Today, many across our nation will observe the National Day of Prayer.
As we pray for our nation, I am drawn to consider the origin of this day, and why it came about in the first place.
The National Day of Prayer was instituted in 1863 in the midst of the Civil War, the bloodiest war in American history. It was during this conflict that a resolution was put through Congress asking President Lincoln to proclaim a National Day of Prayer.
Some of the excerpts from this proclamation are stunning in that they so directly relate to our nation today.
“may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People?”
Lincoln regularly expressed this belief that the Civil War was a result of national sins and taking God’s blessing for granted.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.”
Today, as a nation, it certainly feels as if we have forgotten God and taken His blessings for granted.
As we pray today, let us pray not only for our nation, but for ourselves and our families, that we would not forget God, but honor him for who he is, and remember His blessings so graciously given to us.