by Diane Robertson A nation can never be better than its families. For much of the history of the United States beginning with the founding of the colonies, families devoted their lives to God. They did not all have the same religious beliefs, but they held strong religious beliefs.
When the Pilgrims landed, they knelt in prayer. Before the Declaration of Independence was signed, they knelt in prayer. While debating the particulars of the Constitution, they knelt in prayer. Before leaving office, George Washington offered a prayer for the nation. The pledge of allegiance, the Star Spangled Banner, and even currency invoke the name of God.
The fourth verse of the famous patriotic Song, “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” calls God our king. It says:
Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
Where did this history of prayer come from? It came from the homes of the people. American families were devoted to God. American families gathered together in prayer and study each day and night. This common family devotional lasted from the landing of the Pilgrims, through the gathering of the other colonists in all 13 colonies until more and more people left farms to work in industry in the early 20th century.
One can read articles from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s about the change in the family as more and more people left farm work. Many called for a return to the tradition of family prayer and family devotional. They worried about the rise in juvenile delinquency and premarital sexual relationships.
As we know, there was not a return to family prayer and family devotional. Juvenile delinquency continued to rise. Premarital sexual relationships did not just rise; they became an excepted way of life. Divorce, single parent homes, homosexuality, gay marriage, and more has substantially changed the family.
Instead of political leaders calling upon God, they avoid using any reference to God at all. There are public outcries against any religious references in the public square. Instead of people protecting freedom– property rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom in business—they are calling upon government to regulate property rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom in business.
These trends will continue in our nation until the families return to the practices that established the principles found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence—the practice of family prayer.
Many people worrying about the direction of our nation ask “What can I do?” You can return to the heritage left by your ancestors and the founding fathers of this nation and gather your family together morning and night for prayer.
John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence, one of the fathers of the Constitution, and second president of the United States warned that: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”