This is a special time in the history of America. April 30th holds a special day as the Founding Father of our country, newly elected President George Washington dedicated the United States of America to God. Years later, on April 30, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln would proclaim the same.
The Holy Scripture of 2nd Chronicles 7:14 saved the united States of America on that day. The nation was at war………….with itself. The War Between the States was a dark time in our nation’s history. Like today, our nation needed prayer and repentance.
April 30, 1863 was declared a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting & Prayer by Abraham Lincoln. Believers were called upon to use the blueprint of restoration found in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 for the healing of a divided nation. We need that again today. Within days of Lincoln’s proclamation two major events changed the course of the war. Three if you count the state of West Virginia splitting away from Virginia and the confederacy to remain with the union.
Within two months the battles of Vicksburg and Gettysburg had divided the confederacy making defeat inevitable. We need to humble ourselves in prayer and fasting. Petitioning God Almighty to hear us, forgive us and heal our land. Read Lincoln’s Proclamation. And pray for national repentance and restoration. Week 13 of 40 weeks of prayer reminds us God founded this nation and saved America once before and He will do it again. IF His people act upon 2nd Chronicles 7:14, the urgency of our day is as great if not greater than in 1863.
Following is the text of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer along with Massachusetts Governor John Andrew’s Fasting Proclamation. The proclamation was issued on March 30, 1863 and declared April 30, 1863 the national day of fasting.
BY HIS EXCELLENCY
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
March 30, 1863
For a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation;
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;
And, inasmuch as we know that, by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God, we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all people to abstain from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope, authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President,
William H. Seward, Sec’y of State.