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100 Bible Verses That Changed America: The Most Famous Prayer of The American Revolution

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
June 19, 2024 3:00 am

100 Bible Verses That Changed America: The Most Famous Prayer of The American Revolution

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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June 19, 2024 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, fear, and determination, filled the room as delegates to the first Continental Congress besought God for a speedy peace, the flourishing of justice and truth, and above all things, wisdom.

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Shopify.com slash try. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. If you want to know about American history, it's imperative that you know the role that the Bible played in shaping our country. Our founding fathers, both Christian and non-Christian alike, were heavily influenced by the Bible. Here to share another story is Robert Morgan, who's the author of 100 Bible verses that made America, defining moments that shaped our enduring foundation of faith.

Let's take a listen. Here they came from across the colonies amid fear and rising tensions. Delegates arriving in Philadelphia on September the 4th, 1774 to convene the First Continental Congress.

There was Samuel Adams and John Adams and George Washington. These men and many others had come to Philadelphia to discuss how the colonies should respond to what they call the Intolerable Acts, laws that had been passed by the British Parliament after the Boston Tea Party. Among the delegates was Thomas Cushing from Boston, considered by England to be a dangerous radical. Cushing was a Congregationalist and he had strong beliefs in the power of prayer.

As they assembled, Cushing made a motion that they began their business every day with prayer. Some of the delegates opposed this motion because of the diversity of denominations that were represented by the delegates. But Samuel Adams, the far brand of the revolution, and also a devout member of the Congregational church, rose and asserted that he was no bigot and could hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue who was at the same time a friend of his country. And so when they realized it didn't matter so much the denomination, Sam Adams nominated a local Anglican pastor, Jacob Duchet, to lead him prayer and the delegates agreed. About the same time a rumor swept through Philadelphia, which later proved untrue, that at that very moment Boston was being shelled by British cannons. When the delegates gathered the next morning and assembled in Carpenter's Hall for the agreed upon prayer, they were all tense and confused.

In that room were other icons of liberty such as John Hancock and Patrick Henry. Duchet opened the Anglican prayer book to the prescribed reading for the day and the delegates instantly sensed the section of scripture was providential. It was from Psalm 35 and Duchet read these words, plead my cause O Lord with those who strive with me, fight against those who fight against me, let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life, let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.

No more appropriate scripture could have been found and yet it wasn't pre-planned. Duchet was simply reading the day's liturgy. And then Jacob Duchet led in a powerful prayer.

It lasted in all they say about 10 minutes and it has been called the most famous prayer of the American Revolution. He said in part, O Lord our heavenly father, high and mighty king of kings and lord of lords, who dust from thy throne behold all the dwarves on earth and rainest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the kingdoms, empires and governments. Look down and mercy we beseech thee on these our American states who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on thy gracious protection desiring to be henceforth dependent only upon thee. He continued, be thou present O God of wisdom and direct the councils of this honorable assembly, enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation that the scene of blood may be speedily closed and that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored and that truth and justice, religion and piety prevail and flourish among the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and the vigor of their minds, shower down upon them and the millions they represent such temporal blessings as thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come.

All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, thy son and our savior. Well afterwards, John Adams described this event in a letter to his wife Abigail. Mr. Duchet appeared and read several prayers in the established form and then he read the collect for the seventh day of September, which was the 35th Psalm.

You must remember that this was the morning after we heard the horrible rumor of the colonnade of Boston. He said, I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that morning. After this, Mr. Duchet, unexpectedly to everyone, struck out into an extemporaneous prayer which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer or one so well pronounced with fervor, with such ardor, such earnestness and pathos, and in language so elegant and sublime for America, for the Congress, for the province of Massachusetts Bay, and especially for the town of Boston. It had an excellent effect on everyone there.

According to other accounts, many of the delegates were in tears and some were on their knees. It was as though the Lord himself had come down into the room to receive the prayers of these frightened but determined revolutionaries. Jacob Duchet's prayers so braced the Continental Congress that he henceforth started each day's session and prayer becoming, in effect, America's first congressional chaplain.

And a terrific job on the production, editing, and storytelling by our own Greg Hengler. And a special thanks to Robert Morgan, who's the author of 100 Bible Verses That Made America. My goodness, that line at the beginning of his prayer, be thou present, oh God of wisdom. I almost think we should lead all of our prayers there, because it's such a great and specific place to start.

He had read earlier from Psalm 35 and it felt as if heaven itself had arranged that prayer, said John Adams. The story of the First Continental Congress's first prayer session here on Our American Stories. This is Lee Habib, host of Our American Stories. Every day, we set out to tell the stories of Americans past and present, from small towns to big cities, and from all walks of life doing extraordinary things. But we truly can't do this show without you. Our shows are free to listen to, but they're not free to make. If you love what you hear, go to our American stories.com and make a donation to keep the stories coming.

That's our American stories.com. You may know Jackson Pollock, the painter famous for his iconic drip paintings. But what do you know about his wife, artist Lee Krasner? On Death of an Artist, Krasner and Pollock, the story of the artist who reset the market for American abstract painting, just maybe not the one you're thinking of.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-19 05:03:20 / 2024-06-19 05:08:19 / 5

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