Today we celebrate President’s Day. It’s the month of February when Presidents George Washington, William Henry Harrison, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan were born. So on the 3rd Monday of every February, we celebrate all U.S. Presidents, both past and present.
On this day, I want to draw your attention to three observations I’ve made about the supremacy of faith for many of our Presidents as they led our nation. These lessons from history are still valuable for our nation to remember today.
Presidents have relied on the word of God
It’s clear that Presidents throughout history have believed in the teachings of the Bible and relied on the word of God as they led our nation. We might call this today a Biblical worldview.
“The Bible is the best gift God has given to men. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it, we could not know right from wrong.”
- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
“The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally – I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally – impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals – all the standards toward which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud – of which our people are proud – almost every such man based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible.”
- President Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
“The fundamental basis of this Nation’s law was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings which we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.”
- President Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States
“It [the Bible] is the rock on which our Republic rests.”
- President Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States
Presidents have deployed the power of prayer
You don’t have to look far to find numerous examples of Presidents calling for prayer in our country. Here are just a couple examples from President Lincoln and President Washington highlighting a need for prayer in our nation.
In 1863, the United States Senate requested that President Abraham Lincoln issue a proclamation to set aside a National Day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. And that’s exactly what President Lincoln did.
“And whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
In 1789, President George Washington issued a Thanksgiving and Prayer Proclamation that led to the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today.
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
- President George Washington, 1st President of the United States
Presidents have believed we are a nation under God
Inspired by a sermon preached by Rev. George M. Docherty in Washington, DC, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law officially adding the phrase, “Under God” to our nation’s pledge of allegiance.
“From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning. . . . In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.”
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
“Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
- Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”
- James Madison, 4th President of the United States
“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
- George Washington, 1st President of the United States
It’s important for us today to become a united people who rely on the word of God, deploy the power of prayer in our lives and in our nation, and believe again that we are a nation under God.
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