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Restoring the Memory of America's Christian History

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, June 19, 2017


George Washington at Prayer in the Capitol Prayer Room

Can we restore the lost memory of American Christian self-government?

The knowledge of our American history is so important to Americans that without it we act like a nation that has lost its memory. Knowledge of America’s Christian History provides us with the purpose for which America was established.

Historians who wrote close to the period of our founding were convinced that God reserved this continent for that time when mankind was ready to accept to the fullest the opportunity and the responsibility for extending Christian liberty to every sphere of life. There would be no America if there were no Christianity.

The record of our Christian History has not been destroyed, only neglected.

Few Christians in America really know America’s Christian History. Yet no one has destroyed the record. Rather it has been forgotten and neglected by the very people who should love this tremendous testimony of Christ His Story in America. Now, once again Americans can read for themselves the documentation in the “original” sources of our history.

Historians of today look at America’s early history through the lenses of contemporary philosophies of government and they fail to understand the reasoning of her Founders. Our purpose is to restore the Biblical reasoning of those individuals who were closer to that period.

If we are to appreciate the sacred trust of Christian government we must understand it in the context of a Bible-loving and a Bible-living people.

Excerpted from the original Introduction to Rudiments of America’s Christian History and Government, 1968. Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater.


Look for our new, updated edition of Rudiments to be released Summer 2017 titled Nation Makers: The Art of Self Government, by Verna M. Hall and Rosalie J. Slater, edited by Carole G. Adams, President of the Foundation for American Christian History.

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The New Civics and the Transformation of America

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Friday, May 12, 2017


John Signleton Copley, Portrait of Samuel Adams, c. 1772

Let divines (pastors) and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls…instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies…

Samuel Adams, October 4, 1790

Samuel Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, instructed us to teach our children the “art of self-government”, the only answer to creating citizens that can uphold and govern our Republic.

Liberals and progressives understand Sam Adams’ admonition clearly and know that education is the way to change America to their worldview. The “New Civics” is one example of how they plan to transform America. Instead of teaching traditional government courses by instructing students in our representative form of self-government, our high school and college students are being taught “civic engagement” as a way of bringing leftwing and communist causes to the mainstream, misusing the checks and balances of law. They are coached to participate in walkouts and protests, even to the end of bringing about civil unrest and anarchy.

We must counter this plan to undermine our liberty with the same method—education. We can renovate our classrooms, and thus our nation, by using the historic method of Biblical, classical education known as the Principle Approach. This is the method of education that produced our Founding Generation and birthed America. Our children will be taught to cherish our God-given rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, voluntary association and the law of our land, our U.S. Constitution. It is the way to return our nation, once again, to preserving individual freedom and being “the beacon on the hill”, shedding the light of liberty to all nations.

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Who made me? Why was I made? What is my duty?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Thursday, April 13, 2017

An immense effect may be produced by small powers
wisely and steadily directed.

Noah Webster, 1821

Noah Webster, Father of American Scholarship, believed every individual should ask three questions: “Who made me? Why was I made? What is my duty?” The proper answers to these questions, and the practical result of them, constitute the whole business of life. He said that we are furnished with powers of reason to answer these questions, and by the design of our Creator, reason should be employed in every stage of life.

However, he cautioned, “reason without cultivation, without experience and without the aid of revelation, is a miserable guide.” We daily observe in the secular world the failure of reason without revelation. Reason without revelation leads to ignorance, error and action based upon the impulse of passion.

How do we receive revelation? By “aid of revelation”, Webster meant the Bible—communication of truth by God to men. He instructed to first, occupy your mind with study from the Scriptures to learn of the Will and Character of our Maker; second, learn the end or purpose He has given you for your life; and third, discover the duties He wants you to perform. “In all that regards faith and practice, the Scriptures furnish the principles, precepts and rules, by which you are to be guided.” God’s Word would reveal the answer to each of the questions if this became your “first study to occupy the mind.”

What are the results? It will define your reputation among men, you will have peace of mind, and real hope of future happiness when you conform your conduct to the commands of God revealed in the sacred Scriptures.

