchs and their relationship with God should serve as a model that we should once again emulate in terms of how grateful we need to be as a People before God.

The following is an essay from my mentor and freind Peter Marshall, who understands our true religious history better than anyone I have ever had the pleasure of reading, hearing or studying under.

Thanksgiving 2007

Why should we celebrate Thanksgiving? Is this holiday just the annual American fall holiday that President Abraham Lincoln put on the calendar during the Civil War, or does it have a special significance for us above and beyond its tradition?
For most of us, Thanksgiving is about family, feasting, and football—approximately in that order. If we think about God at all, it usually involves saying a few simple pre-turkey-carving prayers of thanksgiving for His blessings during the year which is now fast ebbing away.

But, had it not been for the hand of God watching over that hardy little band of Pilgrims that found themselves thrown up on the shores of Massachusetts in 1620, there would have been no first New England thanksgiving. And quite probably, no modern holiday to celebrate.

What keeps modern Americans from properly understanding who the Pilgrims were, and the pivotally important role they played in our history? That we are not taught the whole truth about why they came to America. Every school child has been told for decades upon decades that the Pilgrims came to America for religious liberty, or religious freedom. Not quite right. Shallow history teaching.

In reality they were missionaries, coming to the New World to plant the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the wilderness. As their great governor and chronicler, William Bradford, wrote: “They had a great hope and inward zeal of laying some good foundation…for the propagating and advancing the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work.” Obviously, they had a strong sense of call and mission.

What is special about the Pilgrims is that these English evangelical Christian exiles actually layed the moral, spiritual, and governmental foundations of America at Plymouth (see our book The Light and the Glory, and my DVD “Pilgrims, Puritans, and Patriots,” and the DVD teaching seminar “Restoring America” — all available on my website). But it was only by God’s repeated intervention that they survived to accomplish their calling.

With other Puritans, they had endured vicious religious persecution in England, having been arrested often by the King’s soldiers and imprisoned by sheriffs. Finally, fleeing for their lives to Holland, they settled in the town of Leyden. There they enjoyed religious freedom for 12 years. But, toward the end of this time, it became increasing clear to them that God was calling them to leave Holland and come to America.

Consider the fact that, if their motivation had been primarily about religious liberty, they could have stayed where they were. They already had it. But what compelled them was much deeper than that. They were missionaries. They weren’t running away from anything when they came to America — they were obeying the call of Christ on their lives!

Leaving Leyden in mid-summer, they traveled in barges to Delfthaven, and boarded the small ship Speedwell for the short trip to Southampton, England. There they met the Mayflower, the larger merchant vessel they had leased for the occasion, and additional English passengers whom these “saints,” as they called themselves, quickly dubbed “the strangers.” Delayed by leakage problems with the Speedwell, they finally had to abandon her in Plymouth, England, and there all who remained committed to the expedition were crowded on the Mayflower. It was early September as the last glimpses of England faded from view and the Mayflower gamely launched out into the vast North Atlantic ocean.

The first few weeks at sea proved to be balmy sailing weather, but then the voyage turned nasty. Their delays had put them squarely into the fall storm season. The old freighter soon found herself battered by fierce gales and towering waves of sea-green water. While the crew tied themselves with ropes to the masts and rigging to stay on board the tossing ship, their captain, Master Jones, had ordered below the 102 men, women, and children passengers. They were confined in the “tween-decks,” the cargo area of the old ship — about 90 feet long, and 25 feet wide, with only 5.5 feet of head room. In these storms, with people being simultaneously thrown from side to side and violently pitched up and down; with children crying and adults throwing up; with the stench of vomit, animals, and unwashed bodies; and with the sea water leaking through the deck above, the conditions must have been almost unbearable. The passengers tried to cope with their fears as best they could by chanting Psalms from the Bible, which welded saints and strangers alike into a praying congregation of desperate Pilgrims.

