It was the summer of 1787. The heat in Philadelphia was oppressive and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention fanned themselves languidly and longed for adjournment. Debate had dragged on for days… that left everyone weary and querulous. The Convention faced an impasse. At this point aged Dr. Benjamin Franklin rose and addressed himself to General Washington in the Chair.
“In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understandings?”
He stated that it was his firm belief that without divine aid they would succeed in their political building no better than the builders of Babel, but would find themselves so divided and split by local interests that they would become a reproach to future ages.
He then concluded: “I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”
Benjamin Franklin had made his point. Nations do not rise or continue at the whim and desire of men. A higher Power must be reckoned with, for the ultimate destiny of nations lies in His hands. (End quote. From the book: “A Nation Under God?” (Word Books, Waco, TX).
There is one great fact that cannot be denied— whether it be in history, in nature, and/or in Scripture. It is called “the law of retribution.” Even an atheist, who does not believe in God at all, must admit that when one examines the laws of nature, they are faced with the fact that one either obeys them, and lives, or disobeys them, and dies. There is no other alternative.
All of our wisdom and adaptability must function within these immovable limits. We are not at liberty to go beyond them. No one fools around with 10,000 volts of electricity, hoping to make up the laws of electricity as he goes along. The laws are already in force and he had better discover them before he starts.
So it is also with nations. The French Emperor Napoleon ruled Europe in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Someone asked him if God was on the side of France. His answer was: “God is on the side of the heaviest artillery.” Then came the battle of Waterloo, the loss of his empire, and, finally, his exile to St. Helena. There, defeated and humbled, he said, “Man proposes; God disposes.”
Psalms 147:10 states: “His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor His delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear Him.”
Ben Franklin understood the need for regular prayer for our infant nation. The Apostle Paul understood the need for prayer for our nation’s leaders. He said in 1 Timothy 2:1-3: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for … all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
Dear God, I pray for our president and his advisors, for our Congressional representatives, our state leaders, and our local law enforcement and government leaders. May your will be accomplished through all of them. Amen.