8/14/2018

THE STRONGHOLD OF DECEPTION


It was during the praise and worship service just before I was to preach in a very lively "revival" church. It was a very festive atmosphere with people shouting, waving banners and running the aisles. As I quietly worshipped, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “The stronghold of deception is pride.”
I immediately knew that I was to address the fact, that during times of revival, pride often creeps in because of the power and blessing of God. Individuals and churches get an inflated sense of their own importance because of God’s blessing on their lives. This pride then becomes an opening and a stronghold for demonic deception.
By the time I finished my message that morning, a solemn quietness had settled over the congregation. After the benediction, everyone seemed almost afraid to talk and spoke quietly and in whispers as they departed. It was such a contrast to the earlier festive atmosphere that I was somewhat concerned.
After the service, I shared with the pastor that I hoped I had not squelched the enthusiasm of his congregation. He replied, "Oh no, you were right on target." "In fact," he said, "I may be accused of bringing you in as a hired gun today."
He then shared how that the very thing I addressed that morning had been happening within his congregation. He told how individuals who had been saved less than a year in the revival had challenged his leadership. Because they were experiencing God’s presence and power, they had gotten an inflated sense of their own importance, not realizing that what they had experienced was out of God’s goodness and grace.
God Resists the Proud
Gordon Lindsay, one of the most prominent leaders of the divine healing revivals of the 1940s-50s, declared, "As one rises higher and higher in spiritual power and blessing, he must ever seek to become lower and lower and lower and lower."
This statement was born out of his observation of the tragic collapse of the lives and ministries of several men who had been powerfully used of God in ministries of healing and deliverance. In each case, Satan’s door of entry into the person’s life seems to have been an inflated idea of his own importance.
Instead of humbling themselves before God, they became enamored with their own success. And instead of moving on to greater displays of God’s glory and power, they were brought down because of their pride and arrogance. 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
William Branham
For several years, beginning in 1947, Lindsay managed the ministry of William Branham, the most prominent healing evangelist of the 1940s-50s. Branham was launched into an amazing ministry of signs and wonders after an angel appeared to him during a time of prayer and instructed him to take a gift of healing to the people of the world.
Thousands attended his crusades because of the prominence of healings and miracles. These giant crusades were organized by Lindsay who also emceed the meetings and taught in the morning sessions.
When the time came for Branham to preach in the evening services, Lindsay would introduce him in a low-key manner while at the same time acknowledging that God was using him in a remarkable way.
How Branham Was Deceived
Once, when Lindsay was away, a “Brother Baxter” emceed the meetings and introduced Branham. His flowery introduction was filled with glowing accolades and he referred to Branham as a special “end-time prophet of God.” When Lindsay returned, Branham said, "Brother Lindsay, I think I would like for Brother Baxter to introduce me from now on.” (These facts were relayed to me by the late Freda Lindsay, wife of Gordon Lindsay, who was privy to all the details described)
Branham then began to surround himself with individuals who fed his ego with ideas about being a special end-time prophet of God. Lindsay sought to warn him, but his advice was not heeded. When he saw that Branham had embraced serious error, he withdrew from Branham’s ministry and developed the Voice of Healing, known today as Christ for the Nations.
Branham eventually began to believe that he was the fulfillment of God’s promise in Malachi 4:5 which says, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He also identified himself with the angel of the seventh church in Revelation 3:14. 
Branham went on to embrace and teach other bizarre doctrines. His “serpent seed” doctrine said that Eve’s sin involved sexual relations with the serpent with people descended from this event and, therefore, destined for hell. Those who would receive his teachings were the seed of God and destined to become the bride of Christ.
In spite of his bizarre self-concept and erroneous teachings, miracles continued to occur in his meetings. God is merciful!
Kenneth Hagin’s Prophecy
In 1963, Kenneth E. Hagin walked into Lindsay’s office and handed him a prophecy which he had written out. The prophecy stated that the leader of the deliverance revival had gotten off track and would shortly be removed from the scene.
Lindsay read the prophecy aloud in the presence of his wife, Freda, and then locked it in his desk. Freda asked, "Who is he talking about?" With great somberness he replied, "He is talking about Branham. He has gotten off track and thinks that he is Elijah."
Two years later, Lindsay received a call from out-of-state asking him to come and pray for Branham who had been in a car accident and was in serious condition. Because of his previous experiences, Lindsay felt that he was to leave the situation completely in the hands of God and he did not go. A few days later he received word that Branham had died.
Though sad and tragic, Branham’s experience is not unique in the annals of Church history. Again and again, as God has visited His people in answer to their prayers, pride has crept in and the revival has been squelched, and it is still happening today.
Pride in the Pentecostal/Charismatic Camp
While ministering in a large urban area on the east coast, I picked up and scanned a tabloid that appeals primarily to Pentecostals and Charismatics. I was stunned by the arrogance and pride in the advertising that had been placed by churches and ministries.
There were not only charismatic prophets, apostles and bishops, there were also "covering apostles," "presiding apostles," "jurisdictional apostles," "archbishops," "prelates" (religious rulers) and even one individual who had designated herself as "her super eminence Apostle so and so."
I thought, "Can these individuals be followers of the One who made Himself of no reputation and washed the feet of His own disciples, a task performed in that culture only by household servants and slaves?" Can they be followers of the One who, in Matt. 23:6-12, warned His disciples about adopting honorific titles that would set themselves apart from other believers.
But you, do not be called “Rabbi”; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.
No wonder the world does not see Jesus. They cannot see Jesus for us. No wonder we are not seeing a national spiritual awakening! The first condition for such an awakening, according to II Chronicles 7:14, is for the people of God to "humble themselves."
God Is Calling Us to a Different Posture
Several years ago, I sat in a "Revival Now" conference and experienced an overwhelming urge to bow down before the Lord. I sat and contemplated what I should do for no one else was bowing down. In fact, people were going forward and standing as they waited to receive prayer for a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit.
However, as this urge to bow myself before the Lord continued, I finally turned and knelt at my seat. As soon as my knees touched the floor, I heard the Holy Spirit speaking in my heart in a clear and vivid manner. He said,
I am going to be doing some incredible things in the days ahead: And when you see My power and My glory, this is to always be your posture. You are to bow down and acknowledge that I Am the sovereign Lord of this universe.
Yes, pride is the stronghold of deception. That is why we must continually acknowledge that it is not about us, but about Him. And remember the exhortation of Peter in I Peter 5:5b-6 where he said,
And be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud but gives grace to humble. Therefore, humble your selves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time.
This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s latest book entitled, Angels of Light, with the subtitle, False Prophets & Deceiving Spirits at Work Today in the Church & World. The book is available from Amazon and from his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

