2 Chron. 7:14
‘…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’
I was recently reminded of the proclamation below made at the beginning of the American Civil War by President Abraham Lincoln. His comments are very timely and relevant to our contemporary world. I propose that we participate in the Day of Prayer and Fasting to occur on September 25 of this year. More on this topic to come. Fr. Rick
August 11, 1861
Whereas, A Joint Committee of both Houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States, and requested him to recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States, his blessings on their arms, and, a speedy restoration to peace; and, whereas, it is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission to His chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions, in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective actions; and, whereas, when our beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous and happy, is now afflicted with factious and civil war, it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this visitation; and, in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes, as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy — to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reestablishment of law, order and peace throughout our country, and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under His guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellency; Therefore, I, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer and fasting for all the people of the nation; and I do earnestly recommend to the people, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion, of all denominations, to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day, according to their several creeds and modes of worship, in all humility, and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayers of the nation may ascend to the Throne of Grace, and bring down plentiful blessings upon our own country.
In testimony whereof, &c.,
By the President,
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.