Today, when Biblical education is under attack, it will encourage us to return to the instruction of Noah Webster for guidance. Then, we may once again enjoy the blessings of liberty under law in our nation.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. II Cor. 3:17

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Why is George Washington the Role Model of Presidents?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Saturday, February 18, 2017

Portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1797

Many people today find their role models in the media culture. According to The Barna Group, two thirds of Americans say pro athletes have more influence on our society than faith leaders. However, American Christians, in addition to their pastors and teachers, have traditionally looked to the elected leadership for role models. Can you find a hero there today?

George Washington, our first president, understood that as an elected leader he had a duty to be the very model that all other presidents would follow. He discerned that his entire life would be carefully examined, not by some prying journalist, but by God, to whom Washington knew he would be fully accountable. So he set his heart and mind to be the President that would set the standard for all others to follow and began to build a foundation for a young nation to shine the light of liberty to the entire world.

Washington was also humbly conscious of the tremendous responsibilities of the new office of president of the United States. He knew that the whole world would measure America by the character of the man who occupied that office. And indeed, most nations identified Washington as “America” long before they were acquainted with the nation.

This prayer, found in his writings, indicates how closely Washington associated the success of the American nation with the spirit and practice of the Christian religion:

I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the Field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all, to do Justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristicks of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.

George Washington “Circular Letter to the States” 1783

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Is Christian Self-Government with Union Possible?

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Saturday, January 28, 2017

The British Evacuating after the Siege of Boston, March 17, 1776

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. Psalm 133:1

The recent presidential election has exposed a rift in our national life. Americans are more divided than ever on political and cultural issues, and the spirit of unity that is the mark of genuine patriotism and which keeps afloat the ship of state seems to have drowned in a sea of disrespect, distrust, skepticism and failed hopes.

In the midst of these dark waters that threaten the foundations of the Republic, we must ask, is a spirit of unity still possible and where is it to be found?

FACE founder and Christian historian Verna M. Hall discovered the source of our nation’s unity in the Biblical principles on which it is founded. From the beginning, Americans saw themselves as one nation, under God, with a common destiny and purpose.

In her primary source study, The Christian History of the Constitution, Vol. II: Christian Self-Government with Union, Hall cites an important early example of how our nation’s unity is rooted in Biblical thinking. When the citizens of Massachusetts suffered extreme hardship caused by the closing of Boston harbor, the thirteen colonies acted as one. The British blockaded the harbor in order to punish Massachusetts. The Crown thought making an example of Boston would break the spirit of liberty in the colonies. However to the surprise of the British, the result was not factionalism and submission, but an indestructible unity, which led to liberty. “One by one the colonies declared their solidarity with Boston’s cause, making it their own.”*

The response of the colonies to the plight of Boston was the result of their faith:

Boston citizens, suffering under harsh financial circumstances, were “sustained by the large contributions sent from every quarter for their relief, and by the noble words that accompanied them.” The flow of donations from other colonies lasted 10 months.
Virginia called for a day of prayer and fasting to be observed the day the Boston Port Bill went into effect, and large congregations filled the churches throughout the colony that day.
Newspapers and pamphlets were published which supported Boston and aided in crystallizing public opinion. People were able to learn and understand the principles at stake for all the colonies by the closing of Boston’s harbor.

Because their beliefs and actions were rooted in their Biblical worldview, the colonists were able to throw off the yoke of British oppression and establish a free nation unlike any before or since.“The British were sure that the policy of singling out Massachusetts for punishment would prove the means of destroying the union. Instead, this afflictive act had just the opposite effect.” The response of the colonies became the “cement of American union."

In his inaugural address, President Trump directed us on how to act if the rifts in our national life are to be healed. His words bear keeping in mind:

We are one nation—and their (speaking of fellow Americans) pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity."

If our nation is to once more pursue our glorious destiny, we must not let our hearts be hardened by factionalism and distrust, but return to the “cement of American union”—Christian self-government and Biblical Christian unity.