7/22/2018

5 REASONS I HAVE CHANGED MY POSITION ON DONALD TRUMP

Donald Trump was not my first choice for president. He wasn’t even my second choice. In fact, when the presidential campaign began he was far down the list. Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina were all ahead of Trump on my list of candidates.
However, after almost two years in office, I am now totally convinced that Donald Trump was God’s choice. There is no question in my mind that he is in the White House because of prayer and Divine providence.
Here are five reasons I have changed my position on Donald Trump.
Reason #1
I Now See His Temperament as a Plus
Like many others I was concerned about Trump’s temperament. He seemed overly brash, bombastic and rude. I didn’t like how he labeled people, even his fellow Republicans, with derogatory names like “Little Marco,” Lying Ted,” “Low Energy Jeb,” etc.
With the advantage of hindsight, however, I now see that the temperament of a combative, New York businessman is just what was needed. With political perversion and corruption so deeply imbedded in Washington, D.C., a businessman from Queens, who had spent years battling corrupt NY politicians, the mafia and other competitive business people, is exactly what was needed at this time in history. A “nice” person would never do.
As a historian, I see a parallel in this regard with Martin Luther, who was relentless, crude and bombastic in his attacks on the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. Even some Protestants thought he went too far. At his funeral, his colleague and fellow-theologian, Philip Melanchthon, addressed this, saying,
Some have complained that Luther displayed too much severity. I will not deny this. But I answer in the language of Erasmus, “Because of the magnitude of the disorders, God gave this age a violent physician.” I do not deny that the more ardent characters sometimes make mistakes, for amid the weaknesses of human nature no one is without fault. But we may say of such a one, “rough indeed but worthy of all praise” (Hyatt, The Charismatic Luther, 52)!
When this era of American history is written by future generations, when hindsight is 20/20, it may well be acknowledged that because of the deep political and moral corruption of the times, Donald Trump was exactly the one needed to save the American Republic from utter ruin.
Reason #2
His Commitment to Individual and Religious Liberty.
In my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, I document how America was founded on the principles of freedom of conscience and religious liberty. The Founders and/or their parents and grandparents came to this land to escape government-empowered religious persecution in the Old World. They came here with a vision of being free to live out their faith according to the dictates of their own conscience.
Under the previous administration, those fundamental liberties were sacrificed for the modern LGBT agenda. Left wing politicians and activists used governmental force in their attempts to coerce Christians into conforming to their novel belief system. Small business owners, such as florists and bakers, were targeted and then sued when they politely declined to violate their consciences by participating in same-sex weddings with their artistic gifts.
The Trump administration has returned to those founding values of individual and religious liberty. They agree that no one should be forced to violate their conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs. They recognize that same-sex marriage is not a fundamental, constitutional right, as are individual and religious liberty, which are guaranteed in the First Amendment.
This is another reason I have changed my position on Donald Trump and now believe he was God’s choice for this time in American history.
Reason #3
His Fight for Persecuted Christians Around the World
In his campaign, Trump promised to help persecuted Christians in the Middle East and around the world. He has followed through on his promise. ISIS, that perpetrated such terrible atrocities on Christians in the Middle East, has been decimated and many Christians are now returning to their homes.
Trump appointed Sam Brownback, former governor of Kansas and a devout believer, as “Ambassador at Large for Religious Liberty.” Brownback and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who is also a devout believer, are putting pressure on oppressive nations and promoting the American ideal of religious liberty around the world.
To cite one example: On July 24-26 these two Christian statesmen, both appointed by Trump, will host the first ever ministerial on international religious liberty. Some of the most powerful dignitaries, activists and faith leaders from around the world are attending. Pompeo told Tony Perkins on “Today’s Washington Watch,”
