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Enough is Enough: National Day of Prayer

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower put to sea from Plymouth, England heading to what was at that time known as “The New World.” Its crew of 30 shuttled 102 men, women and children to a pristine land where they hoped to create a thriving colony in order to freely practice their religious views and beliefs.

During the first half of the voyage, the winds and waters were calm. The second half of the voyage turned the days and nights into terror. The ship navigated through heavy and sometimes violent storms. Death and sickness were also present.

At one point one of the main beams of the ship bowed and cracked. The passengers and crew continually prayed to Divine Providence to guide them safely to what was to be their new home.

On November 9, 1620, Divine Providence answered their prayers and guided the ship—after a harrowing two-month 2,750-mile Atlantic Ocean voyage—safely into Provincetown Harbor, at the tip end of what is now known as Cape Cod. Thus the hand of Providence had planted a tiny seed that would bloom, through prayer, into the greatest nation in the world.

The first year the colonists faced death, illness, cold and hunger. They prayed for Divine Providence to help them. Their prayers were answered and continued to be answered as the colony grew and prospered.

In the early 18th century, colonists’ quest for a material lifestyle lead to our country’s first period of religious revival known as The Great Awakening. Ministers such as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield came from Britain to America bringing a renewed religious intensity and a revival of religious values.

This renewal sparked the creation of a free press where information was shared in an unbiased way. Thus through Divine Providence a course was charted towards the American Revolution and Democracy.

During the American Revolution Divine Providence again interceded. General George Washington’s Army,  trapped on Long Island, New York by General William Howe managed to escape to the New York mainland without being detected. Crossing the Potomac River, Washington won much-needed victories at Trenton and Princeton, which enabled him to keep most of his army from quitting and returning home.

At Valley Forge a frozen, hungry, undisciplined and practically naked army took up winter quarters and emerged a disciplined army due to the tutelage of German Baron Friedrich von Steuben.

After the war the founders gathered in Philadelphia and, praying for Divine Providence to guide them in their work, produced our Constitution—one of the great political documents in history.

During our Civil War, Lincoln prayed constantly that Divine Providence would end the war and reunite our Country. His prayers were answered, and we became a united and stronger nation.

Then came World War II. Our military was one of the weakest in the world. We found ourselves taking on the empires of Germany and Japan. Both had large, combat-experienced, well-armed and modern armies. Their aggressions threatened our way of life.

President Franklin Roosevelt, along with the American public, prayed for Divine Intervention to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable odds. Again Providence smiled on our country, and four years later America emerged victorious.

Throughout our history, political and religious leaders on occasion have called for days of fast and prayer, hoping that Divine Providence would smile on our country and continue to bestow upon us his blessings.

On Thursday, May 3, 2012 at noon, many of our community’s religious leaders and citizens will gather at Kennedy Park to participate in the National Day of Prayer. Please join us as we pray for Divine Providence to intercede and guide us towards making our World, our Country, our State and our City a better place in which to live.

Remember, praying can’t hurt. But it could help.

 

 

 

 

 

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