“Those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

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; and

Whereas 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;

And, insomuch as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? 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 sins, 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. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 30th day of March, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State .

He’s With Us Through This Whole Thing

Today marks 9 months since my prostate cancer surgery. I had my 9-month visit with my doctor this week and my blood work has remained unchanged ever since the surgery. There is no detectable PSA and consequently no detectable cancer cells. He was thrilled to see me as he has been at every checkup. He told me again how happy he was with the results and I flippantly asked, “What did you expect?” He replied, “I fully expected you to be on radiation at this point as well as hormone therapy. You really should not be doing this well.” He said that when he saw the pathology report and when he saw the MRI and then when the report came back from M.D. Anderson that showed my entire prostate had been taken over by the cancer and that it had taken over the seminal vesicles and that it was in the margins (the marginal tissue of the prostate next to the surrounding tissues) and that it had moved into the lymph nodes – well he figured I would be struggling. Then he looked me in the eye and said that “the Lord was definitely by my side throughout this whole thing.” All I can say is AMEN.


But here’s the even greater truth – even if none of this good news had come, the Lord would still have been by my side through this whole thing. The three boys in the fiery furnace knew that God was able to deliver them and even told the king that, but then they said that if God didn’t deliver them they would still worship Him and Him alone. And who showed up in the midst of the fiery furnace? Jesus showed up – He was with them throughout that whole thing. God didn’t promise us deliverance from the the trials and troubles of this life. In fact, he promised us that they would come. But He also said that He would be with us throughout this whole thing.

“And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

We the People Must Pray

Scripture has much to say about the relationship between Christians and the governments under which they live. We are told in Romans 13:1 that no authority exists except by God and that authorities that do exist have been established by God. We know we are to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s, but we must also remember that we have been given a roll of support for those in governing positions. In 2 Peter 2:17 we were told to honor the emperor. In Romans 13:1 and in 1 Peter 2:13 we are told to submit to the governing authorities. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 we are told to pray for those in authority over us – for those who are in high positions. We are to intercede on their behalf and give thanks for them. This last one is rather hard to do when our personal beliefs and opinions are at times the exact opposite of those in authority and yet, the command is there and we have no choice as followers of Christ but to submit to that command.

However, an even more sobering thought is that, in America, We the People are the ultimate authority. We the People are the ones in charge. We the People are the ones who decide who comes and goes in those higher places. We the People are responsible. The buck stops with us. So if we pray for those in authority, perhaps the most significant prayers should be offered for ourselves – We the People. Until we the People are on solid footing in total subjection to our Supreme commander, the Lord God almighty, then our decisions as the governing authorities in America are flawed at best and disastrous at worst. We really can’t blame the governing authorities because the governing authorities are us. We can’t point to Washington or to our state capitals as the source of our societal evils when we ourselves will not acknowledge the sin that so easily entangles us.

It’s time to pray for America and those who are in positions of authority. It’s time to pray that We the People will come to recognize God as the one who has placed us in this position of leadership in our country and act accordingly. May God Bless America and may god bless us as individual Americans who must assume our God-given and constitutionally-mandated responsibilities as the governing authorities of our great nation.

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.