The enthusiasm of other countries to this has been remarkable. As I was traveling this past week--I think I was in six or eight different places--I had foreign ministers say, “I'm going to be there.” They're excited to come and be around other people who think religious freedom is important. I was in Muslim countries, I was in places with religion very different to my own Christian faith, but every one of those leaders was excited about the opportunity to gather with like-minded individuals who share their desire--their quest--for every individual to practice their faith in their country in the way that they wish to do.
What Trump is doing for persecuted Christians is huge and I doubt that it would be happening with any other candidate. This is another reason I have changed my opinion of Donald Trump.
Reason #4
His Favorable Attitude Toward Christian Values
In my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, I also document that it was Christian values that made America great. Despite his sordid past, Donald Trump has turned out to be the boldest witness for Christ in the White House that I have seen in my lifetime.
For example, in a recent cabinet meeting that was broadcast live, Trump sent the mainstream media into a tizzy when he asked Ben Carson to open the meeting in prayer. Mike Pence has said that it is normal for Trump, at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, to turn to him or one of the cabinet members and ask them to open in prayer.
I know that many of you doubt the integrity of his actions in this regard. I once shared those same concerns. I now believe it is real. According to James Dobson, Trump was led to Christ in early 2016 by a Christian businessman. Dobson says that he prayed a prayer committing his life to Christ. Perhaps this is why he has formed a council of spiritual advisers made up mostly of evangelical Christian leaders. Perhaps this is why he has surrounded himself with devout Christian statesmen such as Mike Pence, Ben Carson, Mike Pompeo and others.
At a large Trump rally in Florida, his wife, Melania, opened by leading the crowd in reciting the Lord’s Prayer. There are many indicators that Trump has made a turn toward the Christian faith and is promoting Christian values.
This is another reason I have changed my position on Donald Trump and now believe he was God’s choice to lead America at this time in her history.
Reason #5
His Unequivocal Support for Israel
The “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” overwhelmingly passed by both the House and Senate in 1995, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It also stated that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city and authorized funds to be set aside for moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Despite this authorization, no president has been willing to face the criticism from the Arab world and its allies that such a move would provoke. Enter Donald Trump. During the campaign, he promised to move the Embassy to Jerusalem, and he followed through on his promise.
Israel is important to evangelical Christians because it is the land of the Bible that God promised to Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 13:15). We see the restoration of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. It is also the only functioning democracy in the Middle East and America’s only trusted ally in that region.
Donald Trump’s unequivocal support for Israel is another reason I have changed my position concerning his presidency.
Who is on the Lord’s Side?
During the Civil War, it was well known that both sides were fasting and praying for God’s assistance. In a conversation with President Lincoln, a northern minister expressed his hope that, “the Lord is on our side.” Mr. Lincoln replied, “I am not at all concerned about that, but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord’s side.”
I am not a politician. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I recognize that Trump has faults. However, I am a believer who aspires to always be on the Lord’s side in every situation. That is why I am praying for this president and supporting his presidency. I can do no other for I am now convinced that Donald Trump was God’s choice to be the president of these United States of America.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is on a mission to reconnect America with her severed Christian roots and help ignite another national, spiritual awakening across the land. His books on the topic can be found on Amazon and on his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.





