General George Washington called for many days to be set aside in Prayer, Fasting and Humiliation crying out to the Father in the Name of Jesus for forgiveness, wisdom and direction. “There is to be no labor or recreation on this day.” On the day of his election of President on April 30, 1789, after kissing the Bible upon which his hand rested, he led his entire cabinet down the street to Trinity Church where for 3 1/2 hours they were on their knees dedicating this nation to Jesus Christ.
James Madison, “Chief Architect of the Constitution” called for prayer as the President during the War of 1812.
When the British marched on Washington, D.C., citizens evacuated, along with President and Dolly Madison. The British burned the White House, Capitol and public buildings on Aug. 25, 1814. Suddenly dark clouds rolled in and a tornado touched down sending debris flying, blowing off roofs and knocking down chimneys on British troops. Two cannons were lifted off the ground and dropped yards away. A British historian wrote: “More British soldiers were killed by this stroke of nature than from all the firearms the American troops had mustered.” British forces then fled and rains extinguished the fires.
November 16, 1814 President Madison responded by DAY OF PRAYER, proclaiming, “In the present time of public calamity and war a day may be…observed by the people of the United States as a Day of Public Humiliation and Fasting and of Prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States…of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance…that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses.”
“We have…thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People…to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent supplications that Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood.”
At the age of 81, after 5 weeks of deliberating and no consensus Franklin said this,” Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor.