6/30/2022

DOES AMERICA HAVE A SACRED HERITAGE? DR. KING THOUGHT SO!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed there was something holy and sacred about America’s founding. He obviously considered the Jim Crow south, where he lived and worked, to be a sharp departure from America’s founding vision. Writing in 1963 from the Birmingham city jail, Dr. King declared,

Our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America . . . We will win our freedom because the SACRED HERITAGE of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands.

Frederick Douglass (1816-1895), the former slave and passionate abolitionist, came to the same conclusion 100 years before Dr. King. In his early years, Douglass felt he had no part in America; but after years of investigation and research he completely changed his thinking. In a July 4th speech in 1852, Douglass called the U.S. Constitution “a glorious liberty document,” and declared,

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too—great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men.

Like King, Douglass discovered that at a time when slavery was accepted and practiced in most of the world, America’s founders took a bold stand against it. As the eminent Black scholar, Dr. Thomas Sowell, has said,

Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).

History shows that it was a great Christian Awakening (1726-1770) in Colonial America that breached racial and cultural barriers and unleashed anti-slavery outrage throughout the Colonies. This Awakening resulted in virtually every Founding Father, even those who owned slaves, taking a public stand against it.

By the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787, virtually every Founder agreed with John Adams, America’s 2nd president, who declared,

Every measure of prudence ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence (Hyatt, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 36).

As a result, America’s founders formulated founding documents that contain no classifications based on race or skin color. The words “slave” and “slavery” are nowhere to be found. Instead, the Constitution speaks of “citizens,” “persons,” and “other persons.”

Indeed, America’s founding generation understood America’s founding documents to be anti-slavery documents. Douglass came to this realization and wrote, “Anyone of these provisions in the hands of abolition statesmen, and backed by a right moral sentiment, would put an end to slavery in America” (Hyatt, Abolitionist Founding Fathers, 54-55).

Dr. King understood this original American dream of faith and freedom, which is why, in his iconic “I Have a Dream Speech,” he could say, “I still have a dream; it is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” He then declared,

When the architects of our Republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Dr. King made it clear that the problem the nation faced was not with her founding documents, but with the fact that succeeding generations had not lived up to the vision of equality and liberty the Founders had enshrined in those documents. He went on to say, 

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

In my book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, I have shown how the Great Awakening (1726-70) revitalized Christian faith throughout the colonies, ignited an anti-slavery movement, and had a direct bearing on the founding of the nation and the formulation of her colorblind, anti-slavery founding documents. 

Dr. King obviously knew this, which is why he did not rail against America's Founders, but sought to build on their legacy and the "Sacred Heritage" that they left. Let's pray that this current "woke" generation will learn from him and follow his example. 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s books, 1726: The Year that Defined America and Abolitionist Founding Fathers, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

6/27/2022

THE PRAYERS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE BIRTHING OF AMERICA

As he was preparing to leave home as a young soldier, George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, exhorted him, “Remember that God is our only sure trust.”  She also urged him, “My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 131).

The evidence is overwhelming that Washington remembered and carried out his mother’s exhortations. It is obvious that prayer played a prominent role in his life and in the birthing of the United States of America.

Prayer As a Young Man

In April of 1891, several of Washington’s descendants, including Lawrence Washington, Bushrod Washington, and Thomas B. Washington, sold a collection of his personal items at auction in Philadelphia. Among the items was a little book filled with daily prayers in Washington’s own handwriting when he was in his twenties.

Entitled, Daily Sacrifice, these prayers are deeply devotional and evangelical in nature. For example, the first entry reads, in part,

Let my heart, therefore, gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of Thine honor that I may not do my own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those duties which Thou requirest of me.

The following Monday morning, his prayer reads,

Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit . . . daily frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.

Also, of note is his prayer:

Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind, and let the world be filled with the knowledge of Thee and Thy Son, Jesus Christ (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 132).

Prayer in Time of War

It is obvious that Washington continued to be a person of prayer. For example, after accepting the call of the Continental Congress to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Colonial army, one of his first actions was to issue an order that each day was to begin with prayer led by the officers if each unit. He also ordered that each soldier, unless their duties required them to be elsewhere, 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.”

That Washington himself was a person of prayer in his private life was confirmed by Isaac Potts, who lived near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where the American Army was quartering under much duress during the winter of 1774-75. Potts was a Quaker and a pacifist who opposed the war until he had a life-changing experiencing 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, 1726: The Yearthat Defined America, 115-16).

Washington’s Earnest Prayer for the New Nation

Washington prevailed in prayer. Against overwhelming odds, the ragtag Colonial army defeated the mighty British war machine. The British general, Cornwallis, surrendered his entire army to Washington on October 19, 1781.

Having completed his mission, Washington issued a letter of resignation as commander-in-chief to the Continental Congress. He then 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, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).

President Washington Prays

After being sworn in as the nation’s first president with his hand on a Bible, Washington presented his first inaugural address, which was filled with references to God. After the ceremony, held in New York City, Washington and Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s chapel where they participated in a prayer and worship service. 

Shortly after assuming the presidency, Washington proclaimed a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving. In the proclamation, he gave the reason for the Day of Prayer, saying,

That we may unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national sins and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 134).

Praying to the Very End

That Washington continued to be devout in his latter years was confirmed by his nephew Robert Lewis, who lived with Washington and served as his private secretary during the first part of his presidency. Lewis said he had accidentally witnessed Washington’s private devotions in his library both morning and evening. On those occasions he saw Washington kneeling with a Bible open before him. Lewis understood this to be Washington’s daily practice.

Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825), who wrote the first biography of Washington after his death, says that he died with a prayer on his lips. Describing Washington's passing, Weems says, "He closes his eyes with his own hands, folds his arms decently on his breast, and then breathing out, 'Father of mercies, take me to Thyself,' he falls asleep." 

An Example to Follow

Yes, our first president was unashamedly a devout person of prayer. There is no question that his prayer life played a primary role in the birthing of America. Modern presidents and politicians would be wise to follow his example.  

This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

6/25/2022

OVERTURNING ROE VS. WADE WAS A WIN FOR AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

The overturning of Roe vs. Wade was a great victory, not only on Moral grounds, but also on Constitutional grounds. It was a momentous victory for American democracy.

America's founders formed a government, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "of the people, by the people, and for the people." But almost 50 years ago, 7 liberal justices took the abortion issue out of the hands of the people and arbitrarily made abortion rights the law of the land. 

Friday’s ruling does not ban abortion but merely puts that decision back into the hands of "we the people" where it belongs and where our Founders intended it to be.

America’s Founders instituted a legislative branch, consisting of representatives elected by the people, who would make the laws of the land. They never intended for laws to be made by unelected judges legislating from the bench as was the case with Roe vs. Wade.

They instituted an executive branch, which would be responsible for enforcing the laws enacted by the people’s representatives. They instituted a Judicial branch that would have the responsibility of interpreting and applying those same laws to individual cases brought before them.

In recent decades, liberal judges have legislated from the bench and enacted laws for which "we the people" have had little or no say. This is not American democracy. This is oligarchy, i.e., rule by a few. America's founders would be horrified.

Those Supreme Court justices who just overturned Roe vs. Wade should be applauded by all who believe in American democracy, whether prolife or proabortion. They have returned power to the people, preserved America’s Constitutional form of government, and given new hope for the nation’s future.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is a historian and biblical scholar who has written extensively about America's overt Christian origins out of the First Great Awakening. His books are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.


6/19/2022

WHY MAYRA FLORES REPRESENTS AMERICA'S BEST HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

In a December 1997 speech welcoming the new American ambassador to the Vatican, Pope John II acknowledged the founding of America on moral principles rooted in the Judeo-Christian faith. He then emphasized the critical importance of those same moral principles being continued by succeeding generations, saying,

The continuing success of American democracy depends on the degree to which each new generation, native-born and immigrant, is willing to make its own the moral truths on which the Founding Fathers staked the future of your Republic (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 2nd Edition, 156).

The newly elected Congresswoman from south Texas, Mayra Flores, exudes those moral principles mentioned by John Paul and implemented by America’s Founding Fathers. In a traditional Democrat district that is 84% Hispanic, Flores ran as a Republican on a platform emphasizing faith in God and commonsense, moral solutions to the nation’s problems.

Mayra, who is the first Mexican-born member of Congress, came to America at the age of 6 with her migrant parents who were farmworkers. She acquired her citizenship at the age of 14 and graduated from South Texas College in 2019. She says she became active in the Republican party when she realized that the Democrat Party did not support the values of faith and family on which she had been raised.

Indeed, in 2019 the Democrat National Committee (DNC), the governing body of the Democrat Party, unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism.

So, while many American-born citizens, including politicians, are rejecting America’s Judeo-Christian founding, Mayra is pointing the nation back to those founding principles that brought about the end of slavery and Jim Crow, defeated Nazi Germany, and brought down the evil Soviet Empire (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America89-104).

Mayra, therefore, represents a ray of hope for America because she shares the same ubiquitous and eternal values as America’s founders. The Judeo-Christian principles of freedom on which this nation was founded transcend ethnicity and skin color. They will work anywhere because they are rooted in eternal, transcendent truth.

It may be that America’s best hope for the future lies with foreign-born immigrants like Mayra Flores who understand what it really means to be “American.”

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian, and Bible teacher. He has documented America’s birth out of a great, spiritual awakening in his books 1726: The Year that Defined America and Pilgrims and Patriots 2nd Edition. These books and others are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

6/03/2022

GETTING TO THE ROOT CAUSE OF GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have emphasized that enforcing immigration laws will not solve the problem of illegal immigration. They insist that we must deal with the "root cause" of the problem. Kamala Harris travelled to Central America, she said, to explore the root causes illegal immigration.

I strongly urge Biden and Harris to apply the same approach in dealing with gun violence in America. There are root causes feeding the problem and another gun law will be nothing more than a political band aid on the moral rot that is eating away at the soul of America.

The Tragic Consequences of Removing Moral Restraints

For generations American children attended school without incident and without even the thought that their lives might be in danger. When I attended high school in the 1960s the major problems were chewing gum, talking in class, being out of your seat without permission, or being late with an assignment.

Those were the days, however, before the anti-Christian purge, beginning in the 1960s, that has secularized the public school system of America. Through an endless string of lawsuits, this purge has succeeded in removing almost every vestige of Christian influence, such as prayer, Bibles, and displays of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule from the public schools of America.

This purge, based on a distortion of the First Amendment, has played a major role in the violence engulfing America, and this was recently confirmed by a scientific study on the power of religious symbols.

The sociologist who led this study was interviewed by the liberal TV host, Charlie Rose, and one thing he said I will never forget. He said they discovered that a person sitting in a room with a Bible in view is less likely to tell a lie than if there is no Bible in the room. They found that the very presence of the Bible exuded a moral restraint.

This scientific study confirmed what many of us already knew. The forceful eviction of prayer, Bible reading, and displays of Scripture verses and the Ten Commandments has opened the door to all kinds of evil into the schools and culture of America. Without these religious and moral constraints, our culture has become rude, crude, amoral, and violent. 

America’s Founders Understood This

America’s founders did not want a government-sanctioned church like the nations of Europe, but they all agreed that only Christianity provided the positive impulses and moral restraints for a stable and prosperous nation. John Adams made this clear when he said,

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .  Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 168).

In his Farewell Address, after serving two terms as America’s first president, George Washington warned the fledgling nation to cling to religion and morality, saying, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”

When the founders speak of “religion” they are referring to Christianity, and Washington does not say religion should be “tolerated,” but that it is “indispensable” for political peace and prosperity. Thomas Jefferson agreed and made Washington’s Address required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded.

Benjamin Franklin, considered one of America’s least religious founders, believed strongly that the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament were necessary for a stable society. When Thomas Paine, who had been influenced by the atheistic French Revolution, sent Franklin a manuscript in which he attacked belief in a prayer-answering God and other Christian doctrines, Franklin’s response was harsh.

Franklin refused to print the manuscript and suggested to Paine that he burn it before anyone else could see it. Franklin then said to Paine, “If men are this wicked with religion [Christianity], what would they be if without it.”

Yes, the founders all agreed that only Christianity provided the moral and intellectual framework for a stable society. This why the well-known Catholic scholar, William Novak, wrote,

Far from having a hostility toward religion, the founders counted on religion [Christianity] for the underlying philosophy of the republic, its supporting ethic, and its reliable source of rejuvenation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 171).

Mr. President, Address the Root Cause

If President Biden and his administration are serious about wanting to stop gun violence, they must deal with the root causes. They must return to the "In God We Trust" principles on which this nation was founded and encourage religious expression once again in all our public and private institutions. 

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, and ordained minister with a passion to see genuine spiritual awakening in America and around the world. This article was derived from his book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.

5/31/2022

A BACKSLIDDEN PASTOR AND THE MAFIA ENCOUNTER THE HOLY SPIRIT

This Sunday is "Pentecost Sunday" when churches around the world will remember and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Pentecost, however, was never meant to be a yearly celebration on the church calendar. It was meant to be the very life of the Church, empowering each member to be an effective witness for Jesus Christ. As an illustration of this, I want to share with you the following amazing story.

The Holy Spirit and a Backslidden Pastor

It was a most unusual introduction. After two weeks in our new home, Sue and I came face to face with our next-door neighbor, who was a tough looking woman in her mid-50s. We shook her hand and told her our names. With a cigarette dangling from her mouth she replied, “My name’s Adele. I’m a backslidden pastor from Brooklyn, New York.”

We had no contact with Adele for the next three weeks except to wave if we saw her in her yard. It was obvious to us that she had been through some deep and painful experiences with church. A superficial Christian cliché or a chick tract would do nothing for her, except probably make her angry.

The Holy Spirit, however, knows how to reach the most difficult cases and He moved powerfully one day as Sue and I were about to back out of our driveway. Sue, who was driving, suddenly sensed a deep compassion flowing from her heart toward Adele who was working in her yard.

We sat for a moment not sure how to respond to what Sue was experiencing. Finally, Sue rolled down her window and called out, “Adele!” Adele came walking over with the ever-present cigarette dangling from her mouth. When she reached the window, Sue suddenly began speaking to her in tongues.

I was sitting in the passenger seat and had the interpretation, which was a prophetic word for Adele. I knew that I should look her in the face and so I leaned across Sue in the driver’s seat, looked Adele in the face, and said, “Adele, God is saying to you, ‘My daughter, you are precious in my sight.'”

Adele burst into tears and then broke out praying in tongues and we had revival there in our driveway. God bonded our hearts together. She later came to our home and shared how she had grown up in an Italian, Catholic mafia family in Brooklyn, NY, and had joined the mafia herself on becoming an adult. However, one of her uncles and his wife had come to Christ and invited her to church. She went and had a glorious encounter with the Lord.

She was on fire for the Lord and opened a storefront church in Brooklyn where she was reaching many of the homeless, drug addicts, and what someone described as “the hard cases.” However, opposition from Christians to her pastoring as a woman and an ill-advised marriage to a husband who turned on her, brought her to despair.

She gave up on church, but she did give up on Jesus. That day in our driveway a tremendous healing took place in her soul and her faith and hope were renewed.

About two months after this encounter, Adele and her husband (since deceased) moved to Florida. We stayed in touch and several months later I received an email from Adele saying,

I am putting a check in the mail. I want you and Sue to come to Florida for about three days, and you can stay with us. I will have about forty people in our home. Most of them are not Christians. Do whatever God tells you to do.

The Holy Spirit Falls

We arrived at Adele’s home in Port St. Lucie, FL and later that evening the people she had invited began to arrive. As starting time neared, the living room and kitchen were filled with people and it seemed that everyone was smoking. The living room and kitchen seemed to be filled with smoke. 

Many of the people were members of the mafia or former members. The were Adele's friends. One little Italian woman’s husband was a mafia boss who had recently been sent to prison. She had come to Florida to work for her brother who owned a pizza chain. Some of the people had been members of Adele’s church in Brooklyn, and when she “backslid” they all backslid with her.

A woman sitting across the kitchen table from Sue and me had been a part of Adele’s congregation in Brooklyn. She shared with us how she and her family had moved to Florida and opened a restaurant. As smoke billowed around us, she said to me, “We’re all backslid.” I thought to myself, “Well, at least, they are not trying to impress me with how spiritual they are.”

Starting time arrived and I picked up my guitar intending to lead them in some praise and worship. It soon became obvious, however, that I was the only one singing. Everyone seemed to just stare at me as they puffed on their cigarettes and blew smoke.

Realizing the music was taking us nowhere, I put my guitar aside and picked up my Bible. God had given me a message about His unconditional love, and as I shared this message, I sensed a change occurring in the atmosphere. At some point, I noticed that everyone had put out their cigarettes and the smoke had dissipated. As I completed my message, a sense of solemnness and the fear of the Lord seemed to fill the atmosphere.

