Prayer Targets: Samuel Adams - Despair & Faith; Independence Day; Is MD still a Free State? More!
July 03, 2019
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
Dear Praying Friends,
Ira Stoll (see bio) helped revive the memory of Samuel Adams, whom many consider as "the Father of the American Revolution," with a book he wrote in his late 20s. The following is from his Samuel Adams, a Life:
1777 - Of all thedifficult moments in the American Revolution, one of the most desperate for the revolutionaries was late September 1777. British troops controlled New York City. The Americans had lost the strategic stronghold of Fort Ticonderoga, in upstate New York...
General George Washington had lost the Battle of Brandywine [9/11, De. & Pa., 200 Americans killed, 500 wounded, 400 captured]. On 9/21, another 300 American soldiers were killed or wounded and 100 captured in a British surprise attack. Washington's troops were suffering from fatigue from bad weather & long night marches. Rain had soaked the American army's ammunition, making it useless.
The troops spent the winter at Valley Forge, Pa., subsisting on fire cakes made of flour and water, and leaving bloody footprints in the snow for lack of shoes; 1000 of Washington's roughly 9,000 troops were barefoot. The delegates to Congress doubted their generals. Maryland Delegate Charles Carroll of Maryland, wrote General Washington, "Two officers in high command in our army are said to be much addicted to liquor: what trust, what confidence can be reposed in such men?" The diplomatic situation was also unpromising.
The enemy closing in, Pennsylvanians lowered the 2,080-pound bronze bell from the spire of their State House, with its inscription from Leviticus, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," and carted it to the basement of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown for safekeeping. And just in time--the British captured Philadelphia on 9/26. Congress, which had been meeting there, fled to Lancaster, Pa., to York, Pa. 100 miles west of Philadelphia. The departure was frantic... John Adams of Massachusetts, wrote in his diary, "The prospect is chilling, on every Side: Gloomy, dark, melancholy, and dispiriting" ... John Adams' cousin, the patriot leader Samuel Adams, who had already suffered losses that would have shattered an ordinary man. His first wife and four children had died of natural causes before the war. British officers had decapitated Samuel Adams's close friend Joseph Warren and presented his head as a trophy to the British commanding general. Samuel Adams was separated from his two surviving children and second wife while serving Congress at Philadelphia... Back in Boston, British soldiers ripped out the pews of Old South Church, covered the floor with dirt, and used the church as a riding academy. Samuel Adams's house was vandalized by British troops so badly it was uninhabitable. If the Revolution failed, Samuel Adams could expect to meet the same fate at the hands of the British as Warren.
Yet on that day in York in late September 1777, Samuel Adams, a slightly heavy, gray-haired fifty-five-year-old with large dark blue eyes, a prominent nose, and a high forehead, gave his fellow members of Congress a talk of encouragement.
"If we despond, public confidence is destroyed, the people will no longer yield their support to a hopeless contest, and American liberty is no more."
"Through the darkness which shrouds our prospects the ark of safety is visible. Despondency becomes not the dignity of our cause, nor the character of those who are its supporters." [He spoke of God's leading the ancient Jews by a "Pillar of Cloud by day" and "Pillar of Fire by Night"].
Let us awaken then and evince a different spirit -- a spirit that shall inspire the people with confidence in themselves and in us, -- a spirit that will encourage them to persevere in this glorious struggle, until their rights and liberties shall be established on a rock. We have proclaimed to the world our determination "to die freemen, rather than to live slaves." We have appealed to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and in Heaven we have placed our trust. Numerous have been the manifestations of God's providence in sustaining us. In the gloomy period of adversity, we have had "our cloud by day and pillar of fire by night." We have been reduced to distress, and the arm of Omnipotence has raised us up. Let us still rely in humble confidence on Him who is mighty to save. Good tidings will soon arrive. We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid and protection." (2008, edited for length)
Adams' faith-filled and prophetic encouragement was followed by the announcement that British General John Burgoyne had surrendered 5,800 British troops to American General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, New York on October 17, just two weeks after Adams' impassioned plea to look to God for deliverance. It was a turning point in the war. Motivated by the victory, Congress adopted a proclamation on November 1st to declare Thursday, December 18th, "a day of thanksgiving to God." But like most of the Colonial Thanksgiving proclamations, it was every bit, if not more, a Call2Fall -- a call for humility, earnest supplication, confession of sin, and consecration to Jesus Christ as Savior as it was a corporate expression of Thanksgiving. It was primarily an expression of gratitude to God, not a human celebration for our sake. Indeed, it was a rededication of the people of our struggling nation to an honest, dedicated, dependent relationship with God. Many refer to it as "The First Thanksgiving Proclamation in the United States" (read it here, coupled with a thoughtful analysis of its main points). The Proclamation closes by requesting prayer for God to:
take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety, under his nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."
I hope you were able to take part in a church or community Call2Fall service last Sunday, and if not that you had one at home. Many are endeavoring to carry on the spirit of the Call2Fall every day of their lives, which is what America needs (2 Chr 7:14).May God help us all to do just that!
While the Founding Fathers believed in sacred days of "humiliation, fasting, prayer, and thanksgiving," they believed in celebration, too!
It was Samuel Adams' cousin, John Adams, who in a letter to his wife Abigail on July 3, 1776, waxed prophetic when he wrote about the future of Independence Day:
The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. -- I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
You will think me transported with Enthusiasm, but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will triumph in that Day's Transaction, even [though] we might [regret] it, which I trust in God We shall not!
Father, You have blessed us like no other nation in history. We praise You and thank You and give You all the glory! But we have strayed grievously. Please draw us back to You as a people, so You can continue to bless us and use our nation to bless the nations! May our fellow citizens be reminded and never forget what our Founding Fathers and national leaders believed -- that "those nations only are blessed, whose God is the Lord." Through the cultural and political fire, smoke, uncertainty, and gloom today, give us eyes of faith as Samuel Adams had, and eyes to see as John Adams did, "rays of ravishing light and glory." May we pray, labor, and fight today with all the energy You give us, knowing that we must prevail for the sake of our children and grandchildren and generations yet unborn, and may our "Posterity" continue to "triumph" as a result of that God-given and God-honoring Declaration. (See Declaration of Independence; Lincoln's 1863 Prayer Proclamation; Lev 25:10; Dt 28:1-14; Ps 33:12; 144:15; Is 58:6, 12; 61:1-4; John 8:32-32; Gal 5:1)
Finally, please pray over these issues as you are led by the Lord:
- The Maryland Department of Education, after two years of approving student vouchers for Bethel Christian School (Savage, Md.) has informed the school that it is no longer eligible and must return more than $100,000 in past vouchers used by Bethel students. Why? The Department has learned that the school's handbook requires students to honor its biblical faith regarding marriage and sexual morality. The Department considers it discriminatory. ADFis representing Bethel in a religious discrimination lawsuit in Federal Court. (Read School Principle Claire Dant's op-edin the Baltimore Sun)
- Gender "Conversion Therapy" -- Ex-gay Californians are speaking out against a CA Assembly resolution that calls for pastors and other civic leaders to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism and to condemn "conversion therapy."The Utah Governor has proposed the regulationof such therapy. Sixteen states have outright banned all such counseling.
- Generation Z Not Embracing LGBT Message -- A Harris Poll commissioned by the LGBT advocacy Group, GLAAD, suggests that 18-34-year-old Americans are slipping significantly in their "acceptance" of the LGBT movement, disturbing its members because this group is considered to be the most "tolerant" of all age groups.
- Born Alive Abortions -- Congressmen Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) and Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) have introduced H.R. 3580, a bill in the U.S. Congress to require states to collect data for the Center for Disease Control on the number of abortions in each state, including the number of born-alive abortions. Presently, reporting is voluntary, and some states simply choose not to report. Minnesota reportedthat three babies were born alive after failed abortions in 2018. (See Born Alive-Alive Survivors - Facts; Show your support)
- Drag Queen Story Hour Further Exposed -- Our friends at LifeSite News discovered a photograph of a "drag queen" teacher on the floor at one of these "Story Hours" with children crawling all over him or her.
Thank you for praying! May you have a great 243rd Independence Day tomorrow!