Today is Thursday, April 25th, 2013; Karen's Korner #2553
(Sorry for no 'korner' yesterday, we were installing new carpet in our living/dining room and our computer was disconnected!)
As we approach our May National Day of Prayer (a week from today - Thursday, May 2; learn if there is a local or small group prayer group and attend if your schedule allows. Many people from across our nation praying together!), something reproduced in "fresh Encounter: experiencing God's power for spiritual awakening".
It is Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of a National Fast Day, August 12, 1861, when our nation was in the beginning stages of the Civil War;
"The Civil War, culminating years of turmoil, was the most devastating crisis the United States had ever faced. The issue of slavery was intensely divisive. Because the Industrial Age created unprecedented wealth, pursuing money and pleasure became a consuming passion. Churches were in decline. Public morality had descended to shocking levels. The outbreak of the Civil War ushered in unimaginable devastation. Families were ripped apart. Hundreds of thousands of America's young men were slaughtered. The government sought answers to how and why something so cataclysmic could happen within their nation. Ultimately, both houses of Congress issued a proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln, for a national day of prayer on August 12, 1861.
"As you read the proclamation, consider its applicability to our present day:
"Whereas a joint committee of both Houses of Congress has waited on the President of the United States and requested him to 'recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting, to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnities, and the offering of fervent supplications to Almighty God'...
"It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses.....
"When our own beloved Country, once by the blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war; it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals, to humble ourselves before Him, and to pray for His mercy....
"Therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation."