While conducting a Revive America event at Abounding Grace Church in Schenectady, NY, I heard the Holy Spirit instruct me to have the audience repeat after me the two reasons the Pilgrims gave for coming to the New World. I did so, and one could sense the life and energy of the Holy Spirit as we all repeated their own words for why they had come to America.
After the meeting, a young man came up to me very excited. He explained that he was attending the community college in that area and taking a course on American history. “Just this week,” he said, “The professor told us that the Pilgrims did not come here for religious reasons but for monetary reasons.” With his face glowing, he exclaimed, “But there it is in their own words.”
The Reasons They Came
The words we had repeated are part of the opening statement of the Mayflower Compact, which had been projected on the large screen. It reads, “Having undertaken for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith . . . a voyage to plant the first colony in northern Virginia.” They came to America, they said, for two reasons: (1) for the glory of God and (2) for the advancement of the Christian faith.
William Bradford, who served as governor of Plymouth for over thirty years, stated this same vision in his memoirs written later in life. He shares this as part of his explanation as to why they decided to leave Holland and come to the New World.
First of all, he tells how they were not satisfied with their lot as foreigners and second-class citizens in Holland. They were also concerned that many of their children were being led astray by undesirable influences in the Dutch culture. He then said,
Lastly (and which was not least), a great hope and inward zeal they had of laying some good foundation, or at least to make some way thereunto, for the propagating and advancing of 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.
Although we have often heard that the Pilgrims came to escape religious persecution in the Old World, that is only part of the story. The rest of the story is that they were drawn here by a proactive missionary vision to take the gospel where it had not been heard.
Others Came for the Same Reason
The thousands of Puritans that followed the Pilgrims to New England over the next twenty years came with a similar vision. This is obvious from the constitution of the United Colonies of New England formed in 1643 to arbitrate land disputes and provide a system of mutual defense for the many towns that were springing up. The opening statement of the constitution reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity and peace.
These New England Puritans had a similar missionary vision as the Anglicans who first settled Virginia. On April 29, 1607, the Jamestown settlers disembarked at Cape Henry, near modern day Virginia Beach, and erected a seven-foot 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. In his dedicatory prayer, their chaplain, Rev. Robert Hunt, declared, “From these very shores the gospel shall go forth, not only to this New World, but to all the world.”
Original Vision in the Founding Fathers
It is clear that the earliest immigrants to America came with a vision for a land of liberty from which the gospel would be taken to the ends of the earth. That vision did not die but is clearly seen in statements by many of the Founding Fathers. Consider the following.
 “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.”
Benjamin Franklin in a 1756 letter to George Whitefield, the most famous preacher of the Great Awakening, in which Franklin proposed that they partner together in founding a Christian colony on the Ohio frontier.
“Pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known throughout the whole family of mankind.”
Samuel Adams, Founding Father and Governor of Massachusetts. This call to prayer was part of a proclamation for a Day of Prayer that he issued as Governor of MA in 1795.
“Pray that all nations may bow to the scepter of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that the whole earth may be filled with his glory.”
John Hancock, Founding Father, President of the Continental Congress and Governor of Massachusetts. This statement was part of a call for prayer he issued while Governor.
“The policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind.”
James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and America’s fourth president, voicing his opposition in 1785 to a bill that he perceived would have the unintended consequence of hindering the spread of the Gospel.
“The philosophy of Jesus is the most sublime and benevolent code of morals ever offered man. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen.”
Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence and America’s third president, who took money from the federal treasury to send missionaries to an American Indian tribe and to build them a chapel in which to worship.
 “Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ.”
From a public prayer prayed by George Washington, America's first president.
May the Vision to be Restored
This Thanksgiving we can be thankful for the vision and sacrifice of those early pilgrims and patriots. We are enjoying liberties and blessings today because of their utter commitment to a Christian vision.
