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Fast Day Proclamation
Still in its infant stages, America was feeling weak and humble. Why? They had been at war and were suffering great losses, even though they were triumphant in the end. Which brought many Americans, including the Continental Congress to their knees.
Why their knees? Prayer! You see, at the time, America’s faith was its guiding principle. They held reverence in their hearts for God Almighty! And it showed in how they conducted business as a government.
At the time, there was no line to walk on the separation of church and state. That idea wouldn’t come to pass until some years later when Thomas Jefferson said, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”
So, why then was the Continental Congress calling on the people to fasting and prayer? They had many things to be thankful for, they had suffered many losses and they needed the guidance, direction and comfort that only God can provide.
Their call to the people and members of Congress was stated:
“. . . and whereas, it becomes all public bodies, as well as private persons, to reverence the Providence of God, and look up to him as the supreme disposer of all events, and the arbiter of the fate of nations; therefore,
Resolved, That it be recommended to all the United States, as soon as possible, to appoint a day of solemn fasting and humiliation; to implore of Almighty God to forgiveness of the many sins prevailing among all ranks, and to beg the countenance of his Providence. . .”
While there had been other times throughout history where the government has asked the whole body of the people to pray and fast, this time was a little different.
They were humbled to their knees in that they had been delivered from tyranny, and that they had been guided to their independence. They were an inspired body of people. And, it would serve our current body well, to respond as they did in fasting and prayer.
These times are no different. Are we suffering great losses from a war? Yes! Are we feeling the constraints of a tyrannical government? Yes! Should we be humbled and gratified for the Blessing of an Almighty God that watches over America and it’s people? Yes! Then maybe we could follow suit with a similar proclamation.
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