Prayer under Attack
When the news broke of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, many Americans did what we have done throughout our history. We offered our thoughts and prayers for the survivors and their families.
To the surprise of many, that is no longer an acceptable response. According to Democrats, we must stop praying and “do something.” No matter that the facts are unknown. No matter that people are still mourning and victims are in shock. Politics and legislation are omnipotent -- the answer to every human tragedy and need.
Until recently it would have been unthinkable that anyone, especially prominent political leaders, would mock prayer. However, the sad reality is that disrespect for Christianity is one of the Left’s contributions to modern American culture. Elites in Washington, Hollywood, and their lesser acolytes in the “Twitterverse” and on Facebook openly dismissed prayer for the Las Vegas victims as an excuse for inaction.
For Americans to see prayer as an avoidance of responsibility bespeaks an inscrutable ignorance. Our Founding Fathers, the pilgrims and pioneers who came before them, and most of the colonists prayed and yet somehow built the greatest nation on earth at the same time.
They were not a genetically superior breed. Their flaws and mistakes are well known, but they believed in the power of prayer, as did most in the society of their time. They also believed in providential guidance in answer to prayer. To put it another way, they believed that prayer was the prelude to more effective action, not a way of avoiding it. Even the slaves believed that they could pray their way out of bondage. They had no earthly power to bring it about, but, not to put too fine a point on it, their prayers were answered.
In the Declaration of Independence, our Founding Fathers called upon the power of God to aid them in their quest for freedom. According to James Madison’s notes, Benjamin Franklin called for prayer during an impasse at the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787. Franklin said, “In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers… were graciously answered… And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I 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.”
Those deliberations proceeded to a successful conclusion, in spite of differences over slavery, a bill of rights and other major issues. Throughout our history, particularly in dire situations, there have been national calls for prayer. From the blockade of Boston Harbor in 1774 to D-Day during WWII, to President Trump calling for a National Day of Prayer after Hurricane Harvey, Americans have always turned to prayer. It is woven into the fabric of our culture. Yet some of our misguided citizens want to rip out this essential thread.
In Congress last Monday night, Massachusetts Representatives Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton refused to participate in a moment of silence.
After the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016, Connecticut Democratic Rep. Jim Himes announced that he would not partake in a moment of silence for the victims.
After the San Bernardino massacre in December 2015, the New York Daily News ran a front-page headline, “God’s Not Fixing This,” mocking Republican leaders for “preaching about prayer.”
On the other hand, in a speech before a Congress, Rep. Steve Scalise, said he began to pray while lying on the field severely wounded by a mass shooter. “[God] really did deliver for me and my family, and it just gives you that renewed faith… that… prayer is something you just cannot underestimate…"
Yet many of the elites of the left have discarded four centuries of spiritual heritage. They have traded their Judeo-Christian birthright for a bowl of atheist porridge. They want a country without prayer, a nation without God. This is the key to the fundamental transformation of America.
They will answer to no Higher Authority than themselves. They set their own morals and standards to justify their lusts. They would supplant the spiritual legacy that birthed the greatest nation in history and substitute man's persistent idolatry: We will be god ourselves.
In a simple, but eloquent call for prayer, President Trump reminded us of who we have been, who we are and who we must be always: “To the families of the victims: We are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period. Scripture teaches us, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’”
This is the heritage we’ve known and the country we love. Laws will come and go. Leaders will come and go. But the power of prayer will endure.
As long as we remember that, America will endure.
E.W Jackson founder & president of S.T.A.N.D. is hosting a National Awakening Conference in Chesapeake Virginia with the theme: “America Needs A Christian Awakening - We Want God” (Oct. 20 to Oct. 22). Register at [www.standamerica.us]. He is also a nationally syndicated radio host on American Family Radio & Urban Family Talk and Presiding Bishop of The Called Church.