Yes, the original American vision was that it be a land of individual and religious liberty and a place where the gospel would have free course and would spread from here to the ends of the earth. This Thanksgiving let’s pray for that Original American Vision to be restored.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt conducts Revive America events throughout the nation in which he presents a PowerPoint presentation documenting how America was birthed out of a Great Spiritual Awakening and founded on Christian principles and values. He is also the author of numerous books on revival, including Pilgrims and Patriots from which this article was derived. Check out his website at www.eddiehyatt.com



I recently awakened with a distinct, internal conviction that God has given us a key to America’s future. As I thought on this, I instinctively knew that the key to America’s future is a recovery of America’s past, for as George Orwell said, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.”
The anti-Christian forces in America have been very busy taking control of America’s past and purging everything Christian from her founding and history. School children and college students are now taught that those first immigrants to America came for adventure and gold and that her founders were a bunch of wealthy, Deistic slave owners who were seeking more power.
These historical revisionists have known exactly what they were doing, for as Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.”  
Robbed of its Christian heritage, America’s populace seems vulnerable, as never before, to being shaped into an amoral, secularist society. We have reached the place of which Karl Marx spoke, when he said, “People without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
If we are going to take control of America’s future, we must use the key and take control of her past. We must restore her true heritage as a nation birthed out of great, spiritual awakening.
I was drawn into this in 2010 at a time when I had given up hope of America ever seeing another national, spiritual awakening. I was surprised by the Holy Spirit that day and for several hours my heart and mind were flooded with thoughts of hope and faith that America "could" see another great, spiritual awakening that would stem the tide of secularism, immorality and false religion that is flooding our land.
The other thing with which the Holy Spirit surprised me that day was the understanding that there was a direct link between the First Great Awakening and the founding of America. I had researched and written about the Great Awakening, but for the first time I saw that it had a direct bearing on the founding of this nation.
I knew instinctively that I was to put in writing what I was seeing. So, after more research and writing, my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, came into existence. Pat Robertson read the manuscript and called it “a must read!”
I have since created a PowerPoint presentation from the book that I call “Revive America.” In it I show how America was birthed out of great spiritual awakening and I call those present to begin praying for another such Awakening to rock our land.
This is the key to America’s future. We must take control of our past if we are to have any hope of taking control of our future for the next generation.
I am ready to take this message across America. If you would like to discuss hosting a “Revive America” event in your church or city, send me an email at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.

A recent "Revive America" Event at
 Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas



NBC stalwart, Chuck Todd, recently went on a rant against the idea that our rights as American citizens come from God. He played a recording of Judge Roy Moore, the Republican nominee for senator from Alabama, in which Moore declared, “Our rights don’t come from government; they don’t come from the Bill of Rights; they come from Almighty God.”
Todd appeared flabbergasted at such an “ominous” idea and suggested that Judge Moore, “Doesn’t appear to believe in the Constitution as it’s written.” Todd obviously does not understand that the idea of God as the Source of our rights comes directly from the Declaration of Independence. But what is disconcerting is that he describes those who think this way as dangerous and almost un-American.
But if our rights do not come from God, from whence do they come? A king? A pope? The news media? Whoever happens to hold governmental power at a given time? Some might answer, "the democratic majority." History, however, has shown that without transcendent moral restraints the majority can become a mob that runs roughshod over the rights of those in the minority.
This is why the book, Pilgrims and Patriots, is so vital at this time in our nation’s history. It is why “Revive America” events are so important for they have the potential to unleash another Great Awakening that turns this nation back to God.
Here is a quote from page 130 of Pilgrims and Patriots concerning the Founders' view on this matter of the Source of our rights.
“Jefferson, Franklin and the other Founders saw human rights as having a transcendent source, that being, God Himself. They and their forebears had suffered the loss of their rights, and their being given or taken at the whim of a monarch, pope or bishop. In this new nation, they were determined to fix them in a place beyond human reach. Government, they insisted, did not exist to give or take away rights, but to protect those rights already given by God."
Eddie Hyatt



October 31, 2017 will mark the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door and igniting the Protestant Reformation. Luther, a Catholic priest and University professor, was challenging his church’s practice of selling indulgences that offered forgiveness of sins and freedom from purgatory, all for a price.
From there, Luther went on to challenge papal authority and the sacramental system of the Catholic Church with his teachings on justification by faith, the priesthood of all believers and the ultimate authority of Scripture. Ordered by the Roman Church hierarchy to stop teaching these doctrines, Luther decided that he could not sacrifice truth for a superficial unity.
Luther’s Bold Stand for Freedom
He was, therefore, ordered to appear before a tribunal of cardinals, bishops and the Roman Emperor. Held in the city of Worms, it was known as the Diet of Worms. Standing alone before this imposing body of religious and civil authorities, Luther was ordered to recant his teachings or suffer excommunication, which could also mean death.
Luther told this court that he was willing to recant but only if he could be convinced by reason and the Scriptures that he was in error. The Roman hierarchy, however, was not in the habit of “reasoning” with those who challenged their authority, and they demanded that Luther admit his error there on the spot.
In his famous reply, which struck a blow for individual freedom and religious liberty, Luther refused to back down even though he knew his very life was at stake. He boldly concluded his defense of freedom with these words.
I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant anything, because acting against one's conscience is neither safe nor sound. Here I stand! God help me! I can do no other! Amen!
The Radical Reformers
Luther, however, was a man of his times and in later life, physically ill and frustrated with the multitude of hindrances to the Reformation, he advocated the use of force in dealing with those he considered enemies of the Gospel, which included Catholics, Muslims, Jews and Anabaptists.
It was the more radical, pacifist groups of the Reformation—the Anabaptists, Separatist Puritans and Quakers--who took Luther’s early stance on freedom of conscience and religious liberty to its logical conclusion and applied it to all areas of life, even when it meant suffering and death.
Like the early Luther, these groups considered the ideal of individual freedom and religious liberty to be tied to their Christian faith. This is clearly borne out in the opening statement of the Constitution of “The New England Confederation,” formed in 1643, which reads,
Whereas we all came into these parts of America with one and the same end and aim, namely to advance the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the Liberties of the Gospel in purity and peace (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 52-53).
Yes, it was these so-called “radical” Reformation groups, the Separatist Puritans, the Baptists and the Quakers, that brought Luther’s original ideas of freedom of conscience and religious liberty to the New World and further developed them on American soil. This is what historian, Benjamin Hart, was referring to when he wrote,
It was Protestants of the most radical stripe, most zealous in their religious convictions (those whom the America Civil Liberties Union would like to see outlawed from the public discourse) who were in fact the greatest proponents of religious liberty as codified in America’s governing charter 200 years later (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 66-67).
These American Liberties are Under Attack
Today those radical ideas of individual freedom and religious liberty, on which our nation was founded, are under attack. Christian bakers, florists and other Christian artisans are being told they "must" provide their services to same-sex weddings, irrespective of the fact that it violates their conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs. This is un-American!
Christians are being told they have no right to make their views known in public. Senators Diane Feinstein and Bernie Sanders have recently challenged the fitness of judicial and cabinet nominees to serve because of their open Christian testimony. A recent “chilling study” revealed that a majority of college students believe it is OK to disrupt and shout down a [Christian] speaker with whom they disagree. This is un-American!
Yes, it is time for Christians in America to take a cue from Luther and once again make a stand for individual freedom of conscience and religious liberty. Like Luther we must be fully convinced by the word of God that ours is the true and righteous position. And then, we must not waver.
A Time for Truth and Boldness
“Remember George, this is no time to go wobbly,” Margaret Thatcher is reported to have said to George H.W. Bush as he mulled over what to do in response to Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August of 1990. This is an appropriate word for American Christians in 2017 when the ideals that made America and the Western World are under attack.
Yes, this is no time for Christians in America to go wobbly. We must, like Luther, take a stand for individual freedom and religious liberty. If we don’t take this stand, this unique liberty, that has been enjoyed by generations of Americans, will be lost to the next generation. It is that serious.
But if we take this stand in the spirit of Christ, we can count on the Holy Spirit to empower us afresh with another Great Awakening and these freedoms will be preserved for coming generations. Just look at how far-reaching was Luther’s uncompromising stand that day. It changed the Western World and provided an ideal for the founding of the United States of America.
