Are You Going to Get on Your Knees on May 2nd?

Be it surviving the hunger and frozen encampment at Valley Forge, the battles of the Revolutionary War, or leading a newly formed United States of America as its first president, George Washington exemplified the life of a strong prayer warrior.

With Thursday, May 2, designated as our country’s National Day of Prayer, President Washington stands out as a leader who had Christian ideals, a strong military spirit, and a relationship with God.

In fact, many of our founding fathers prayed to God in Congress for guidance in making legislative decisions.

Today unfortunately, our country is turning its back on God. It gives us pause as Christians on May 2 to bend a collective knee and pray that America once again turns to the Almighty for forgiveness, guidance, peace and safety so that we may  be blessed.

Because we can’t go into great detail in a blog, I encourage everyone to check out Wallbuilders.com, where Christian historian David Barton chronicles our country’s founding, leadership, and laws and how they are based on Judeo-Christian principles. Washington remains one of the greatest examples of America and Christian idealism.

The Bullet-Proof President (literally)

More than 20 years before the Revolutionary War, Washington was a 23-year-old colonel in the militia from the British province of Virginia, fighting in the French and Indian War (actually Britain vs. France).

He and 1,300 men were ambushed on July 9, 1755 by French and Indian troops in what is now Pittsburgh.

Out of 86 British and American officers on horseback, he was the only officer not hit by musket ball. He had four bullets pass through his coat and two horses shot out from under him, yet he escaped unscathed.

Fifteen years later, Washington returned to that battlefield near Fort Duquesne. Upon hearing of his visit, one of the Indian chiefs who took part in that ambush traveled to see him.

The following is an excerpt from David Barton’s article “The Bullet Proof President”:

“He sat down with Washington, and face-to-face over a council fire, the chief told Washington that he had been a leader in that battle fifteen years earlier, and that he had instructed his braves to single out all the officers and shoot them down. Washington had been singled out, and the chief explained that he personally had shot at Washington 17 times, but without effect.

“Believing Washington to be under the care of the Great Spirit, the chief instructed his braves to cease firing at him.”

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

History reveals that when the Continental Congress called for a day of fasting and prayer during the Revolutionary War, Washington asked his troops to do the same to “Unitedly implore the Protection of Heaven,” as he put it.

From the article “The Spirit of ’76” by Richard Klein, 700 Club, “General Washington hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live, and act, as a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. To the distinguished character of a patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

It’s a far cry from the America of today, where images of the Ten Commandments adorn numerous places in the U.S. Supreme Court building.

However, those same Ten Commandments are ruled out of many government buildings and public squares across our land.

That is why the May 2 National Day of Prayer carries so much importance.

It is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

It is paramount that we reflect on where we have come as a godly nation and where we are going.

As Christians we are told to “Pray without ceasing” (Thessalonians 5:17), but as a country it’s a great opportunity for all of us to kneel and pray. It’s not too late for America. If we turn our back on God, we should not be surprised when, not if,  He turns his back on us.

What Will Your Prayer Be on May 2?

I thought, “If I were President of the United States, what would my prayer be on national TV?” What would I pray? Would I humble myself before God and start with a prayer of introspection before I prayed for my country?

This personal prayer from George Washington goes straight to the heart. Jesus, please let it be my prayer as well:

“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, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.”

      —(From William J. Johnson, George Washington, The Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press,  1919).

America Remains a Nation That Prays

While America has allowed the erosion of its Christian foundation, on a more positive note, we remain a nation that prays. 

We don’t have to hide in a clandestine location to pray to Jesus as so many Christians do in other countries.

We have built America on years of prayer. Now is not the time to lose divine protection due to lack of repentance, lack of humility and lack of prayer. As a country, it is time to turn our hearts back to Jesus.  

Many cities plan National Day of Prayer ceremonies around the flagpole at city hall.

Many churches also plan special services.

If you are so moved, please join Pastor Steve and the congregation at Calvary Chapel South Bay in praying for our country and thanking God for our blessings. “Pray for America” is the theme and services will be at 6 a.m., 9 a.m. and noon in the Multipurpose Room. There will also be a 7:30 p.m. communion service in the Main Sanctuary.

May God bless you richly … and may God always bless America.