I then invited anyone who wanted prayer to come forward to receive prayer from Sue and me. Everyone sat quietly as if afraid to move. Adele then stepped forward and said, “I know that every one here needs prayer; so come on up and let Eddie and Sue pray for you.”

The first person to come up was Isabelle who was from Brooklyn and part of a mafia family. She was in deep depression for her husband and two sons had been murdered by a rival mafia family and her daughter was a drug addict, living on the street.

As we laid our hands on Isabelle and prayed, she began to sob and then fell to the floor. We had no catchers, but no one cared. Their minds were now taken up with God and they probably had never heard of such a thing. Another person then came up for prayer, and she too fell to floor.

At this point, the Holy Spirit “fell” on the people just like in the Book of Acts. Pandemonium seemed to break out. Suddenly, everyone was on their knees or in the floor, weeping and calling out to God at the top of their voices. It was a surreal moment when God came down and did a mighty work beyond anything we could have ever imagined or planned.

What an incredible time! Later, that evening there was a release of joy such as I have never seen. Our hearts were further bonded with Adele, and we have been back several times for meetings with her and those we call our mafia friends.

We Must Have a New Pentecost

As an individual who grew up in rural East Texas in a small country church, I was not naturally equipped to reach members of the NYC mafia. It is not our slick presentations and human talents, however, that will reach this generation for Christ. We must have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus said would equip us to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Without the Holy Spirit, we are nothing. 

Let us, therefore, admit our human inadequacy and confess to God how much we need the promised baptism in the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a New Pentecost at this critical time in America, the Church, and the world. 

Dr. Eddie Hyatt has taught on the Power of Pentecost throughout the world. His book, 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity, published by Charisma House, is used as a textbook in many colleges and seminaries and is required reading by numerous churches, fellowships, and denominations. He has also produced Revival History, a Manual and Study Guide to go with the book, which contains 20 outlined lessons, pictures, reflection questions, and essays. Both are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.





5/27/2022

A MESSGE FOR AMERICA FROM HER TWO GREATEST PRESIDENTS

Another gun law at this time would be a political band aid on the moral and cultural rot that is eating away at the soul of America. What is needed is a national turning to God, acknowledging our sin of prideful self-reliance, thinking we could build a happy society apart from our Creator.

George Washington knew that a peaceful nation of happy people is impossible without God. That is why, after defeating the British and winning Independence, he immediately sent a letter to all the governors of the states that included the following pastoral exhortation. 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, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).

After becoming president, Washington issued a proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. The purpose of this Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer was, he said,

That we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national sins and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 134).

God did bless America and the new nation quickly rose to prominence among the nations of the world. Ronald Reagan, however, was right when he said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” God has no grandchildren. Faith and Freedom must be fought for, and experienced, by each generation.

Succeeding generations of America became smug and prideful in their prosperity and did not use their power to free those who were enslaved in their midst. Judgement came and a horrible Civil War began that could very well have forever destroyed America.

Abraham Lincoln, however, recognized the root of the problem. In the midst of the War, he called the nation back to God by issuing a proclamation designating April 30, 1863, as a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer. In this proclamation he rebuked the nation for its smugness and self-sufficient pride, saying,

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 Lord:

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! (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 185).

Does that not describe America today? Does that not describe the entertainment industry, the educational system, and Washington D.C? Remember, in 2019, the Democrat National Committee (DNC), the governing body of the party now in power, unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism. How different from Washington and Lincoln!

In his proclamation, Lincoln went on to say,

It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness . . . and I do, by this 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 blessing 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. By the President: Abraham Lincoln.

It is an historical fact that immediately after this day of prayer and repentance, the war shifted in favor of the Union and was soon brought to an end by the Battle of Gettysburg. National repentance and prayer changed the course of history.

It is not too late for America! There is still hope. I pray we see a turning to God on a scale unknown since this proclamation of Lincoln. However, since we do not have a Washington or a Lincoln in the White House, we cannot not wait for it to begin there.

Let it begin with each individual, each home, and each congregation.  II Chronicles 7:14 is still valid, which says,

If My people, who are called by My Name,

Will humble themselves and pray,
And seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,

Then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, and ordained minister with a passion to see genuine spiritual awakening in America and around the world. He has written numerous books on revival and other Biblical issues. This article was derived from his book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.