Lincoln and God

Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

The Civil War was a terrible thing. It pitted brother against brother; family against family; friend against friend. We lost over 600,000 American lives during this time of turmoil. The Southern part of the country was devastated; land physically torn up, families torn apart, and life long institutions permanently dissolved. The world was upside down.

Can you imagine being the one to preside over this mess? What would any of us have done if we had been in Lincoln’s shoes? There can be no doubt that Lincoln believed in God and prayed to him often. How could he not? How could any of us not be brought to our knees to pray to God for wisdom, strength and courage? Lincoln may not have attended church, but he definitely prayed.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, while talking to General Dan Sickles (who had his leg taken off in the peach orchard during the battle), he related this story:

Well, I will tell you how it was. In the pinch of the campaign up there when everybody seemed panic stricken and nobody could tell what was going to happen, oppressed by the gravity of our affairs, I went to my room one day and locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg. I told Him that this war was His war, and our cause His cause, but we could not stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville… And after that, I don’t know how it was, and I cannot explain it, but soon a sweet comfort crept into my soul. The feeling came that God had taken the whole business into His own hands and that things would go right at Gettysburg and that is why I had no fears about you.

For those who think that Lincoln was not a religious man I ask you to read his second Inaugural Address:

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away… With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in…”

Thanks be to God that we had an Abraham Lincoln when he was most needed. Let us pray that God gives us another leader to help us turn the tide of this economic woe. Let Him show us the way to regaining our freedoms through the faith of the people. Amen.

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