Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
Psalms 11:3 If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Proverbs 14.34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
We have had a difficult year as a nation with a pandemic and social upheaval. As we celebrate July 4th and the founding of our nation this coming weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight some of what was written by our first President, George Washington.
This is from George Washington’s Prayer Journal that was carried with him during the Revolutionary war and written in his own hand.
- Almighty God and merciful Father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to Thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise Thee for Thy protection both night and day, receive O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to Thee.
- I yield Thee humble and hearty thanks, that thou hast preserved me from the dangers of the night past and brought me to the light of this day, and the comfort thereof, and day which is consecrated to Thine own service for Thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on Thee and discharge those duties thou has required of me; And since Thou are a God of pure eyes and will be sanctified in all who draw nearer to Thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in Thy courts, pardon I beseech Thee, my sins, remove them from Thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of Thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into Thy temple and compass thine altar, my prayer may come before thee as incense, and as I desire Thou wouldst hear me calling upon Thee in my prayers, so give me peace to hear the calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of my soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.
- Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith so that it may accomplish in me, gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God and guide this day and forever for His sake, who lay down in the grave and rose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord…Amen.
He had many other prayers in his journal and was known for finding a quiet place to pray both in the early morning and in the evening.
Years later, at the conclusion of his second term as President, George Washington penned his farewell address on Sept 17,1797 to the people of the United States as printed in our nations newspapers.
- Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.
- Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality (righteousness) can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality (righteousness) can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
George Washington knew that drawing close to God and holding onto God’s word was both the source of personal safety as well as the security and safety of our nation.
Unfortunately today, tolerance and compromise have been elevated over righteousness. For many in our nation, they are seen as of higher value than righteousness. This has caused our nation to make many poor decisions. Tolerance does not clarify, refine or establish us before God like the righteousness of Christ.
As Solomon said: “Righteousness exalts a nation.” Let us pray that a revival of truth and righteousness may be found in our nation in our neighborhoods, churches and in the halls of our nations institutions. Maybe it would be good for us to pray what George Washington prayed; “Grant that we may hear God’s word with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith so that it may accomplish in us, gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. AMEN!
Full text of George Washington’s farewell address: