“If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made not for the public good so much as for the selfish or local purposes.”  --Daniel Webster

 

What would our Founding Fathers think to hear that many Americans – Christians included – believe it an illegal blending of church and state to pray before voting for public officials? Samuel Adams was one of several Founding Fathers who believed it a sacred duty to do just that: “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote… that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

 

The very document that established the American government, including our right to vote, would have been impossible without prayer.

 

The Constitutional Convention
The scene was tense. Embittered Constitutional Convention delegates stormed out, taking with them all hope for equal state representation in the new government.

 

Discouraged eyes turned toward the senior delegate as Benjamin Franklin rose to speak. “God governs in the affairs of men,” he said, adding that without God, they could do no better job of building the United States of America than the builders of Babel. He suggested, and the remaining delegates agreed, that local pastors should pray for “the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberations.”

 

The weeks-long impasse broke within two days. State representation in the Senate would be equal, and state representation in the House would be based on population.

 

Are Prayer and Voting Compatible?
If prayer inspired the document that has stood as a global symbol of freedom for more than two centuries, does it stand to reason that the humble prayers of every American are necessary for the day-to-day understanding and implementation of the principles outlined in the Constitution, including the right to vote?

 

“Yes!” says John Lind, President/CEO of The Presidential Prayer Team (PPT), a grassroots network of 3 million participants who have committed to praying daily for the President, our nation and Armed Forces.

 

Launched September 18, 2001, only seven days after the 9/11 attacks, PPT updates its Website and emails its members weekly with prayer needs. These weekly updates feature the prayer needs for our national leaders and or nation, along with inspirational quotes from Founding Fathers, other patriots and the Bible. PPT also provides the popular American Inspirations one-minute radio program that airs on Christian stations around the country, updates their educational Presidential Prayer Team for Kids (PPK) site weekly and maintains an initiative called Adopt Our Troopstm to provide opportunities to pray for America’s armed forces. Over 100,000 people participated in their 2004 Pray the Votetm initiative, and the 2006 Pray the Vote campaign is now underway.

 

Deuteronomy 16:18 says that if we appoint, or vote into office, the public officials that the Lord has given us, those people will serve the people fairly,” said Lind. “We introduced Pray the Vote to remind Christians about their sacred duty not only to vote, but to seek God’s guidance before they do it.”