7/04/2018

AMERICA'S FOUNDERS WOULD BE APPALLED AT THE ANTI-FAITH STANCE OF LIBERAL SENATE DEMOCRATS

Many liberals, particularly on the Democratic side of the aisle, are wringing their hands over the fact that some of the top picks to replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court are devout people of faith.
One of these picks, Amy Barrett, was grilled about her faith when she was chosen to sit on the seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Senator Diane Feinstein expressed dismay over the fact that when she reads Barrett’s speeches, “The conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly in you.”
The insinuation of Feinstein and her Democrat colleagues was that Barrett's strong faith disqualified her from serving as a federal judge. Their anti-faith attack revealed a tragic departure from America’s founding generation where faith was protected and considered an asset to good government. 
The Faith of the First Chief Justice
If Feinstein was concerned about Barrett, she would be doubly concerned with John Jay the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Jay (1745-1829) was one of the authors of The Federalist Papers and served as President of the Continental Congress from 1778-79. In 1789 George Washington appointed him as the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, a post he held until 1795 when he resigned to serve as Governor of New York.
Jay was a devout Christian whose faith “lived loudly” in him, enough to disqualify him in the eyes of our modern, liberal senators. After all, he once publicly declared,
Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His manifold and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by His beloved Son. Blessed be His holy name.
The Faith of the Second Chief Justice
John Marshall (1755-1835) who succeeded John Jay as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, would also be rejected by Feinstein and her cohorts. Nonetheless, many consider him to be the greatest Chief Justice the Court has known, even though, like Jay, his faith “lived loudly” in him.
In one of his writings, Marshall clearly states what every Founding Father assumed: The founding documents and institutions on which the nation was formed presuppose a faith commitment to Christian principles and values. He wrote,
No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion in the happiness of man even during his existence in this world. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.
That Marshall saw no problem with expressions of faith in government is demonstrated by the fact that he ordered the Supreme Court facilities be made available to a congregation for their Sunday gatherings. So, each Sunday, the singing of Christian hymns and the preaching of God’s Word could be heard ringing through the chambers of both the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court.
What Marshall considered “strange” has become the norm with the modern Democrat party. How far removed from the founding generation are Senator Diane Feinstein and those who share her ideology!
Faith in God Necessary for a Stable Court and Society
The Founders considered faith in God a great asset because it meant the person acknowledged a transcendent moral guide that is predictable, reasonable, fair and applicable across the board. An atheist or agnostic, on the other hand, is left to his own finite, subjective opinions, subject to the sway of whatever might be faddish or culturally popular at a given time. James Madison expressed the view of the founding generation when he said, “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
Indeed, although there was tolerance for those of various faiths, there was a hostility toward atheism in early America. This was born out when a judge in the court of Chester County in the state of New York, threw out the testimony of a witness when the witness admitted he did not believe in the existence of God.
The judge said that by denying the existence of God, the witness had “destroyed all the confidence of the court in what he was about to say.” He went on to say that it was the first time he had met someone who did not acknowledge the existence of God, and that he knew of no case in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief.
This event was recorded by the French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville, and occurred during his visit to America in 1831. Tocqueville said the incident was merely noted in the newspaper without further comment.
The Founders Would be Appalled at Feinstein and Her Colleagues
Yes, belief in the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the Bible—the Moral Governor of the Universe--was considered an important asset for judicial appointees and all public officials by the founding generation. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Madison would all be astonished and appalled at the modern hostility towards people of faith that is so rampant in our nation today.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is on a mission to reconnect America with her severed Christian roots and help ignite another national, spiritual awakening that will sweep across the land. His books on the topic can be found on Amazon and on his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

6/30/2018

HOW PRAYING CHRISTIANS GAVE BIRTH TO AMERICA

America’s founding generation was a praying generation. Their belief in the power of prayer was both a present conviction and a tradition going back to the very first immigrants to this land. For example, the very first act of the Jamestown settlers on disembarking at Cape Henry, VA in April of 1607, was to erect a seven-foot oak cross they had brought from England. They then gathered around the cross for a prayer service in which they dedicated the land of their new home to God.
Before the Pilgrims departed Holland in July 1620 for the New World, they set apart an entire day to pray and ask God’s blessing on their venture of faith. William Bradford said that after their pastor, John Robinson, brought an exhortation from Scripture, “The rest of the time was spent in pouring our prayers to the Lord with great fervency, mixed with abundance of tears” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 23-24).
In the New World, the Pilgrims, and the Puritans who followed them, met every challenge with prayer and would often set aside special days for prayer, fasting and thanksgiving. This prayer habit became a part of the cultural experience of New England and was practiced by succeeding generations. This prayer practice found its way into American culture and its influence can still be seen and felt today, although there are stringent efforts to remove it. 
A Great Prayer Awakening

After a time of spiritual decline in the late 1600s, a Great Awakening, beginning in 1726, profoundly impacted the Colonies and restored the spirit and culture of prayer to the populace. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin tells of the change that came over his hometown of Philadelphia when George Whitefield preached there in 1739. He wrote,
The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was a matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 102).
Similar reports emerged from Georgia to New England of entire communities being transformed by the Awakening. A spirit of prayer seemed to be unleashed throughout Colonial America. In New England, Jonathan Edwards, pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, MA, reported that “the entire town seemed to full of the presence of God.” Prayer could be heard, not just at church, but in homes and everywhere one went in the town. 
The First Continental Congress Begins with Fervent Prayer
It is, therefore, no great surprise that the First Continental Congress, that met for the first time on September 5, 1774, opened with Bible reading and prayer. With British troops occupying Boston and having closed the Boston port, this was no formal prayer ritual, but a sincere lifting of their hearts to God, asking for His assistance and intervention in their fight for liberty.
The delegates asked an elderly, grey-haired Anglican minister, Jacob Dusche, to lead them in prayer. Dusche began by reading the entire 35th Psalm, which powerfully impacted everyone present. It is a prayer of David for deliverance and begins with the words, Plead my cause O LORD with those who strive against me; fight against those who fight against me. The Psalm ends with praise for God’s deliverance.
As the Psalm was read, a unique sense of God’s presence filled the room and tears flowed from many eyes. John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, of the impact of the Bible reading and prayer on the delegates. He wrote,
Who can realize the emotions with which they turned imploringly to heaven for divine interposition and aid. It was enough to melt a heart of stone. I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seems as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read that day. I saw tears gush into the eyes of the old, grave pacific Quakers of Philadelphia. I must beg you to read that Psalm (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 122).
After reading the Psalm, Dusche began praying for the delegates, for America and especially for the city of Boston and its inhabitants who were under siege. As he began praying, the Anglicans, such as George Washington and Richard Henry Lee, knelt in prayer, according to their custom. The Puritans, according to their custom, sat with bowed heads and prayed. Others prayed according to their own, unique customs. But although their outward manners differed, there was a singleness of heart and purpose as they all united in fervent prayer for God’s assistance and intervention for America.
The Congress and the Nation Pray
Prayer continued to be a daily part of the proceedings of the Continental Congresses. When, years later, Benjamin Franklin called the delegates of the Constitutional Convention to prayer, he reminded them, “In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 144).
In addition to the daily prayers, the Congress issued no less than fifteen separate calls for special days of prayer and fasting during the Revolutionary War. For example, during the fall of 1776, when the morale of the army and populace had sunk to an all-time low because of a poor harvest and hardship on the battlefield, Congress proclaimed December 11, 1776, as a Day of Fasting and Repentance.
John Witherspoon, a Presbyterian Reformer and member of the Congress, was deputized to write the proclamation, which was then approved by the rest of the Congress. It reads, in part,
WHEREAS, the war in which the United States are engaged with Great Britain, has not only been prolonged, but is likely to be carried to the greatest extremity; and whence it becomes all public bodies, as well as private persons, to reverence the Providence of God, and look up to him as the supreme disposer of all events, and the arbiter of the fate of nations; therefore; RESOLVED, That it be recommended to all the United States, as soon as possible, to appoint a day of solemn fasting and humiliation; to implore of Almighty God the forgiveness of the many sins prevailing among all ranks, and to beg the assistance of his Providence in the prosecution of the present just and necessary war (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 123-24).
There was an amazing change of circumstances after this and succeeding days of prayer, with successes on the battlefield and the reaping of abundant harvests. There was, in fact, such a turnaround that in 1779 Congress issued a proclamation setting aside a day of thanksgiving, because “it hath pleased Almighty God, the father of mercies, remarkably to assist and support the United States of America in their important struggle for liberty.”