Learn more about the Christian history of our nation and its founding in Biblical principles by studying Verna M. Hall's The Christian History of the Constitution, Vol. II, Christian Self-Government with Union (CHOCII), and the Study Guide written by Mary-Elaine Swanson. You can buy CHOCII at FACEBookstore.net. Get the Study Guide FREE when you purchase with coupon code BMEM117, through January 31, 2017.

*From the Study Guide by Mary-Elaine Swanson.

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Inauguration Day

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Thursday, January 19, 2017

George Washington taking the oath of office at his First Inaugural, April 30, 1789

On January 20, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. The inauguration ceremony will commence our new president’s fouryear term in office.

The ceremony culminates in the new president taking the oath of office, which is found in Article II of the Constitution. The Constitution states:

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation: — "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

By tradition, presidents add the phrase, “So help me God.”

Our first president, George Washington held his inaugural on April 30, 1789. Washington much preferred to retire to private, domestic life, but reluctantly agreed to take on the Executive Office. As he said in the first inaugural address, “I was summoned by my Country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love…”.

Washington is remembered as the “Father of His Country” not only because he was the first U.S. president, but also because he set the standard of character, piety, integrity, equanimity and patriotism by which all subsequent presidents have been measured. He rose above prejudice, politics, and personal interests and sought to do what was right for the country. As David Ramsay, M.D., wrote in 1811 in The Character of Washington by His Contemporaries:

Truth and utility were his objects he readily pursued, and generally attained them. With this view he thought much, and closely examined every subject on which he was to decide, in all its relations. Neither passion, party spirit, pride, prejudice, ambition, nor interest, influenced his deliberations.
In making up his mind on great occasions, many of which occurred in which the fate of the army or nation seemed involved, he sought for information from all quarters, revolved the subject by night and by day, and examined every point of view. Guided by these lights, and influenced by an honest and good heart, he was imperceptibly led to decisions which were wise and judicious.*

As we witness the solemn inaugural ceremony held in our nation’s capital tomorrow, we will look to our first president as the example of dignity and honor due to the office of president and chief executive of our nation. We pray for our incoming president, Donald J. Trump that God will give him wisdom, a spirit of unity, a genuine love for our nation and respect for the liberty we treasure.

*George Washington: The Character and Influence of One Man, a compilation by Verna M. Hall, published by Foundation for American Education

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Good Gifts for Christmas

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.”

So begins Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic Little Women, with a complaint that we all certainly can share. Fifteen-year-old Jo (Josephine) March and her sisters, Meg, Beth and Amy are seated around a snug little fire in their New England home, lamenting the gifts they will not receive for Christmas. Jo, an aspiring playwright, wants a new book. Thirteen-year-old Beth, a pianist, wants sheet music. Little Amy the artist hopes for drawing pencils. And Meg, at sixteen, the oldest and considered the prettiest, longs for a new dress.

These good-hearted girls wrestle with their disappointment. They know that their mother, Marmee, would give them these things if she could afford them and that the absence of their beloved Father, who is far from home, serving as a chaplain in the United States Army during the Civil War, is difficult for everyone. Generously, the girls decide that instead of receiving gifts, they will spend their hard-earned money on presents for Marmee. The arrival of a letter from Father confirms their good intentions. His warm greetings to his “little women,” as he affectionately calls them, are mixed with fatherly wisdom and advice:

Give them all of my dear love and a kiss. Tell them I think of them by day, pray for them by night, and find my best comfort in their affection at all times. A year seems very long to wait before I see them, but remind them that while we wait we may all work, so that these hard days need not be wasted. I know they will remember all I said to them, that they will be loving children to you, will do their duty faithfully, fight their bosom enemies bravely, and conquer themselves so beautifully that when I come back to them I may be fonder and prouder than ever of my little women.

Anxious to merit Father’s praise, the girls regret their recent pettiness and resolve to be even more selfless. The opportunity comes, when, on a snowy Christmas morning, they have a chance to help the mother of a newborn and her six hungry young children, who are living in a cold and fireless home. When Marmee and her daughters bring their own holiday breakfast to the poor family, the mother and her children call the Marches "angels." "That was a very happy breakfast," Alcott writes, "though they didn't get any of it." The March family's sacrifice leaves them with empty stomachs, but full hearts:

And when they went away, leaving comfort behind, I think there were not in all the city four merrier people than the hungry little girls who gave away their breakfasts and contented themselves with bread and milk on Christmas morning.

