To Face Injustice We Must Begin With Prayer

When faced with a situation that caused great concern to the Colonists, the first thing our Founding Fathers did was to pray.  Their prayer was met with anger by the political powers.  This led to the establishment of the Continental Congress which ultimately led to the Declaration of Independence.  And it all began with fasting, humiliation, and prayer.

After the Boston Tea Party, King George punished the city by instituting the Boston Port Act, March 7, 1774, effectively closing the  harbor to all commerce. 

Upon hearing of the Boston Port Act, Thomas Jefferson drafted a Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer resolution, to be observed the same day the blockade was to commence.  It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses by Robert Carter Nicholas, May 24, 1774 and was supported by Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason. It passed unanimously.  It was to be “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.” 

The King’s appointed Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, was so angered by this Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer resolution that two days later he dissolved Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Virginia’s colonial  leaders went down the street and gathered in Raleigh Tavern, where they decided to form a Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia a little over three months later.  Less than two years after that, the Continental Congress voted for Independence.

Many today are concerned with the existing and potential loss of freedoms in our nation.  Many today are angry over the injustices which seem to abound in our nation.  While there are actions which can be taken to stand against such wrongs, those actions are pointless unless we begin with prayer.  And not just any prayer.  It must be the prayer of a contrite, humble, and yes - humiliated - people who acknowledge that God and God alone is their source of help.  By fasting and praying we place ourselves in the proper attitude of submission that will lead to actions which can and will produce results.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.
~1 Peter 5:6~

Forget Black Friday – Remember Black Tuesday

I know it’s Friday, but today is Black Tuesday – the 92nd Anniversary of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the beginning of the Great Depression. Now, I don’t want to depress you, but at that time America had just gone through the end of World War 1 (1914-1918 although the USA didn’t get involved until 1917) and the Spanish Flu epidemic (1918-1919.) Those events were followed by a period of economic growth we know as the Roaring 20’s. From 1921 to 1929 the stock market grew by 539% from 72 points to 381 points. During this same time period the economy grew by 42%. While there are many political and financial events that had some impact on the 1929 crash, I think this cartoon, published in the Los Angeles Times in 1926, may give some insight into another problem of the Roaring 20’s that may have led to the Great Depression. God has a way of correcting things that we may not always see. I’m not saying that we are headed for such a correction 100 years later. However, as stated by George Santayana, an American philosopher, in his work, The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Respond to Injustice with Prayer

Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. Perhaps we should take a page from our founding fathers and humbly seek God’s face in the face of injustice.

After the Boston Tea Party, King George punished the city by instituting the Boston Port Act, March 7, 1774, effectively closing the harbor to all commerce.

Upon hearing of the Boston Port Act, Thomas Jefferson drafted a Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer resolution, to be        observed the same day the blockade was to commence.  It was introduced in the Virginia House of Burgesses by Robert Carter Nicholas, May 24, 1774 and was supported by   Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason. It passed unanimously.  It was to be “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.” 

The King’s appointed Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, was so angered by this Day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer resolution that two days later he dissolved Virginia’s House of Burgesses. Virginia’s colonial  leaders went down the street and gathered in Raleigh Tavern, where they decided to form a Continental Congress which met in       Philadelphia a little over three months later. Less than two years after that, the Continental Congress voted for Independence. 

Our Nation Is in His Hands

5Then the LORD gave me this message: 6“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7If I announce that a certain nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8but then that nation renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9And if I announce that I will build up and plant a certain nation or kingdom, making it strong and great, 10but then that nation turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless that nation as I had said I would.Jeremiah 18:5-10

God spoke these words to the people of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah. While we should be cautious about taking any prophecy concerning the nation of Israel and applying it to any other nation such as the United States of America, we should take note of the general description of God’s sovereignty as we look at verses 7-10. In fact, we could replace the words “a nation” and “a kingdom” with the informal name, America, and it’s truth remains the same.

5Then the LORD gave me this message: 6“O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 7If I announce that America is to be uprooted, torn down, and destroyed, 8but then America renounces its evil ways, I will not destroy it as I had planned. 9And if I announce that I will build up and plant America, making it strong and great, 10but then America turns to evil and refuses to obey me, I will not bless America as I had said I would.

We must renounce our evil ways. We must turn away from evil and turn to the One who alone holds us in the palms of His hands . . . before it’s too late.