In six days we celebrate the 4th of July. The 4th of July is an opportunity to be thankful for the beautiful country in which we live. Not a perfect country, but a magnificent country. So let me suggest that the most significant way of celebrating the 4th is to celebrate with “prayers of thanksgiving.” And history can lead us.
After the War for Independence was won, the nation was divided into regional interests. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 was stopped in defining how the United States were to exist. Into this debate and frustrating ordeal stepped the eighty-one-year-old statesman Benjamin Franklin with these words…
“At the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers were heard, and they were graciously answered. So all of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a supernatural providence in our favor. And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?
I have lived 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 probable that an empire can rise without His aid?
We have been assured in the Bible that except the Lord build the house; they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel...
I, therefore, beg leave to move that, henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business.”
Soon after that, the Constitution was drafted and passed. The Constitution, which today, is the oldest governing constitution in the world. This 4th of July, don’t forget to bow your head and and “implore the assistance of heaven.” If ever we have needed God, we need God today.