At the dawn of American history, the faith of our founding
fathers was intricately woven into the very fabric of this nation's
In honor of President's Day, we want to turn the spotlight
on the first president of the United States whose faith, humility
and courage helped to establish the destiny of our great nation.
From his youth, George Washington firmly believed that God's
hand was upon him personally. As a 23 year old soldier during
the French and Indian wars, he had four bullets pass through
his coat and two horses shot out from under him.
Yet he survived the conflict unscathed. Washington credited
God for his survival. Asked to serve as Commander in Chief of
the Continental army, General Washington incorporated his deep
personal faith in the very commands he issued to the newly formed
In one of his earliest general orders dated July 9, 1776, Washington
outlined his personal convictions for the men who served under
"General hopes and trusts that every officer and
man will endeavor to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier
defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country. To
the distinguished character of Patriot it should be our highest
glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."
Not content to merely inspire with high ideals, Washington
included in his general orders specific directives for regular
and earnest prayer.
The earliest days of the Revolution provided unparalleled opportunities
for Washington to act upon his forthright faith. It was the
events of one extraordinary day in August of 1776 that definitely
underscored the miraculous intervention of God in the course
of America's destiny.
Faced with a fact of America's declared independence, the British
military command determined that the key to suppressing the
rebellion lay in the domination of New York.
The army that controlled access to the Hudson River would control
the lines of supply for the colonies north and south of this
Under the command of General William Howe, the British quickly
established a formidable presence in New York. The only impediment
was the American-held town of Brooklyn.
It was there on the western end of Long Island that General
Washington found himself nearly surrounded, outnumbered more
than three to one by a better trained, better equipped enemy.
However, when circumstances seemed to spell defeat, a miraculous
series of events began to unfold. Amazingly, the very capable
and seasoned General Howe failed to capitalize on his obvious
military advantage. Throughout the afternoon, the evening, and
the following morning, Washington's forces tensed for an attack
that never materialized.
By the afternoon of August 28, northeast winds drove a chilling
rain across the East River, preventing the British fleet from
launching any offensive maneuver.
Inspired by the delay, General Washington formulated a daring
strategy of escape. Under the storm's cover, he began to remove
his beleaguered army by small boats, enabling them to join other
American forces a full mile behind enemy lines. As night fell,
the inclement weather dissipated and still, Washington's army
continued its evacuation without detection. But as the morning
sun dawned, the Americans calculated that at least three more
hours were needed to transport the last of the 8,000 troops.
One who was actually there best describes what happened next.
Major Ben Talimadge, a member of the Continental army, wrote:
"At this time a very dense fog began to rise,
and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments.
I recollect this providential occurrence perfectly well, and
so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern
a man at six yards' distance. We tarried until the sun had risen,
but fog remained as dense as ever."
What the British discovered when the fog lifted
was an empty and abandoned encampment. Washington's army had
seemingly vanished, along with all their provisions, cannons
and even horses. Instead of defeat, the Americans experienced
a temporary setback and regrouped to fight on at a future successful
How did General George Washington portray his
personal role in the Revolutionary War?
"I was but the humble agent of a favoring heaven,
whose benign influence was so often manifested in our behalf,
and to whom the praise of victory alone is due."
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.