“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

—thoughts by Pastor Charles P. Schmitt

America is in trouble. The cause of much of this lies with those who are committed to overturning the biblical foundations of America as a nation. They want to make America a purely secular nation; perhaps so that they can more easily further their unbiblical social agenda.

The elections of 2016 are therefore critical. As the dust settles and the candidates become more clearly defined, every true Christian will be given their greatest God-given responsibility—to vote into office those candidates—whether Democrat or Republican—who are most committed to restoring America to its original biblical foundations that we again may be a God-fearing nation. And obviously, our greatest need is to see yet another national heaven-sent Great Awakening that will turn the hearts of the people of America back to God!

America’s clear biblical roots and godly foundations are borne witness to in these amazing random historical statements—

  1. “Preserve me, O God, for in Thee do I put my trust.” —Psalm 16:1, etched on the stained glass window featuring George Washington in earnest prayer; in the Capitol Building
  2. “Search the Scriptures…Holiness to the LORD…May Heaven to this Union continue its beneficence” —Inscriptions on the carved tribute blocks of the Washington Monument
  3. Laus Deo (Praise be to God) —Engraving on the aluminum capstone of the Washington Monument
  4. “…the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men…We have been assured in the sacred Writings that “except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this, and 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 to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of heaven and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service…As the Scriptures are given for our reproof, instruction and warning may we make a due use of this example before it is too late…” —Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
  5. “…The God who gave us life, gave us liberty…Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.”…”The light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” —Inscription from John 1:5 in the Great Hall of the Jefferson Building, the Library of Congress
  6. “Thou hast put all things under His feet…The Truth shall make you free” —Scriptures engraved on the front facade of Union Station in New York City
  7. “Not until I went to the churches in America, and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great” —Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  8. “I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize man than any other nation…your Jehovah is our Jehovah and your God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our God” —John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the United States (1797-1801)
  9. “…The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of especial revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man” —Daniel Webster (1782-1852), leading American statesman, Senator from Massachusetts, and hailed as the leading constitutional scholar of his generation.
  10. “The Bible is the Rock upon which our Republic rests” —President Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States (1829-37)
  11. “The great vital element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and Divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” —Resolution, House of Representatives (1854)
  12. “Our society is illuminated by the spiritual insights of the Hebrew prophets.” —Lyndon B Johnson, 36th President of the United States

—Quotes courtesy of tzurshua@lantic.net

“AMERICA! AMERICA! GOD SHED HIS GRACE ON THEE!”

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Day 9- WHAT A NATIONAL AWAKENING LOOKS LIKE

RevivalDAY 9 WHAT A NATIONAL AWAKENING LOOKS LIKE
Prayerfully read Isaiah 62

“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you.” Isaiah 64:1

Many across America are crying out for a mighty revival to come to the United States. This is what an awakening looked like a century and a half ago in New York City—

The Fulton Street prayer meeting (1857-1860), convened by a simple New York merchant, Jeremiah Lanphier, actually helped spark revival around the globe. By February 1858, many churches and public buildings in downtown New York City were filled with tens of thousands of people praying. Newspapers began covering “The Progress of the Revival” on a daily basis, and at the peak of the revival, conversions numbered 50,000 a week. Out of a total population of 30,000,000 people, 1,000,000 were converted to Christ across the nation. One account declared that between 1857 and 1859 2,000,000 converts were added to the Church. The following account of the revival was given:

“Such a time as the present was never known since the days of the Apostles…. Revivals now cover our land, sweeping all before them, exciting the earnest cry from thousands, ‘what shall we do to be saved?’ Ministers…baptized with the Holy Ghost…preach with new power…The large cities and towns…from Maine to California are sharing in this glorious work. It really seemed as if the Millennium was upon us in its glory.”

By March of 1858, 6,000 were also gathering daily for prayer in Philadelphia, and thousands were attending five different prayer meetings in Washington, D.C. A contemporary newspaper article stated: “There are several New England towns in which not a single adult person can be found unconverted.”

O Blessed Holy Spirit, do again what you did in Washington, D.C. and in other cities in 1858! Set your people to praying as never before that we might see again the holy fire fall! In Jesus’ dear Name. Amen!

P R A Y E R F O C U S
• Today in your own secret place of prayer as fasting, ask Him to lay His prayers and petitions upon your heart.

