DEVOTIONAL: A future is limited without the Lord involved

“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it,” Psalm 127:1

Many people in our society today point to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as the most irreligious of all of the signers. Benjamin Franklin was a deist, a person who believes in God but does not believe that God is intimately involved in the affairs of everyday life. I don't know about Mr. Franklin's daily walk with the Lord, but I do know that in the summer of 1787 he spoke some of the most powerful words ever uttered on our soil.

Let me set the context of his speech by saying that in May 1787, representatives were gathering in Philadelphia to write the Constitution for the U.S. that would establish an effective federal government. They appointed George Washington as chair, but that’s about all they agreed on. From the beginning, the delegates quarreled over deeply held disagreements as to the extent and form of the new government.

Then 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin rose and spoke to the troubled group of men and said, “In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard and 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...

Have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?


I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1). I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning.”

It is somewhat of an exaggeration to say that our Constitutional government began as the result of a prayer meeting in Philadelphia, but Dr. Franklin’s call for prayer did play a critical role in reminding the delegates at a vital point that without God’s help, all their efforts would be in vain.

Unless the Lord is in any enterprise, it has a limited future. Raising a family or a home without His strength is hazardous. Guarding a city without His blessings is futile. Working hard to gain wealth without putting Him first is vain. May we never forget that prayer guides and empowers our nation and that all things are possible with God.

America, It is time to rebuild.

Pastor Tim Wilson serves at Park Rapids Assembly of God.

Related Topics: FAITH
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