Alcott’s tale, though told with simplicity, contains rich imagery appropriate for this time of year, when we too are filled with expectations and desires. Like Jo and her sisters, we anticipate our annual celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, with presents and parties, gifts and good food. And although, by today’s standards, the things the March sisters long for are simple, the same longing for things can encroach on our own hearts and distract us from what is truly important. We celebrate Christmas because Jesus came to make known to us the good news that there is another Father, who, like Father March, may seem far away, but in truth is always near us, a Father who, Jesus teaches, gives us “good gifts”—the Holy Spirit and eternal life (Matthew 7:11). The March sisters remind us of both the angels who greeted the birth of Jesus and also the shepherds who left their flocks to worship the newborn King. But the girls also display the love, self-denial, patience in suffering and sharing with those in need that recalls another group of “little women,” the Wise Virgins in the parable (Matthew 25:1–13), who trimmed their lamps and made themselves ready to greet the Bridegroom when he came. We celebrate Christmas because we await the moment when Jesus will come again. Let us prepare by being like Jo and her sisters, anxious to make our Heavenly Father proud of our good works and our love.

Little Women provides a model of the well-ordered Christian home, which is the bedrock of society and the first sphere of government. (Read Rosalie J. Slater's Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History, “Home-Government” pp. 23-27) When mothers and fathers faithfully educate their children to love of God and live virtuous lives, then our communities and nation flourishes. Little Women captures the heart of family living because Alcott’s view of the family is centered on Christian ideals and principles.

In this time of preparation for Christmas, what a wonderful way it is to strengthen the foundations of our own families and prepare to receive the infant Jesus by sharing with our families Little Women and learning its lessons of love, generosity, kindness and long-suffering.

To help you get started on reading Little Women with your family, purchase a copy in the FACE Bookstore, along with the Little Women Teacher Guide. Parents interested in establishing a home based on Christian principles will also enjoy Teaching and Learning America's Christian History, also available in the FACE Bookstore.

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$20 Trillion and Counting

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Thursday, August 11, 2016

American citizens are increasingly fed up with their government, observing shocking waste of taxpayer money, and bureaucrats regulating and limiting freedoms.

At a recent FACE sponsored “Lessons in Liberty”, Dr. Gai Ferdon presented a synopsis of the federal government budget process. Dr. Ferdon disclosed that many Americans are aware that our national debt is now almost $20 trillion, but most are shocked to know that funds designated to discretionary spending items include defense spending, while mandated budget items include many entitlement programs (including anti-poverty programs). The President’s proposed budget for FY 2017 is $4.2 trillion, but with projected tax revenues at only $3.6 trillion. No debt relief is on the horizon.

As this debt-fueled budget moves our country towards socialism, we sink deeper in dependence and despair.

What is the antidote? We must return to the Christian idea of man and government.

As Americans and Patriots, we must incorporate the same sense of government that was apparent among churches of the first century. These local, self-governing bodies were, in fact, little republics, all decisions being made by the congregation. Thus were the ideas of Constitutional liberty and government planted.

How is the structure of Constitutional liberty and government built?

First, let us return to the Christian home where the foundations of character and self-government are laid.

Secondly, families form churches where God’s principles and precepts are taught.

Thirdly, we must lay Christ as the bedrock of all sound knowledge and learning by establishing schools (and home schools) with a Biblical curriculum to educate and prepare our future citizens and leaders.

Will left-leaning leaders mandating progressive socialist fiscal policies keep us free? Or will true liberty with Christian self-government remain as the heart of our American Republic?

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The Real Meaning of the Fourth of July

Posted By Foundation for American Christian Education, Friday, July 1, 2016
Updated: Thursday, June 30, 2016


John Trumbell, The Declaration of Independence, 1817

On Monday, we celebrate one of the most solemn days in American history, the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was a transforming moment in the history of North America, which changed the British colonies into a self-determining nation.