The Congress then listed seven different accomplishments of God on the behalf of the nation, including “many instances of prowess and success in our armies” and “so great abundance of the fruits of the earth of every kind, as not only to enable us to easily to supply the wants of the army, but gives comfort and happiness to the whole people” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 124).
Yes, the founding generation saw answers to their prayers. Indeed, when Franklin called the Constitutional Convention to prayer in 1787, he not only reminded them of the daily prayer during the War, but also that the prayers were answered. Addressing the Convention president, George Washington, he said, “Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 144).
Washington Makes Prayer a Daily Routine for the Colonial Army
The Second Continental Congress, which convened on May 10, 1775, asked George Washington to become commander-in-chief of the ragtag Colonial militias and to transform them into an army that could face the mighty British war machine. Washington accepted the call and began immediately to instill in the Colonial troops a very real faith in God, for as the Catholic scholar, William Novak, says,
Washington knew his only hope lay in a profound conviction in the hearts and daily actions of all his men that what they did they did for God, and under God’s protection (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 128).
Washington, therefore, issued an order that each day was to begin with prayer led by the officers of each unit. He also ordered that, unless their duties required them to be elsewhere, every soldier was to observe, “a punctual attendance of Divine services, to implore the blessing of heaven upon the means used for our safety and public defense.”
Washington also issued an order forbidding profanity and drunkenness; and in a general letter to his troops, he said, “The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier.”
That Washington himself was a devout person of prayer was confirmed by Isaac Potts, a Quaker who lived near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, when the Continental Army, led by Washington, was wintering there under much duress in 1777-78. Potts was a pacifist who opposed the war until he had a life-changing experience while riding through the woods one day during, perhaps, the bleakest period of the war. He said,
I heard a plaintive sound as of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, and the cause of the country, of humanity and of the world. Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home and told my wife I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before, and just related to her what I had seen and heard and observed. We never thought a man could be a soldier and a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 129).
Washington’s Earnest Prayer for America
The many prayers were heard and the unthinkable happened: The American Colonists defeated the mighty British army. The War officially ended on October 19, 1781 when General Cornwallis surrendered his entire force to Washington. In customary fashion, Cornwallis turned his sword over to Washington, and the weaponry of his troops was stacked in neat piles. As this occurred the British band played, “The World Turned Upside Down.” For freedom-loving people everywhere, however, the world had been turned right side up.
Having completed his call, Washington issued a letter of resignation as Commander-In-Chief to the Continental Congress. Then, he wrote what could be described as a pastoral letter, dated June 14, 1783, to the governors of the various states. This letter included his “earnest prayer” that is here quoted in part. He wrote,
I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens . . . to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another . . . and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 129).
After being sworn in as president, George Washington issued a proclamation designating November 26, 1789 as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. The proclamation assumes the obligation of all citizens to honor God and to pray for His protection and favor. It opened with the following statement.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God . . ..
Prayer is American
Yes, prayer played a vital role in the founding of America. Novak is correct when he says, “In all moments of imminent danger, as in the first Act of the First Continental Congress, the founding generation turned to prayer.”
Seeing the vital role of prayer in the founding of this nation, let us not be intimidated by the assertion that prayer is somehow inappropriate for public or political venues. Let us be bold in our faith. Let us be salt and light in this generation. Let us pray. It is the godly thing to do! IT IS THE AMERICAN THING TO DO!

This article is derived from the book Pilgrims and Patriots by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html. To read about Eddie's passion and vision for another Great Awakening, visit his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

6/28/2018

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S VISION FOR A CHRISTIAN AMERICA

In a letter dated July 2, 1756, Benjamin Franklin presented a proposal to George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, that they partner together to establish a Christian colony “in the Ohio,” which was frontier country at the time. 
In the letter, Franklin expressed confidence that God would give them success in such a project, “If we undertook it with a sincere regard to his honor.” He wrote,
"I imagine we could do it effectually and without putting the nation at too much expense. What a glorious thing it would be, to settle in that fine country a large strong body of religious [Christian] and industrious people! What a security to the other colonies; and advantage to Britain, by increasing her people, territory, strength and commerce. Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could, by such a colony, show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see in our Indian traders, the most vicious and abandoned wretches of our nation" (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 40)?
Friends to the Very End
Franklin had become friends with Whitefield eighteen years prior to this when Whitefield visited Philadelphia and preached to massive outdoor crowds. Franklin attended the meetings and was attracted to this young, fiery revivalist who was nine years his junior. Despite their differences, it proved to be the beginning of a close, life-long friendship.
Franklin and Whitefield became business partners with Franklin printing and distributing Whitfield’s journals and sermons and advising him in business matters. Whitefield stayed in Franklin’s home on at least one of his visits to Philadelphia and Franklin wrote to his brother in Boston, “Whitefield is a good man and I love him.”
For the next thirty years they carried on a lively and open correspondence with Whitefield often speaking about faith in Christ and admonishing Franklin to make sure he was prepared for the next world. When Whitefield passed away in Newburyport, CT on September 30, 1770, Franklin was in London. Obviously feeling a deep sense of loss, he wrote,
"I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years; his integrity, disinterestedness, and indefatigable zeal in prosecuting every good work, I have never seen equaled, I shall never see exceeded” (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 44).
Franklin’s Missionary Vision
As a result of this friendship, Franklin moved away from his Deistic leanings and back toward his Puritan roots. The depth of Franklin’s love and respect for Whitefield is demonstrated by the fact that he wanted Whitefield to be his partner in establishing a new colony on the Ohio frontier. Notice that Franklin wanted to populate it with a “religious” and industrious people. When Franklin, or any of the Founders, speak of a “religious” people they are referring to Christians.
Note also the missionary motive Franklin presented to Whitefield. He not only wanted to populate the colony with Christian people, he wanted the colony to be a base for introducing the Native Americans of that region to what he called “pure religion.”
Since he is writing to Whitefield, there can be no doubt that “pure religion” in Franklin’s mind is the Christ-centered, evangelical revivalism that Whitefield preached in Philadelphia and throughout the Colonies.
Although time and circumstances did not allow them the opportunity to launch this project, I suggest that Franklin’s vision for a Christian society never died but was fulfilled in the founding of the United States of America, of which he was one of the most important Founding Fathers.
Franklin’s Commitment to Christian Values
Franklin was no fiery evangelist like Whitefield, but he became convinced that only Christianity provided the moral system for a stable and prosperous society. He knew that Christians were far from perfect, but at least they acknowledged a virtuous, moral standard toward which to strive and to which they could be called to adhere.
Franklin’s belief in Christianity as a necessary moral force in society is why he rejected a manuscript from the well-known Deist, Thomas Paine, in which Paine attacked orthodox Christianity. Franklin, in very strong language, urged Paine not to print the book or even allow anyone else to see it. He wrote,  
"I would advise you, therefore . . . to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it" (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 49).
Franklin Calls the Constitutional Convention to Prayer
Whitfield’s influence on Franklin can be seen at the Constitutional Convention seventeen years after Whitefield’s death. When the Convention reached an impasse and was in danger of disbanding without completing its work, it was Franklin, now eighty-one years of age, who arose and called the convention to prayer.
In his appeal, Franklin quoted from both the Psalms and the Gospels and reminded the attendees how God had answered their prayers during the war. Addressing the convention president, George Washington, Franklin said,
"How has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly appealing to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible to danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. I have lived, sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business" (Hyatt, The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin, 62-63).
Although his proposal was not “formally” adopted, there was much response on a personal level because of the respect with which he was held. According to those present, “an atmosphere of reconciliation seemed to settle over the convention hall.” Petty grievances and local interests were laid aside, and the delegates went on to complete their task of formulating the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. I think Whitefield must have smiled down from heaven on his old friend!
Yes, Franklin Wanted a Christian America
Modern secularists love to present Franklin as a nonreligious Deist who wanted to keep Christianity out of the public domain. Such a view of Franklin, however, is based on selected quotations taken out of context and without regard for his changing views on God and Christianity as he matured. Such a view also ignores his Puritan heritage and his close friendship with Whitefield.
Franklin, like all the Founders, did not want an official, state church like the nations of Europe. He did however, want a society whose populace would be governed by Christian principles of virtue and morality. This was made obvious in his letter to Whitefield, and in this sense, it is clear that Benjamin Franklin had a vision for a Christian America.

This article was derived from The Faith and Vision of Benjamin Franklin by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt and is available from Amazon and his website bookstore at www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html. Dr. Hyatt has received a commission to reconnect America with its roots as a nation birthed out of a great, spiritual awakening and to call Americans to pray for another Great Awakening in our day. You can read more about his vision at www.eddiehaytt.com.