They had good cause to be afraid. In the midst of one terrible storm, there was suddenly a loud crack! One of the large beams that held the mainmast in place had snapped, and now was dangerously sagging. Should that beam give way, the mast would fall and the ship would surely founder, with the loss of all passengers and crew. By the grace of God, the Pilgrims had brought with them a large iron screw, which was found and quickly hoisted into place under the beam. Buttressed with other pieces by the ship’s carpenter, young John Alden, the beam thankfully held.

In the midst of yet another storm, John Howland, a young twenty-something indentured servant of the Pilgrims’ first governor, John Carver, found himself unable to take the confinement any longer. He lifted the hatch and stepped out on deck. In seconds the next huge wave washed him overboard, and Howland found himself in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Only minutes away from freezing to death, as he was going under the waves, one of the ropes from the ship’s rigging just “happened” to snake across his wrist. Instinctively, his hand closed on it, and the crew managed to haul him back on board.

Just luck or a coincidence? I don’t think so, and neither did the Pilgrims. God’s hand had intervened once again, and John Howland knew it. He became one of the leading elders in the Plymouth colony.

After enduring storms for 44 days out of their 66 day voyage, the weakened and sick passengers at last sighted land on November 9th, 1620. It was Cape Cod. Turning south, toward their original destination in the northern part of the Virginia Colony (today’s New Jersey shore), the ship soon got caught in the shoals off the bottom elbow of the Cape. After fighting through this for a day and getting nowhere, the Pilgrim leadership prayed and decided that God wanted them to stay there and start a separate colony. Master Jones sailed north and anchored the Mayflower in the lee curl of Cape Cod’s tip, in what is today Provincetown harbor.

There they re-assembled the one-masted sailboat they had brought in pieces on the ship, and prayerfully launched a hand-picked crew to sail around the inside perimeter of Cape Cod Bay and search for the right location for their colony. Providentially, in the midst of a blinding December snowstorm, they were blown into Plymouth harbor. After spending a cold and miserable night on a small island, and resting the next day on the Sabbath, they came ashore at Plymouth to find the ground cleared and recently cultivated, but no Indians anywhere to be seen. Strangely, the area was littered with human bones.

Concluding that God had prepared this place for the colony, they sailed back across the bay to fetch the Mayflower. After anchoring the ship in Plymouth harbor, they commuted from ship to shore in the ship’s boat, and began construction on a common house. There they could sleep and store supplies until they were able to start building their houses.

But, with no shelter, and immune systems weakened by the rough voyage, they began to get sick. Colds became bronchitis, and pneumonia set in. The dreaded killer of ship’s passengers—scurvy—and other “wasting sicknesses” ravaged their number. With no effective medicines, they began to die. In January and February the deaths sometimes reached two and three a day; 17 dying in February alone. At one point, there were only five people well enough to be on their feet, caring for the rest. Toward the end of March, when the worst was over, they had lost 47 of their number. Of the 18 wives who had come, 13 had died. Only three families remained unbroken. They were in real trouble, for the food they had brought on the Mayflower was virtually gone, and they were facing an unhospitable wilderness.

But God’s greatest miracle for them was on its way! On March 16th, 1621, a lone Indian, clad only in a loincloth, walked boldly up to them and said: “Welcome, Englishmen!” After the Pilgrims had recovered from this surprise, they had found out that his name was Samoset, and that he had come from Massasoit, a regional Indian chief who lived about 40 miles to the southwest. The following week he appeared again, this time bringing with him a Patuxet Indian by the name of Squanto, who as William Bradford would write, was “a special instrument sent of God for their good, beyond their expectation.” That was understating it a bit.

Squanto offered them his services, and they were invaluable. He taught them how to trap eels in the mud flats of the bay, what berries were edible, what herbs were good for medicine, and how to trap beaver, which would later become a source of income for the Pilgrims. Most important of all, he taught them how to plant corn, and plant it the Indian way — by burying dead fish with the seed, to fertilize the seedlings as they grew. He was God’s instrument for their salvation.

