Hats off to the Texas Governor Rick Perry for declaring a day of prayer and fasting for our nation based on the Bible book of Joel. In May his official proclamation went out to all the citizens of Texas along with a letter to the other 49 state governors asking them to participate.
Since I am currently reading the book of Joel, this proclamation resonated within my spirit. The complete proclamation appears below, but you can also read it on the Governor’s website where it was posted on the 4th of July.
In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to join in prayer, seeking wisdom as they faced the responsibility and opportunity of building a new nation. As leaders of that young nation assembled in 1787 to craft a Constitution, Benjamin Franklin implored the framers to pray for guidance, famously declaring, “The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of men.” Decades later, during a time of national turmoil, President John Adams declared “a day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer,” asking citizens of all faiths to pray for America’s protection from danger. Later, as civil war tore our young country apart, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of national fasting and prayer, saying “It behooves us … to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray to the God that made us.” During World War II, with our troops locked in battle on the beaches of France, President Franklin D. Roosevelt led the nation in prayer, “As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.”
Given the trials that have beset our country and world – from the global economic downturn to natural disasters, the lingering danger of terrorism and wars that endanger our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and theaters of conflict around the globe, and the decline of our culture in the context of the demise of families – it seems imperative that the people of our nation should once again join together for a solemn day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation.
In times of trouble, even those who have been granted power by the people must turn to God in humility for wisdom, mercy and direction. In the spirit of the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, Verses 15-16, I urge a solemn gathering of prayer and fasting. As those verses admonish: “15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly… 16 Gather the people, consecrate the assembly…” As Jesus prayed publicly for the benefit of others in John 11:41-42, so should we express our faith in this way.
THEREFORE, I invite my fellow Texans to join me on August 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, as we pray for unity and righteousness – for this great state, this great nation and all mankind. I urge Americans of faith to pray on that day for the healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.
THEREFORE, I, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim August 6, 2011, to be
A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation
in Texas, and urge the appropriate recognition whereof.
In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this the 23rd day of May, 2011.
RICK PERRY Governor of Texas
I don’t know if our California Governor Brown will participate in this day of prayer, but I’m encouraging those with whom I associate to put a little holy in their day by setting aside time on August 6 for prayer and fasting. If you can arrange a time to meet with others and pray as part of that day’s activities, all the better. I’m also calling our Father’s House intercessors to a day of fasting and prayer on August 6th. Mark your calendar and join with Texas in praying for our nation.
What are your thoughts concerning Governor Perry’s perspective on the need for prayer and fasting? What do you plan to do about it?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis