Our beloved nation is 238 years old. Over those years, we the people have endured our birth amid revolution, invasion in 1812, Civil War, Great Depression, two world wars, wars in East Asia, wars in the desert, and on September 11, 2001 war was brought upon our land by Islamic extremists. There is another war being waged against our great land. But I believe this war and the enemy we fight is much more insidious, dangerous, and terminal for our land if things don’t change. This silent nation killer is a slow drift toward all out social decay, depravity, decadence, hedonism, and a complete breakdown of morality. As they say…..Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it’s decline wasn’t instantaneous either. Depravity is an empire killer. The undermining of a once great people and nation takes place gradually…..almost unnoticed. But God’s people have seen the evidence of America’s decline for sometime now. America’s best days were when we lived life by this simple truth: In God We Trust.
In this article, we could focus on the statistics, figures, and absolute proof of just how far we have fallen as a nation. We could ponder what the widespread breakdown of the family has done to our people and society. We could note staggering crime statistics, birth out of wedlock, or the all out rebellion against authority by some. Then there is the economy. Wall street CEO’s run amuck….pad their pensions while bilking shareholders, the Bernie Madoff’s who pilfer people’s life savings, and of course…..some of our politicians who are borrowing, spending, and literally running our country into the ground. These facts are well documented and sadly part of the chipping away what used to be the world’s economic power center.
I want to use the rest of this article to reflect with you about what really made America great. I don’t buy the popular saying: America is a Christian nation. I don’t buy the false notion: God is on our side. Here is what I believe with all of my heart: This nation was founded by many godly men and women who esteemed God as the center of their life. These people forged a nation based on the godly principles in their heart. These Christians believed that all people were created equal, the right & freedom to worship, and liberty for all. For almost two centuries families attended church, voted with a pure motive, worked for their own living, and left this nation better then they found it. Times have changed and those changes are drastic. To be certain, there are still a number of true Christians who are committed solid citizens. We are not insurrectionists, trouble makers, and no…….we aren’t (trying) to take America back for Jesus. Because we know real change takes place in our hearts as individuals. It happens when marriages stay together, families pray together, and we live out our faith daily….in the workplace and in our community. Let’s reflect on how some of our leaders relied on God for His direction and will for our land.
– Prayers of President George Washington
If it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with thy wisdom in our counsels, success in battle, and let our victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant, for the sake of whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done.
We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and Thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field.
And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, 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 whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayers and reflections of President Abraham Lincoln
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continues… until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid another drawn with the sword… so still it must be said that the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and for his orphans, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.
I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.
– Prayer of President Ronald Reagan
To preserve our blessed land we must look to God… It is time to realize that we need God more than He needs us… We also have His promise that we could take to heart with regard to our country, that “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step, in humble heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, His peace, and the resting of His kind and holy hands on ourselves, our nation, our friends in the defense of freedom, and all mankind, now and always.The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America… Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal. Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth.If I had a prayer for you today, among those that have all been uttered, it is that one we’re so familiar with: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace….” And God bless you all.
I pray that every Concerning the Times reader has a wonderful time with family and friends as you celebrate our beloved nation’s 238th birthday. My hope is that Christians will stay the course and be lights for the gospel in our families, community, marketplace, and our land. I thank God for the United States of America and hope fellow citizens turn to Him as their only hope.
All for Him, Howard