This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt presents "Revive America" events in which he documents how America was birthed out of a Great Spiritual Awakening and shows why he believes another Great Awakening is immanent. He can be contacted at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com



A few days ago, I awakened with a distinct, internal conviction that God has given us a key to America's future. This key is the truth found in the book. Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents this nation's birth out of a great spiritual awakening. This is vital, for as George Orwell said, "Whoever controls the past, controls the future."
Secularists have been controlling America's past by re-writing her history and purging it of its Christian character. This re-writing of history is a critical part of their plan to control the future and transform America into a socialist/Marxist state, for as Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “To destroy a people you must first sever their roots.”
Severed from its Christian past, America seems defenseless against the moral relativism and subjective, political-correctness that is permeating the culture. This loss of our national heritage is the key to understanding the NFL protests, which have nothing to do with race, but everything to do with ideology.
When, for example, Colin Kaepernick gave an interview to explain why he was kneeling during the National Anthem, he made a point to wear a Fidel Castro t-shirt, showing that he has been impacted by an ideology that is fundamentally anti-American. He most likely picked this up in the American education system where America’s true heritage is being destroyed.
With the loss of its true heritage, America’s populace is now vulnerable, in a way it has never been, to being shaped into an amoral, secularist society. This was highlighted by a recent “chilling study” that revealed that a majority of college students believe it is OK to disrupt and shout down a speaker with whom they disagree. American culture has now reached the point, spoken of by Karl Marx when he said, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
It is not too late, however. We can salvage America’s future by first recovering her past. I am not one who relies on dreams and visions, but in 2010 I had a visitation of God that lasted several hours in which He restored my hope that America “could” see another great spiritual awakening. During that visitation I saw, for the first time, that the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on the founding of America.
Out of that experience came the book, Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents the radical Christian roots of American democracy and freedom. It shows that although America's history has not been colorblind, her founding was. The words “slave,” “slavery,” “black” and “white” are not found in her founding documents. There are no classifications based on race in America’s founding documents, which can only be attributed to the impact of the Great Awakening.
This is why abolitionists and civil rights activists, such as Frederick Douglas and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have used America’s founding documents to argue for equal treatment under the law. This is why Dr. King, in his “I Have a Dream” speech, called on Americans, not to dispense with their founding documents, but to live up to their founding documents.
Yes, I am convinced that we have a key to America’s future, and it involves recovering our past that has been eradicated by revisionist historians. God would say to America as He did to Israel during a time of national crisis, Look to the rock from which you were hewn and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you (Isaiah 51:1-2a; MEV).
Yes, I am also convinced that another Great Awakening is coming to America. But as we pray for this Awakening to come, let us also prepare ourselves by learning America’s true Christian heritage as a nation birthed out of a great spiritual awakening. In doing so, we will discover that Spiritual Awakening is not only a Biblical thing, it is also an American thing.
If you have not read my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, which Pat Robertson calls “a must read,” it is available from www.eddiehyatt.com/bookstore.html and from Amazon at this link. http://amzn.to/2fRBvDS
Dr. Eddie Hyatt conducts "Revive America" events based on his book, Pilgrims and Patriots, in which he shows how America was birthed out of a great spiritual awakening and he leads his audience in praying for another such Awakening. To schedule such an event, send an email to dreddiehyatt@gmail.com



By now you have probably heard how Diane Feinstein, the ranking senator from California, and several of her colleagues, took Note Dame professor, Amy Barrett, to task for her Christian values and beliefs. This occurred during the confirmation hearing for Barrett, a federal court nominee.
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 implication of Feinstein and her Democrat colleagues was that Barrett's strong faith disqualified her from serving as a federal judge. That is outrageous!
The statement of Feinstein reveals how clueless much of Washington D.C. is about American history. The truth is that the “dogma” [Christian beliefs] "lived loudly" in virtually all of America’s founders.
The following are five brief examples from America’s founders, and they show that Feinstein and her colleagues would have rejected all of them from public service based on the fact that the “dogma” lived loudly in them.
Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) is the only founding father to have signed all four documents leading to the founding of the United States of America. These documents are the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance with France (1778), the Treaty of Paris (1782) and the Constitution (1787).
