Power of Prayer wins wars

Published 11:18 am Thursday, January 20, 2022

Each time I think about the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, my attention is diverted to David against Goliath. David was just a humble shepherd boy, and Goliath was a giant Philistine warrior, their best. Armed with only a sling and a rock, Young David answered Goliath’s challenge against God. David killed Goliath.

When America answered the call for independence against Great Britain, the American army was only farmers and non-trained combatants against the great military-trained British army, who at that time was the best army in the world. So how could these ragtag colonists face the mighty war machine who was at their peak of military power? The only answer was God’s intervention through the power of prayer.

Under the inspiration and influence of our American Clergy, the answer by prayer to God won the American Revolutionary War. The British recognized the impact of our American clergy during this period. Such an example was the Black-Robed Regiment.

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On September 5, 1774, the first meeting of the First Continental Congress took place in Philadelphia. Delegates traveled from as far north as New England and as far south as South Carolina to deal with British oppression, including occupying the city of Boston.

The prayer session began by reading the entire 35 th Psalm, which significantly impacted all delegates. Psalm 35 is a prayer of David for the deliverance and is as follows: “Plead my cause, O Lord, with my
adversaries; fight those who fight me.” David’s Psalm ends with praise for God’s deliverance.

As the Psalm was read, the Delegates felt the presence of God, and many shed tears. Prayer continued to be a daily and vital part of the businesses of the Continental Congress. At least 15 separate calls for particular days of prayer and fasting during the Revolutionary War.

By the hand of God, the American colonists won their independence from Great Britain. But, unfortunately, Great Britain did not get the message, and America was again at war with them – the War of 1812.

The War of 1812 resulted from British restrictions on American trade and America’s desire to expand its territory. In addition, Great Britain had the most superior naval power globally. A poorly trained American army of approximately 6,700 men now was against an experienced British military consisting of over 240,000 soldiers. Moreover, Great Britain’s naval military fleet was much more extensive.

The Battle of New Orleans took place on January 8, 1815. The battle ended with the British suffering 2042 casualties: 291 killed, 1,267 wounded, and 484 captured. The Americans ended with 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing. Many citizens spent the night of the battle praying and crying in the Ursuline Chapel. When sharing Holy Communion, a courier arrived at the chapel and advised those gathered of the victory.

Commanding General Andrew Jackson proclaimed, ‘By the blessings of Heaven, directing the valor of the troops under my command, one of the most brilliant victories in the annals of war was obtained.”

Sometimes prayers are answered through others, even possibly of a base lifestyle. In the case of the Battle of New Orleans, Jean Laffite, a pirate, was aware of the British plans to invade New Orleans in advance. In exchange for a full pardon for Laffite and his men, he advised General Jackson. General Jackson accepted.

As David defeated Goliath, America twice defeated the greatest army in the world by God’s hand through the power of prayer. AMEN!

Columnist Keith Throckmorton, Fairfax County Police (RET), can be reached at kandpthrock@gmail.com