It is easy today, 240 years later, amidst the celebratory parties, barbecues, and fireworks displays, to forget that American independence was not inevitable and did not happen overnight. It was a hard-won victory that required a struggle of more than 30 years and great personal sacrifice from many men and women. And on July 4, 1776, that victory still hung in the balance.

At first, the future citizens of the United States wanted only to preserve their rights and liberties as British citizens. The colonists strongly opposed the acts of trade enacted by the British Council in 1760, authorizing, among other things, search warrants on any pretext, and the Stamp Act of 1765, which levied heavy taxes on the colonists without their own parliamentary representation, seeing in these laws a violation of the rights guaranteed by British common law. When it became clear that insisting on their rights would not be enough, those opposed to tyranny took action on that sultry July day in 1776 and declared independence from Great Britain. The gravity of this act was not lost on any present at that meeting of the Second Continental Congress. The Declaration, as far as the British sovereign was concerned, was a deliberate act of treason and the signatories were all in danger of their lives. Benjamin Franklin quipped to his fellow representatives at the signing, "We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

The War of Independence marks a second stage, although it began 15 months before the signing of the Declaration, at the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775, and ended in 1782 with the signing of the Treaty of Peace in Paris. The third and final stage reached its conclusion when Congress ratified the Constitution in 1789, bringing into being a new country and a new kind of government.

A contest of principle

But the great work of the American struggle for independence was not winning the conflict of arms. The birth of liberty was a contest of principle. At each stage, the struggle for independence was met by individuals, providentially prepared with minds and spirits trained to the issues of the times. The Declaration of Independence was the standard heroically waved in this war of ideas because it annulled the idea that men were subjects to any tyrannical powers and affirmed the natural right to be self-governed. The tie to British rule was dissolved by one common act, the signing of that document. It made Americans into members of a distinct community in relation to each other, bound by the laws of nature and the Union. It was the opening to a new era in the science of government and in the history of mankind.

From “John Quincy Adams on the American Revolution,” The Christian History of the American Revolution, Consider and Ponder, published by the Foundation for American Christian History

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The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

Posted By Rosalie J. Slater, Friday, November 13, 2015
Updated: Friday, November 13, 2015


THE PILGRIMS BRING THE GOSPEL TO AMERICA
We remember the Pilgrims sailed across the Ocean on the little ship named The Mayflower. The first year at Plymouth was very hard for the Pilgrims. It was very cold—there was snow and ice on the ground. The Pilgrims built houses for shelter. But first, they built a house for the Lord, a church where they could gather to worship Him and to give thanks for their safe voyage across the ocean to America. The Pilgrims came to America to “propagate and advance the Gospel” of Jesus Christ in these “remote parts of the world.” They also wanted to educate their little children in the ways of the Lord.

GOD SENDS SQUANTO TO HELP THE PILGRIMS
After that first winter, the Pilgrims had a surprise. This is how Governor William Bradford described it in his history of the Pilgrims, Of Pilmoth Plantation:

But about the 16th of March, a certain Indian came boldly amongst them and spoke to them in broken English, which they could well understand but marveled at it… His name was Samoset. He told them also of another Indian whose was Squanto, a native of this place, who had been in England and could speak better English than himself.

A few day later Samoset returned with the great chief, Massasoit, and with Squanto. The Pilgrims and the Plymouth Indians made a Peace Treaty which they both kept for over fifty years.

Now that Spring had come it was time to begin to plant their crops so that they might have enough food for the winter. Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He showed them how to plant corn and how to put a little fish in the ground with each grain of corn. With the little fish Squanto was providing fertilizer for the soil—he was feeding the ground with the fish to make the corn grow up big and tall. In many other ways Squanto was a big help to the Pilgrims. He was their guide when they went exploring in their little boat which they called a shallop. He was their interpreter when they wanted to trade with the other Indians because he could speak both Indian and English languages.

William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth Plantation, from whose book we learn about the Pilgrims, wrote about Squanto, that he was “A special Instrument sent of God for their good beyond their expectation.”

A BETTER WAY TO RAISE CORN
When the first harvest was gathered the Pilgrims had enough to eat but not for long. Soon the corn crop was all eaten up. They were very hungry again. They gathered nuts and berries. They lived on fish and shell-fish, like lobsters. Sometimes they felt weak from lack of food. But the Lord gave them strength to go on. What could they do to raise more corn—enough to feed themselves, enough to feed the visitors that came to them—enough to trade with the Indians for beaver skins?

William Bradford wrote in his book, “So they began to think of how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery.”

All this time they had been going to work in the same big field. This was very confusing. Some men worked only a little. Other men and women worked very hard and their children, too. The result was that many of the lazy ones let the weeds kill their corn plants. The Pilgrims who worked diligently to keep the weeds out of the corn patch grew a big corn crop. Then they had to feed not only their own families, but also the lazy ones who had been careless. This made for injustice and hard feelings.

The Pilgrims talked these matters over with Governor William Bradford. They wanted him to divide up the land so that each family could have their own acres to work. In this way each one could work as hard as he wanted. Each one would be responsible for his plot of land. Some of the young boys had lost their parents the first hard winter. These were given to a family where they could help in the fields. In turn, the family would take care of the boy and feed him with their own. With this new plan there were many individual fields of corn planted. The Governor was pleased at the new attitude of diligence and industry on the part of those especially who were willing to work as hard as they could. Even the lazy ones began to work with new purpose.

THE THREAT OF A FAMINE
The corn was planted just as Squanto had taught them: each grain of corn was planted with a little fish. The families hoed and weeded. They were happy in the thought a good harvest. Soon the young corn shoots stuck their heads out of the soil and began to reach toward the sun. The fields were beautiful to see with the little green shoots.

But now came a great drought. No rain fell to give the young corn plants a needed drink. Every day the sun became hotter and hotter. The drought started in the third week of May and continued until the middle of July. The Pilgrims saw that unless they had some rain their young corn shoots would all wither and dry up. The sun would burn them up. What should they do?

THE PILGRIMS’ DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING
Always the Pilgrims had turned to the Lord when they were in trouble or when they had problems. This time was no exception. They decided to set apart a whole day to pray to God for rain. They also fasted which means they did not eat any food all day. The Pilgrims humbled themselves before the Lord and asked forgiveness for their sins. How did God answer them? Let us look at the words of William Bradford:

All the morning, and the greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen; yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God. It came without either wind or thunder or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken the decayed corn and other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold.

One of the most remarkable results of their prayers was the “gracious and speedy answer” that the Lord gave in sending them such gentle showers. Had the rain been hard and the drops too big, the little green shoots would have flattened out. But “as the small rain upon the tender herb” the showers fell softly and gently. This gentle rain opened the hearts of the Indians to receive the Gospel message of Salvation through Jesus Christ. It was the beginning of the evangelistic efforts of the Pilgrims. The Indians felt the Pilgrims’ God was bigger than the God they prayed to, for when they had prayed for rain it had come with storms and tempests. Instead of doing good it had layed the corn flat on the ground. But this had not happened to the Pilgrims’ corn.

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING
Bradford tells us that “afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, causes a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of Thanksgiving.” The year was 1623.

Setting apart a special day of Thanksgiving in America honors the Hand of God in our History. It especially honors the Pilgrims as a Christian people whom God sent to America to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ. On Thanksgiving Day, let us thank the Lord for what He has done for our Land and for us.

THE PILGRIM’S PRAYER FOR RAIN
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

Read more about the Pilgrim story in The Christian History of the Constitution of the United States of America: Christian Self-Government by Verna M. Hall. Visit FACEBookstore.net for more information.

STUDY GUIDE
Use this guide to help your students and children apply the Pilgrim story to their own lives.

Principles From God’s Word
• God loves humility and repentence for sin (see James 4:6)
• God answers the prayers of His people (see James 5:15–16)

Pilgrim Christian Character
• Diligence and Industry in working
• Faith and Steadfastness in prayer
• Humility in asking God’s forgiveness for sin
• Thankfulness to God for answered prayer

Questions for Reflection
• Does God answer your prayers?
• What does God require of us when we pray?
• What are some of the unexpected ways that God helps us in our lives? Who are our Samosets and Squantos?

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