As Squanto’s story came out, the Pilgrims learned that his tribe, the Patuxets, had lived at Plymouth. But, in 1617, a plague, probably brought by French fur-trappers from the north, had killed every member of the tribe. That explained why they had found the ground covered with human bones, and evidence of previous cultivation. The plague had raced through the tribe so quickly that they had not even had time to bury all their dead!

Sqanto had escaped because he had not been there. They learned that he had been kidnapped in 1605 by an English fishing expedition and taken to England, where he had lived for nine years in the home of an merchant named John Slanie. He had learned to speak English well, and became accustomed to English foods and ways. In 1614, he had been brought back across the Atlantic on another fishing expedition, under the command of John Smith, of Jamestown, Virginia fame, who had gone into the fishing business. Squanto had enjoyed being home while the English filled up their ships with the plentiful cod in the bay. But, when it came time for them to depart, Smith had ordered one of his captains,Thomas Hunt, to stay behind and trade for beaver pelt. After Smith and the others left, Hunt got rid of the fish, but he had another cargo in mind. Tricking on board 20 young Patuxet braves, Squanto among them, he took them prisoner and sailed across the bay, stopping briefly to pick up 7 Nauset men. He set course for Malaga, a slave-trading port on the south coast of Spain. There, these American Indians were auctioned off as slaves!

When it became Squanto’s turn to be sold, a monk from a nearby monastery just “happened” to pass by at that moment. Looking at this forlorn Indian, he took pity on him, bought him, and took him to the monastery. Squanto lived with the monks for about a year, after which he obtained his freedom and worked his way up through Spain and France until he could cross the English channel and get back to England. He stayed with the English until 1619, when a Captain Dermer brought him back home on a fishing expedition to the New England coast in exchange for his services as a pilot in American waters. Dermer dropped him off on the tip of Cape Cod, but when Squanto got back to his village site at Plymouth, he received the worst shock of his life. All of his people were dead, killed by the plague that had struck two years earlier.

Heartbroken, he wandered among the ruins and the bones, and then walked the 40 miles southwest to the tribal seat of the Wampanoag and Chief Massasoit, who took him in. He stayed with them until March of 1621, when Samoset had returned from his village site to tell him that some English had settled there. Squanto suddenly had a new reason to live! He would go help these white people. And so he did.

In October, when the 20 acres of corn the Pilgrims had planted under Squanto’s tutelage had been harvested, they wanted to hold a celebration festival. They invited Massasoit and the Wampanoag, and of course Samoset and Squanto as well, to come and celebrate with them. Massasoit came a day early, with 90 braves, plus women and children. The Pilgrim women’s hearts must have sunk, because they were going to have to use the corn stored up for the winter to feed this crowd of Indians. But Massasoit had thought of that, and had ordered some of his men to hunt for the occasion. They brought with them five deer strong up on poles, and wild turkeys. There were fish from the bay, berries and other fruits, roasted corn, and the Pilgrim women supplied vegetables from their gardens. The festival lasted three days, complete with bow and arrow shooting contests, foot races, and relay races. It was a good and peaceful time for whites and Indians together.

I suspect that many times during those festivities the Pilgrims stopped to thank the Lord for His miraculous provision of Squanto. Had it not been for him, there would have been no cause for celebration and thanksgiving. God had sent this American Indian, who spoke English fluently, ate English foods, understood English customs and ways, and knew about the Christian faith because of his time with the Spanish monks: the right man, in the right place, at the right time. Only God can do something like that.

My friends, that is the true story of the first New England Thanksgiving; the real reason this holiday should be special in Americans’ hearts!

Copyright, 2007, Peter J. Marshall. All rights reserved.

More links to historical proclamations and declarations of America’s early history.

May all of you have a happy, joyous and THANKFUL Thanksgiving Day.

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