Happy Independence Day! Here’s an encouraging story from our nation’s history:
In 1787, the Constitutional Convention was at a standstill. One of the main reasons founding members of the United States of America had seceded from Britain was the lack of representation they had in their own government. Establishing a new structure that gave representation to all citizens was proving difficult. Progress had screeched to a halt. That’s when Benjamin Franklin stood up and addressed the convention.
“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 labour 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 bye word down to future ages…
“We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.’ I firmly believe this.”
– Benjamin Franklin, 1787
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 the city be requested to officiate in that service.”
Benjamin Franklin called upon our government to pray. And it worked! Almost two and a half centuries later, the Senate and the House of Representatives still designate chaplains responsible for beginning each day of congressional activity with prayer.
Will you pray with us this Independence Day? Pray for our nation, pray for our communities, pray for the Church. Pray that God’s people would build the house that He’s building.