A Historic Reminder About the Power of Prayer
I have re-read Eric Metaxas’ book, If You Can Keep It. I wholeheartedly recommend this wonderfully inspiring book documenting and highlighting the history, freedoms, and challenges that America has and must keep. In it he writes about the “the miracle” of our Constitution as it was being formed, debated, drafted, and finalized in the summer of 1787. I thought I would print a portion of a speech by one delegate in his address to the President of the delegation.
After lengthy debates, much arguing, and with very little progress, the speech is given by none other than the oldest delegate, and “sage” of the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin:
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 probably 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 by-word down to future ages. I therefore beg leave, 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, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.
Metaxes concludes: As we know in the end, all impasses were broken, compromises on all issues struck, and solutions found. There was what all felt to be truly remarkable—almost odd—willingness for each side to set aside its concerns for the good of the whole. the spirit of selflessness and compromise that came over this body of opinionated, brilliant, and principled men was in the end sufficient for them to ratify the great document call the Constitution.
We celebrate what we have in this country, our Constitution, and the freedoms we have. We thank God for our founders, and we continue to pray, as they did, for mercy, grace, guidance, and righteousness in our land.