The 2012 National Day of Prayer Task Force Theme is:
One Nation Under God
Psalm 33:12: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
Dr. David Jeremiah, Honorary Chairman: Founder of Turning Point and Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church writes:
- We must unite in Solemn Assembly recognizing Almighty God as a nation – just as Ezra (Ezra 9, Nehemiah 8-9) and Joel (Joel 1-3) did when calling an entire nation to join together in prayer and repentance before God.
- II Chronicles 7:14 tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “
- America is still a National Under God:
- Because we have been one nation under God for more than two centuries, we continue to enjoy the fruit of His blessings and the individual liberties we hold so dear. Godly people who know the value of earnest prayer are the backbone of our nation. May we be steadfast in our humble obedience to Him and boldly declare that we are one people united through His powerful name, indeed one nation, under God.
- Recent polling by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 96% of the public says they believe in God or some form of Supreme Being, roughly the same number as in a 1965 survey cited in the Time piece.
- 88% of Americans Believe in God (according to Barna Research)
- 85% Believe in Miracles
- 77% pray outside of religious services
- 67% pray regularly
Parade Magazine (2009 research)
UNDER GOD HISTORY
- The Term “Under God” dates back to the 13th Century.
- Henry Bracton (cir 1210-1268), father of modern law, wrote the king is Sub Deo et Lege – Under God and Law – also etched above Harvard Law School
- This core philosophy of leadership was the basis of contention between Sir Edward Cokes and King James (1620) when the king was reminded of this very principle that leaders must be accountable to God or nations will fall back into tyranny and justice cannot prevail. This historic dialog is etched on the door of the Supreme Court.
- 21 of the Founding Fathers used the term “Under God” when addressing affairs in America.
- February 7, 1954: A notable historical day for the acknowledgment of God in modern America: it is the day that a sermon, titled “A New Birth of Freedom” was preached before President Dwight D. Eisenhower, suggesting that the words “under God” be added to the pledge. The sermon was preached by the Rev. George M. Docherty, pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C.
- This sermon was preached for Lincoln Day, and it had a great impact on those listening, including President Eisenhower, who was seated in the same pew that Abraham Lincoln had regularly occupied in that church as President
- June 14, 1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law, officially adding the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance
- Eisenhower quote during the signing:
“In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”
- President Eisenhower then challenged the citizens of this great nation to remember the God of our fathers for those two words captured “the characteristic and definitive factor in the American way of life.”
- April 18, 2010, a major victory for our nation occurred – the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco ruled to uphold the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on United States currency. Michael Newdow, an atheist from Sacramento California had filed the case on behalf of himself, and his daughter who was “forced” to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school, claiming the references to God were disrespectful to his religious beliefs and were a violation of the separation of church and state. In a 2-1 ruling, Judge Carlos Bea stated that the words “Under God” were constitutional adding, “The Pledge is constitutional … The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded.” In a separate 3-0 ruling, the appeals court upheld the inscription of the national motto “In God We Trust” on United States coins and currency because the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic, not religious (Examiner).
- UNDER GOD – the words that defined morality in the courtroom and our legal obligation as a nation to defend the defenseless and uphold justice – even internationally:
- EX: 1882 Supreme Court case THE UNITED STATES VS LEE – US. pays Robert E Lee family for Arlington property although it was rightfully acquired during the war. The case determined that UNDER GOD – justice dictated that the citizens pay for the land.
- EX: The Nuremberg Trials – November 20, 1945 to October 1, 1946 – the crimes against humanity were defined that a people UNDER GOD could not accept such atrocities:
“Nor should such a defense be recognized as the obsolete doctrine that a head of state is immune from legal liability. There is more than a suspicion that this idea is a relic of the doctrine of the divine right of kings. It is inconsistent with the position we take toward our own officials, who are frequently brought to court at the suit of citizens who allege their rights to have been invaded. We do not accept the paradox that legal responsibility should be the least where power is the greatest. We stand on the principle of responsible government declared some three centuries ago to King James by Lord Chief Justice Coke, who proclaimed that even a King is still ‘under God and the law.’” – Justice Robert H. Jackson – Excerpted from Department of State Bulletin, June 10, 1945
PRAYING FOR LEADERS:
- “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which has been established by God.” Romans 13:1“I urge, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4A nation can be punished by the actions of its leaders (2 Samuel 24) and a nation can be punished with poor leaders because the heart of the people is evil (2 Kings 17). In the same way, a nation can be blessed with good leadership because the people honor God (II Chronicles 7:14). We must respect the structure of leadership that God has ordained (Exodus 18:21/Deuteronomy 17:14-20) even if we do not agree with all the decisions that those in authority are making – all the more reason to pray for them.
PRAYER IN AMERICA:
- There have been 137 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2011).
- There have been 59 Presidential Proclamations for a “National Day of Prayer” (1952-2011).
- Gerald Ford (1976) and George H. Bush (1989-91) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign two National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
- Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
- 34 of the 44 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two Presidents, not included in the count – William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding, signed proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
- Records indicate there have been 965 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.
FAITH IN AMERICA’S HISTORY:
- “A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do” – Woodrow Wilson.
- John Adams wrote, “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity…”
- We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
- Constitution (1787) – ratified in 1791 (known as the Bill of Rights):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
- The establishment clause prohibits the establishment of a national religion by Congress and the preference of one religion over another. The National Day of Prayer is not a religion or denomination nor does the proclamation of the day favor one group over another
- Virtually every one of the 55 writers and signers of the United States Constitution were members of various denominations: 29 were Anglicans, 16 to 18 were Calvinists, 2 were Methodists, 2 were Lutherans, 2 were Roman Catholic, 1 lapsed Quaker and sometimes Anglican, and 1 open deist. They were not trying to remove faith from America – they were trying to protect the freedom of religion.