"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

George Washington's Prayer

Oh how far this country has strayed. Here is a deep, theologically rich prayer from our founding president:

O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul. Direct my thoughts, words and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. Increase my faith in the sweet promises of the gospel; give me repentance from dead works; pardon my wanderings, and direct my thoughts unto thyself, the God of my salvation; teach me how to live in thy fear, labor in thy service, and ever to run in the ways of thy commandments; make me always watchful over my heart, that neither the terrors of conscience, the loathing of holy duties, the love of sin, nor an unwillingness to depart this life, may cast me into a spiritual slumber, but daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son Jesus Christ, that living in thy fear, and dying in thy favor, I may in thy appointed time attain the resurrection of the just unto eternal life. Bless my family, friends and kindred unite us all in praising and glorifying thee in all our works begun, continued, and ended, when we shall come to make our last account before thee blessed Saviour…

(From William J. Johnson, George Washington, the Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, New York & Cincinnati, 1919), pp. 24-35.)


Our Founding Truth said...

I'm a Christian, meaning I want to know the truth. I suggest you search out the sources to guarantee the words. This is what I found about Washington's Prayer Book:

Yet, while this prayer book was vociferously proclaimed to have been written by Washington, there was not an iota of evidence that he ever had anything to do with it, or that it even ever belonged to him. A little investigation soon pricked the bubble. Worthington C. Ford, who had handled more of Washington's manuscripts than any other man except Washington himself, declared that the penmanship was not that of Washington. Rupert Hughes (Washington, vol. 1, p. 658) gives facsimile specimens of the handwriting in the prayer book side by side with known specimens of Washington's penmanship at the time the prayer book was supposed to have been written. A glance proves that they are not by the same hand.Then in the prayer book manuscript all of the words are spelled correctly, while Washington was a notoriously poor speller. But the greatest blow it received was when the Smithsonian Institute refused to accept it as a genuine Washington relic. That Washington did not compose it was proved by Dr. W.A. Croffutt, a newspaper correspondent of the Capital, who traced the source of some of the prayers to an old prayer brook in the Congressional Library printed in the reign of James the First.Even the Rev. W. Herbert Burk, rector of the Episcopal Church of Valley Forge, although a firm believer in Washington's religiosity, thus speaks of these prayers: "At present, the question is an open one, and its settlement will depend on the discovery of the originals, or upon the demonstration that they are the work of Washington."

Here's to the truth, In the Lord.

Anonymous said...

If he was running for president today, I would have NO QUESTION on who I was voting for...

David Peyton said...

Hi Susan,

This is really tremendous. It is much like those prayers from "Valley of Vision."

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus and cry out in simple, child-like faith, "Lord, teach us to pray!"

Blessings in Christ,

Susan said...

Amen, David. I love that book by the way...what a blessing it is to read the prayers of godly people!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic website, I hadn't noticed denyyourselfdaily.blogspot.com previously during my searches!
Continue the wonderful work!

Olaf New Zealand said...

If I could find or know of a political leader with a commitment to the Christian faith to that of George Washington I would be the the first one to support this man by my vote what I have not done the last 70 years. Cheers

Pastor Robert Jones said...

I see that the "prayer for our nation" attributed to Washington was actually adapted from the conclusion to his letter of retirement at the end of the American Revolution. Here is a link to the original:


I really appreciate the tone of humility not only in his "prayer", but throughout the entire letter. Would that people on the national stage would follow Washington's example of humility and gratitude.