From a former atheist to a man who yearned to walk in the footsteps of Christ, on March 30, 1863, a weary President Lincoln issued Proclamation 97 for the “Day of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer”.
“Whereas the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation.
It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
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. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sin, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.”
Sound familiar? There’s nothing new under the sun. Once again, our nation is in a polarized situation divided much like it was when this proclamation was declared. Contrary to modern belief, today’s lack of unity didn’t happen within a span of a few years. Many have been watching it develop over decades.
Ephesians 6:12, NASB: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
What do you believe is behind all the chaos and divisions taking place around the world? Those dark forces are likely salivating over what seems to be a great accomplishment.
Brothers and Sisters stop listening to the talking heads. Turn away from arguments which often make those who engage look like fools, arrogant and cold-hearted. Turn off what stirs up anger, frustration and fear. Click here for related Bible verses
It may be hard when our emotions cause an impulse to react, but instead, sit back for a moment, look up, and focus on our Almighty God. He will give you strength. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
It will take a miracle to heal what has been broken. We need more than public policy, stimulus checks, vaccines, or mere mortals to turn this around. Unlike Lincoln, we have few leaders with his wisdom to humble themselves before God. But what will the Body of Christ do?
There are multitudes around the world, including the persecuted, who are on their knees praying and asking God to intervene in the USA. As our nation needed so long ago, we too need to seek the Lord, today. Will you also join in prayer in the name of Jesus for this nation?
Come with a humbled heart, repentance and give praises to the Lord. Pray for a peace that surpasses understanding, for wisdom and truth. Pray also that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. God’s power, mercy, and love has not, nor will ever change. We trust He hears our prayers. He has healed divides in the past. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
Pray brothers and sisters, pray America!