This month, as we thank God for His many blessings, let us thank Him for the
Many people argue whether or not America is an exceptional nation. I believe America is an exceptional nation especially because of the prayers and Great Commission spirit of the Pilgrim Fathers. Indeed, their prayers may yet make the difference for the future of this nation.
When the Pilgrims landed in the winter of 1620, they wrote the Mayflower Compact, binding themselves to a society of laws “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.”
In this age of low commitment to anything, many (including Christians) find it hard to believe that the Pilgrims meant it, but they did. Their decision to come here was based upon many years of prayer and sacrifice to make a way for continued spread of the gospel. I can’t think of any other nation with beginnings so specifically centered upon the work of Jesus Christ and His Great Commission.
William Bradford, Mayflower passenger and governor of Plymouth Plantation, writes of this more fully in his detailed account of those early days. Yes, they meant it—totally.
Obviously, over the past 400 years, things have changed. No dedicated believer can claim that today’s America comes close to glorifying God or advancing the Christian faith. Often, it appears that godless forces hold America helplessly under their thumbs.
But God does not forget the prayers and sacrifices of His people to accomplish His purposes. Half of those Pilgrims died that first winter, giving their lives “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.” They were aware of that possibility long before they left goods and kindred behind to make that dangerous voyage.
As survivors of that bitter winter mourned deaths of loved ones in a forbidding wilderness, they never dreamed that their feeble beginnings would lead to a nation stretching “from sea to shining sea.” That is no accident, but the work of God.
As America has risen, Satan has worked overtime to confuse the purpose so firmly established at the beginning by these warriors of the faith. In our dismay over the present madness, let us take heart that God has not yet had the last word.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” the Psalmist tells us (Psalm 116:15). As God’s children, we are not just cannon fodder in the spiritual battle. He never forgets the prayers and sacrifices of His people. In His eyes, those tearful and agonizing prayers of the Pilgrims are just as present now as they were 400 years ago.
Neither does He forget your prayers and mine. In the end, God always defends and advances His holy name and purposes. Let us remember those words of Martin Luther:
“And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.”
Through us! In spite of all our weaknesses and sins! But only a mustard seed of faith is enough to move mountains!
This Thanksgiving, let us pray for America and also for India “for the glory of God and for the advancement of the Christian faith.” Already, many people from India and beyond have given their all for this great purpose. God’s timing and ways may not be ours–but He never forgets.