A Prayer Request from the Most Unlikely Founding Father

I’ve been reading Original Intent by David Barton.

It is loaded with quotes by the Founders that credit God and Christianity as the motivation for the founding of this country and the only foundation that our new form of government could stand on.

One particular quote is really amazing me right now.  It is actually a fairly long speech by Benjamin Franklin, one of the least religious of all of the Founders.

He addressed this to George Washington, the President of the Convention that met to revise the Articles of Confederation, the Constitutional Convention:

Mr. President:
The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance and continual reasoning with each other – our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom since we have been running about in search of it…

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 understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?

I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: we shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and byword down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

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.

Have our leaders forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do they imagine we no longer need His assistance?

That’s not the only thing. Do you and I as Christians sometimes forget that powerful Friend or imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I take this as a reminder that prayerlessness can be the biggest problem we have in our family. Even now after we have been through so much refining and purifying, sometimes, like the children of Israel, we forget the great things He has done for us. And we get distracted and busy with the daily things of life, and we don’t give God the honor, glory, praise and worship that He deserves. We act like we can take it from here. Thanks, God, I’ve got it now. See ya later. But that’s not how it works. That’s not how God has it set up. We are to abide in Him. If we want to live the great life He has planned for us, that is. If we want to live a mediocre, average, normal life, then we can get by with some prayerlessness. But if we want to be great in God, we need to be faithful and fervent in prayer. Oh, I’m getting so convicted! I’m just going to have to go pray right now. I hear Anna playing her guitar. I’m going to go in there and worship with her. Catch ya later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.