Although he embraced Deism as a teenager, I have conclusively shown in my book, The Faith & Vision of Benjamin Franklin, that Franklin returned to his Puritan roots as a result of his close friendship with George Whitefield and as a result of the impact of the Great Awakening on his life.
Franklin’s Christian "dogma" was living loudly in him when he called the 1787 Constitutional Convention to prayer. He began by reminding the delegates how they had had daily prayer in that very room during the War for Independence. Addressing the convention president, he said, “Our prayers, sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.”
Then quoting from both the Psalms and the words of Jesus about a sparrow not falling without the heavenly Father taking notice, Franklin said, “And if a sparrow cannot fall without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”
Yes, Senator Feinstein and her colleagues would reject Benjamin Franklin from serving on the federal judiciary or any public office. The dogma lived too loudly in him to suit their secularist tastes.
George Washington
George Washington (1732-99) was America’s first president and a devout Christian whose “dogma” [Christian beliefs] would have greatly troubled Senator Feinstein and her secularist colleagues.
It was Washington who began the tradition of the president taking the oath of office with his hand placed on a Bible. This was no mere formality for Washington, who once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
After resigning as commander-in-chief at the end of the war, Washington wrote a letter to governors of the various states in which his “dogma” was obvious. The letter included his “earnest prayer” that God would keep each state in His “holy protection.”
In the letter, Washington also expressed his desire that the citizens of the new nation would model their lives after Jesus Christ. He mentioned in particular the characteristics of charity and humility, and then said, “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.”
Yes, it is obvious that Senator Feinstein and her colleagues could not bear with George Washington. His “dogma” lived too loudly for their secularist vision for America.
John Witherspoon
John Witherspoon (1723-94) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and one of the prominent members of the Continental Congress, serving on over one-hundred committees. He was also the president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and there trained many of America’s first-generation leaders, including James Madison.
Witherspoon was not only an academic, he was also a preacher and a reformer within the Church of Scotland before immigrating to America. From his students at the College of New Jersey came thirty-seven judges, three of whom served on the Supreme Court, twenty-eight senators and forty-nine congressmen. His most famous student was Madison.
Expressing his Christ-centered approach to education, Witherspoon declared, “Cursed is all education that is contrary to Christ.” In regards to his profound influence on the founding generation, the Catholic scholar, William Novak, calls Witherspoon, “The most influential academic in American history.”
Yes, Witherspoon was a passionate follower of Christ and it was he who composed the calls to prayer issued by the Continental Congress. He also provided theological justification for the War for Independence, especially in his sermon entitled “The Dominion of Providence Over the Passions of Men.”
It is obvious that Senator Feinstein and many of her colleagues could not stomach John Witherspoon, for his “dogma” live loudly in him.
Samuel Adams
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) is sometimes called “The Father of the American Revolution” for his tireless work in organizing colonial resistance to the tyranny of King George. He was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He also served as governor of Massachusetts.
While serving as governor of Massachusetts, Adams issued a call to prayer in 1795 and as part of the proclamation he asked the citizens of that state to pray a specific prayer. He said, “Pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known throughout the whole family of mankind.”
It is obvious that the “dogma” of Samuel Adams lived loudly in him and he would not be welcome in the snooty circles of Senator Diane Feinstein and her “esteemed” colleagues.
John Hancock
John Hancock (1737-93) was a founding father who served as president of the Continental Congress. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and his large signature in the center of the page has produced the adage, “Give me your John Hancock.”
Signing the document in that manner was an expression of defiance on his part, for they all knew that their act would be seen as rebellion and sedition by King George who would target them for arrest.
Hancock also served as governor of Massachusetts and it was while governor that issued a call for prayer that expressed his Christian missionary vision for the whole world. He asked the citizens of Massachusetts to pray, “That all nations may bow to the scepter of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that the whole earth may be filled with his glory.”
John Hancock was another American founder whose “dogma” lived largely in him. His example is an indication of how far Senator Feinstein and her colleagues are removed from America’s founding generation.
