Unite the USA

February Edition: Presidents' Day

The Spirit Behind '76

By Richard Klein
The 700 Club

CBN.com - At the dawn of American history, the faith of our founding fathers was intricately woven into the very fabric of this nation's freedom. We want to turn the spotlight on the first president of the United States whose faith, humility and courage helped to establish the destiny of our great nation.

From his youth, George Washington firmly believed that God's hand was upon him personally. As a 23-year-old soldier during the French and Indian War, he had four bullets pass through his coat and two horses shot out from under him. Yet he survived the conflict unscathed. Washington credited God for his survival. Asked to serve as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, General Washington incorporated his deep personal faith in the very commands he issued to the newly formed forces. In one of his earliest general orders dated July 9, 1776, Washington outlined his personal convictions for the men who served under his command.

"General Washington hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. To the distinguished character of Patriot it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."

Not content to merely inspire with high ideals, Washington included in his general orders specific directives for regular and earnest prayer.

The earliest days of the Revolution provided unparalleled opportunities for Washington to act upon his forthright faith. It was the events of one extraordinary day in August of 1776 that definitely underscored the miraculous intervention of God in the course of America's destiny.

Faced with a fact of America's declared independence, the British military command determined that the key to suppressing the rebellion lay in the domination of New York. The army that controlled access to the Hudson River would control the lines of supply for the colonies north and south of this strategic zone.

Under the command of General William Howe, the British quickly established a formidable presence in New York. The only impediment was the American-held town of Brooklyn. It was there on the western end of Long Island that General Washington found himself nearly surrounded, outnumbered more than three to one by a better trained, better equipped enemy.

However, when circumstances seemed to spell defeat, a miraculous series of events began to unfold. Amazingly, the very capable and seasoned General Howe failed to capitalize on his obvious military advantage. Throughout the afternoon, the evening, and the following morning, Washington's forces tensed for an attack that never materialized.

By the afternoon of August 28, northeast winds drove a chilling rain across the East River, preventing the British fleet from launching any offensive maneuver. Inspired by the delay, General Washington formulated a daring strategy of escape. Under the storm's cover, he began to remove his beleaguered army by small boats, enabling them to join other American forces a full mile behind enemy lines. As night fell, the inclement weather dissipated and still, Washington's army continued its evacuation without detection. But as the morning sun dawned, the Americans calculated that at least three more hours were needed to transport the last of the 8,000 troops.

One who was actually there best describes what happened next. Major Ben Talimadge, a member of the Continental Army, wrote:

"At this time a very dense fog began to rise, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this providential occurrence perfectly well, and so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards' distance. We tarried until the sun had risen, but fog remained as dense as ever."
What the British discovered when the fog lifted was an empty and abandoned encampment. Washington's army had seemingly vanished, along with all their provisions, cannons and even horses. Instead of defeat, the Americans experienced a temporary setback and regrouped to fight on at a future successful date.

How did General George Washington portray his personal role in the Revolutionary War? 
"I was but the humble agent of a favoring heaven, whose benign influence was so often manifested in our behalf, and to whom the praise of victory alone is due."

Praying With Our Presidents
By Scott Ross
Contributions by Praying With the Presidents, by Ron Dicianni

The following are just some of the prayers and pledges I have compiled uttered by our former presidents as they inherited the mantle of President of the United States. It is by no means exhaustive, but will serve to remind us that:

The Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He chooses. And His kingdom is from generation to generation" (Daniel 4.32 & 34).
On this momentous day, it's always good to reflect on America's historical foundations, because,  "If they are destroyed,  and torn down,  what can the righteous do?" (Psalm 11.3) 

Praying With Our Presidents
"Give me grace to hear You calling on me in Your Word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and the peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ." - George Washington, 1st President of the United States - 1789-1797

"The great Almighty author of nature, who at first established those rules which regulate the world, can as easily suspend those laws whenever His providence see sufficient reason for such suspension. This can be no objection, then, to the miracles of Jesus Christ." - John Adams, 2nd President of the United States - 1797-1801.

"In times of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen." - Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States - 1801-1809.

"I speak as a man of the world to men of the world, and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life." - John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States - 1825-1829.

"The Bible is the Rock on which this Republic rests." - Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States - 1829-1837.

"It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence." - Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States - 1853-1857.

"I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book." - Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States - 1861-1865.

"No political party can or ought to exist when one of its cornerstones is opposition to freedom of thought and the right to worship God." - Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States - 1869-1877.

"...We not only declare our faith in the Christ of the past but in the present, who is alive forever more. Let me urge you to follow Him, not as the Nazarene, the Man of Galilee, the carpenters son, but as the ever living spiritual person, full of love and compassion, who will stand by you in life and death and eternity." - James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States - 1881.

"Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules in the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid." - Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States - 1885-1889 and 1893-1897.

"Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally - I do not mean figuratively, but literally - impossible for us to figure what the loss would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards towards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves." - Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States - 1901-1909.

"I ask of every man and woman in this audience that from this night on, they will realize that part of the destiny of America lies in their daily perusal of the great Book of Revelation. That if  they would see America free and pure they will make their own spirits free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Scripture." - Woodrow Wilson, 28th  President of the United States - 1913-1921

"I have taken the solemn oath of office on that passage of Holy Writ wherein it is asked: 'What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?' This I pledge to God and country." - Warren G.Harding, 29th President of the United States - 1921-1923.

"The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country." - Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States - 1923-1929.

"I humbly pray, Almighty God, in the words of King Solomon: 'Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad, for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?' I ask only to be a good and faithful servant of my Lord and my people." - Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States - 1945-1953.

"Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God. And the hopes in our hearts fashion the deepest prayers of our whole people." - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States - 1853-1961.

"Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States - 1961-1963.

"The men who have guided the destiny of the United States have found the strength for their tasks by going to their knees." - Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States - 1963-1969.

"Let us go forward from here confident in hope, strong in our faith in one another, sustained by our faith in God who created us, and striving always to serve His purpose." - Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States - 1969-1974.

"I promise to uphold the Constitution, to do what is right as God gives me to see the right, and to do the very best that I can for America. God helping me, I won't let you down." - Gerald R. Ford, 38th President of the United States - 1974-1977.

"I join in the hope that when my time as your President has ended, people might say this about our nation; that we remembered the words of Micah: "He has showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God" (Micah 6.8). - James (Jimmy) Carter, 39th President of the United States - 1977-1981.

 "We turn away from (God) too often in our day-to-day living. I wonder if He isn't waiting for us to wake up." - Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States - 1981-1989.

...And my first act as President is a prayer. Heavenly Father, we bow our heads and thank You for Your love. Accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day, and the shared faith that makes its continuance likely. Make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our heart these words: 'Use power to help people.' For we are given power not to advance our purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people. Help us to remember it, Lord. Amen." - George H.W.Bush, 41st President of the United States - 1989-1993.

 "I ask you to share my prayer that God will search me and know my heart, try me and know my anxious thoughts, see if there is any hurtfulness in me, and lead me toward the life everlasting. I ask that God give me a clean heart, let me walk by faith and not by sight." - William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States - 1993-2001.

 "As we have been assured, "Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, can separate us from God's love....And may He always guide our country. God bless America." - George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States - 2001-2009.

Lord, we pray for our new President Barack H. Obama. May he be faithful, building on the heritage of our national past, in fulfilling the continuum of history that you have destined not only for the United States of America, but the nations of the earth, so that ultimately "Your kingdom will come."