‘The result of prayer and faith’

Published 8:07 am Thursday, July 6, 2017

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Can you imagine celebrating the Fourth of July if there were no United States of America? One of the most amazing and peculiar things about the Jewish people and their faith is that for 2,000 years, they’ve celebrated the harvest feasts, giving thanks to God for harvests that didn’t exist and a temple that was nowhere to be seen.

That would be like celebrating the Fourth of July, but there was no Revolutionary War, no Declaration of Independence, no U.S. Constitution nor a nation known as the United States.

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The Jewish people celebrated a nation that didn’t exist until it did. Can you imagine what it might be like if we lived in the middle of the battle to celebrate the victory, lived in the middle of the need to celebrate the answer, when you have no reason to celebrate or to give thanks for what is to come? If you do, God will give all the reasons you need.

On Feb. 21, 1786, New Hampshire Gov. John Langdon set a Day of Fasting so that God “would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion and spread abroad the knowledge of the true God, the Savior of Man.”

The 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution consisted of 26 Episcopalian Christians, two Methodist Christians, 11 Presbyterian Christians, two Quaker Christians, seven Congregational Christians, two Roman Catholics, seven Lutheran Christians, two Dutch Reformed Christians and Dr. Benjamin Franklin, who called for prayer at the Constitutional Convention of June 28, 1787.

Franklin said, “In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for divine protection. Our prayers … were heard and they were graciously answered … 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 stand 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 also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel … I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in the Assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”

For the U.S. Constitution to go into effect, two-thirds of the States had to ratify it.

America was the result of prayer and faith. Maybe you have a need right now. Can you begin to celebrate the answer to it without seeing it? To give thanks for what is yet to come? Because of our faith in Jesus, we can.

John Moxley is pastor of First Baptist Church in Dillwyn. His email address is jmoxleydillwyn@gmail.com.