Where We Go from Here
These examples demonstrate how far Senator Feinstein and her colleagues are removed from America’s founding generation. Her attack on Professor Barrett should serve as a wake-up call to this generation that we must recover the truth of America’s founding that lies buried beneath the rubble of revisionist histories by historians who are troubled by the overt Christian faith of America's founders. 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt is also the founder of “Revive America” and conducts Revive America events across American in which he shows how America was birthed out of a great, spiritual awakening. He uses the event to call the American church to repentance and to prayer for another Great Spiritual Awakening. His email is dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.



As evidence of how far we have been removed from our national roots, consider this. In 1831 a witness who was called to testify before the court in session at Chester County in the state of New York, declared that he did not believe in God or the immortality of the soul. The judge then refused to admit the evidence of the testimony on the ground that the witness had destroyed beforehand all the confidence of the court in what he was about to say (Found in Tocqueville, "Democracy in America," 1:317).
The judge later commented that it is a person's belief in God that sanctions all testimony in a court of justice. In other words, unless people are restrained by religious convictions, there is no solid basis for believing their testimony.
To read more about America's radical Christian origins, check out my book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and my website at www.eddiehyatt.com.
Pat Robertson calls it "a must read!"



President Donald Trump’s Proclamation of Sunday as a Day of Prayer for the victims of Hurricane Harvey was the “American” thing to do. From its inception, America has turned to God in times of crises. Prayer has been the very lifeblood of this nation.
For example, at the opening of the First Continental Congress on September 5, 1774, the delegates began with Bible reading and prayer. Rev Jacob Dusche of Philadelphia read the entire 35th chapter of Psalms and it had a powerful impact on everyone present.
The Psalm 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.
With British troops on American soil and occupying the city of Boston, the Psalm resonated deeply with everyone present. At the end of the reading Rev. Dusche began to pray and everyone present lifted their hearts to heaven in sincere prayer to God for his assistance in their struggle for liberty.
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).
The Congress and the Nation Prayed
Prayer continued to be a daily and vital part of the proceedings of the Continental Congress. Years later, when 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.”
Indeed, the Catholic scholar, Michael 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” (Hyatt, Pilgrimsand Patriots, 124).
During the Revolutionary War, the Congresses issued no less than fifteen separate calls for special days of prayer and fasting. 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.
After this day of prayer, there was an amazing change of circumstances, with successes on the battlefield and the reaping of abundant harvests. There was, in fact, such a turnaround after this 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” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 124).
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).
Washington Transforms the Colonial Army into a Praying 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 transform them into an army that could face the might of the British military.
Washington accepted the call and began immediately to instill in the colonial troops a very real faith in God, for he knew that without heaven’s assistance they had no hope against the mighty British war machine.
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” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 128).
He also forbade all profanity and drunkenness and promised swift punishment for any who uttered oaths that would offend God or man.
Washington continually sought to instill in his troops faith and reverence toward God. While the colonial army was quartering at Valley Forge, during a particularly difficult part of the war, Rev. Henry Muhlenberg was able to observe Washington’s conduct from his nearby Lutheran Church. He wrote, “Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each one to fear God” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 129).
Washington’s "Earnest Prayer" for America
The many prayers of colonial America were heard and the Revolutionary War came to an amazing end. It 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.
Showing the influence of Christianity on the American populace and their leaders, there was none of the revenge and butchery that are so common in Marxist and Islamic revolutions. There were no tribunals to exact revenge, no reign of terror, and no bloodthirsty proclamations by the Continental Congress. The war ended and the patriots picked up their lives and moved on.
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, 134).
The Real Meaning of the First Amendment

It is worth noting that the day after approving the First Amendment, which states that “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion or hindering the free exercise thereof,” those same Founders issued another proclamation for a day of prayer and thanksgiving.
This shows that the First Amendment had nothing to do with banning expressions of faith from the public square, but was merely saying that America would never have an official, government-run church as was the case with the nations of Europe at that time. The First Amendment guarantees "freedom of religion" not "freedom from religion."
Our Response
Every true American should applaud Donald Trump for his Day of Prayer proclamation. It was the American thing to do at this time of crisis.
And seeing the vital role of prayer in the founding of this nation, let us not be intimidated by the modern 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 Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, Pilgrims and Patriots, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Dr. Hyatt believes that another Great Awakening is coming to America. You can read about his vision by visiting his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.