The Beginnings of Prayer in Congress
The Constitutional Congress was trying to work through the forming of our government and all the laws and principles we were going to operate under. They couldn’t get it done, because human nature was in the way. Then, one of the most unreligious members of that group, Ben Franklin, got up and said, “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 many prayers for Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed 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? 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. 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, they labor in vain that buildeth.’ I firmly believe this. 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 shall be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages. 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.”1 And they did, and He did, and that is how the custom started of every day in Congress beginning with somebody leading in prayer.
“The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.” (Psalm 14:2;NASB)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
May we humble ourselves before the Lord, repent, and seek His face on behalf of our leaders in government who desperately need to seek Him, as well.
Read Benjamin Franklin’s speech above out over our government, interceding identificationally as you go.
Implore the Father to touch the heart of someone in our national government, our state governments and our local governments, just as He did Benjamin Franklin, to turn the heart of that assembly to seek Him for direction.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, I humble myself before You, I repent and seek You as an intercessor on behalf of my governmental leaders. (Read Benjamin Franklin’s speech above out over our government, interceding identificationally, as you go.) There has to be a man or woman who is willing to step up and make a speech like Benjamin Franklin did, imploring our modern assemblies to seek You for assistance and lasting impact. They don’t even need to be a strong Believer. They must simply be convinced that they can’t get the job done without humbly seeking You! And, I believe You will meet them at their point of humility, downloading Your plans to them. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
The Lord is looking down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God, so He can pour His wisdom out on them!
1 “Franklin’s Appeal for Prayer at the Constitutional Convention,” https://wallbuilders.com/franklins-appeal-prayer-constitutional-convention/ 12/31/16. 6/23/17.