By Pastor Charles Schmitt

Day 7 – THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING

PrayerDAY 7 THE FIRST GREAT AWAKENING
Prayerfully read Psalm 85

The First Great Awakening in the American colonies is often dated 1740-43. Like other great revivals, the spiritual climate of the churches had reached a low point. Practices like the Half-Way Covenant brought many into church membership without requiring any indication of saving faith. Consequently, churches were a mixture of believers and unbelievers. The vitality of the Christian testimony was watered down by its mixture with the world.

Far Reaching Results. Traveling evangelists like George Whitefield and Gilbert Tennent were used by God to quicken the spirits of His people. Through their preaching many church members and even preachers came under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and realized that they had never been converted. They were greatly distressed until they had made their salvation sure. Historians estimate that 25, 000 to 50,000 persons were added to the churches in New England alone. New churches were started in record numbers, and colleges like Dartmouth and Princeton began to train missionaries and ministers to carry the gospel to the lost world. This revival also laid the foundation of cooperative relationships between denominations. The religious liberties guaranteed in the new republic had their birth in this revival.

Revival at Northampton. Sometime around 1734 revival began to occur in several locations in New England. God used these early revivals and awakenings to prepare the soil of New England for the sowing of the gospel that would follow. Northampton, Massachusetts, was the site of a citywide awakening in 1734-35. Jonathan Edwards was pastor of the Congregational Church. Prior to the revival the town experienced a “degenerate time” with a “dullness of religion.” According to Edwards, the young people were addicted to tavern drinking, lewd practices, and frolics among the sexes the greater part of the night.

In a nearby village two young people died in the spring of 1734. People began to think soberly about spiritual and eternal matters. In answer to the prayers of His people, God began to move. In the fall Edwards preached on justification by faith alone. In December of 1734, five or six persons were converted. One of them was a young woman who was “one of the greatest company keepers in the whole town.” Her life was so radically changed that everyone could tell it was a work of God’s grace. During the following six months, 300 people were hopefully converted in this town of 1,100.

Edwards said, “God has also seemed to have gone out of his usual way in the quickness of his work, and the swift progress his Spirit has made in his operation, on the hearts of many”. “There was scarcely a single person in this town, either old or young, that was left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world…The town seemed to be full of the presence of God: it never was so full of love, nor so full of joy. …It was a time of joy in families on the account of salvation being brought to them… Our public assemblies were then beautiful; the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on public worship …our public praises were then greatly enlivened. God was then served…in the beauty of holiness.”

Would you like to see God sweep our city and church like that? Would you be willing to pray: “God whatever it takes for you to bring revival to your people, please do it”?
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This account has been adapted from “Narrative of Surprising Conversion” by Jonathan Edwards in The Works of President Edwards, New York: Levitt & Allen, 1857 (pp.231-272); and The History of American Revivals by Frank Granville Beardsley, 1912 (pp. 20-83).

P R A Y E R F O C U S
• Pray that you and your family will seek first His Kingdom in every area of life (Mark 6;33).
• Pray for the gift of faith as you pray for your family, our congregation, our state, and for this nation. “Lord, arise!”

By Pastor Dotty Schmitt

Day 6 – WHAT REVIVAL LOOKS LIKE

PrayerDAY 6 WHAT REVIVAL LOOKS LIKE
Prayerfully read Habakkuk 3

“Revive Your work in the midst of the years.” —Habakkuk 3:2 (AV)

We are crying out with thousands across America for God to revive His work in our land. This is what a national revival looked like a century and a half ago in the days of Charles G. Finney—

Revivals broke out under Finney’s fervent preaching all across New York State, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, and in other states, as he appealed to men to respond to the grace of God in repentance and faith. Finney described one particular meeting near Antwerp, New York in these words: “An awful solemnity seemed to settle upon the people; the congregation began to fall from their seats in every direction and cry for mercy. If I had a sword in each hand, I could not have cut them down as fast as they fell. I was obliged to stop preaching.” Hundreds of thousands were swept into the Kingdom of God across the United States. Actually revivals were breaking out on both sides of the Atlantic – not only in the United States, but also in Europe.

Oh Lord, You see the need in our land for revival! We have wandered far from You in our moral degeneracy and waywardness. And we cry out to You to sweep across our land in great conviction and in a wave of repentance and saving faith! In Jesus’ dear name! Amen!

P R A Y E R F O C U S
• Pray for a deep hunger to stir in your heart for personal and family revival
• Pray for a deep conviction of sin to come upon our nation , and for the gift of repentance to be given to us as a people

By Pastor Charles Schmitt