On Monday, February 20, our country will celebrate Presidents’ Day. On that day our nation will honor two great leaders: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our heart, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. — Abraham Lincoln
In times of war, both of these men found the strength and courage to lead our great nation through the power of prayer. They continually asked the citizens of America to pray with them and for them.
Oh, eternal and everlasting God, direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit. Daily, frame me more and more in the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time obtain the resurrection of the justified unto eternal life. Bless, O Lord, the whole race of mankind and let the world be filled with the knowledge of thee and thy son, Jesus Christ. — George Washingtion, in his personal prayer book.
Today, we are again at war, and we have a President who depends on the prayers of the American people. Like his predecessors, President Bush has continually asked the people of America to pray for him and for our country.
I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark this National Day of Prayer and
Remembrance with noontime memorial services, the ringing of bells at that hour, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils. I encourage employers to
permit their workers time off during the lunch hour to attend the noontime services to pray for our land. — George W. Bush National Day of Prayer and Remembrance on September 14, 2001.
All too often, Presidents’ Day passes with very little thought other than being celebrated as another three-day holiday weekend. This year let us use the occasion to join our President and other Christians in praying for our country, our President and other leaders, not just in this country but around the world. Also, let’s not forget the courage and faith of our founding fathers and remember them with thanks this Presidents’ Day.
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