A Congressional Resolution for Fasting, Prayer, and Humiliation

Below is an excerpt from the minutes of Congress dated December 11, 1776–just five months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It recommends a day of fasting and humiliation to seek God’s forgiveness and favor as a nation during the American Revolution.

DECEMBER 11, 1776.

WHEREAS, the just War into which the United States of America have been forced by Great-Britain, is likely to be still continued by the same Violence and Injustice which have hitherto animated the Enemies of American freedom: And, whereas it becomes all public Bodies, as well as private Persons, to reverence the Providence of GOD, and look up to him as the supreme Disposer of all Events, and the Arbiter of the Fate of Nations: Therefore the CONGRESS hereby RESOLVE,

That it be recommended to all the States, as soon as possible to appoint a Day of solemn Fasting and Humiliation, to implore of Almighty GOD the Forgiveness of the many Sins prevailing among all Ranks, and to beg the Countenance and Assistance of his Providence in the Prosecution of this just and necessary War. The Congress do also in the most earnest manner recommend to all the Members of the United States, and particularly to the Officers civil and military under them, the Exercise of Repentance and Reformation; and further, do require of the said Officers of the military Department, the strict Observation of the Articles of War in general, and particularly that of said articles which forbids profane Swearing, and all other Immoralities; of which all such Officers are desired to take Notice. It is left to each State to issue Proclamations fixing the Day that appear most proper for their several Bounds.

Extract from the Minutes,

Presidential Calls to Prayer

This week we continue our series examining past presidents in their own words by looking at a few excerpts from various presidential calls to prayer.

George Washington


Thomas Jefferson


John Adams

Keep Reading…

Thomas Jefferson on God, Scripture, and Prayer

Today we continue our series examining some of America’s presidents and Founding Fathers in their own words with a few quotes from Thomas Jefferson on God and Scripture.

On the Teachings of Jesus Christ


A Call for National Prayer



George Washington on Good Faith, Justice, and Peace

Today we continue our series examining our past presidents on subjects such religion, virtue, and so on.

Below is an excerpt from some of the writings of  George Washington, taken from a letter written to Alexander Hamilton, dated May 15, 1796.


“Cherish good faith, justice, and peace, with other nations:

1. Because religion and morality dictate it.

2. Because policy dictates it.

If these could exist, a nation invariably honest and faithful, the benefits would be immense.”

Prayer Proclamation of President George Washington

washington_prayer_procToday is the National Day of Prayer. In honor of this day set aside to pray for our nation, we want to share a call to prayer issued by President George Washington more than two centuries ago on October 3, 1789.

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

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 signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington