By Dr. Mal Couch
Public prayer, spiritual publications of poems and music, have always been a part of America, until recently. There are forces now trying to silence the Christian spiritual heritage of open and free expression to our God that made this nation great.
Each week Iíll add some historical tidbits as how Christian expression and public prayer was a vital part of our nationís blessing. We may not fully know of the spiritual state of all the men we examine, but we do know none of them were fearful of prayers to the God of the Bible in the public setting.
If you are a pastor or Sunday school teacher, please print off these little bits of our history and share them with others.
Julia was the daughter of a wealthy New York banker. She was exposed to many hymns that had come across the sea from England such as "Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus," "Rock of Ages," and "Onward Christian Soldiers." As a writer and poet from New England, Mrs. Howe wanted to contribute something to the war effort. A pastor by the name of James Clark suggested some of the new words she had written as a poem/prayer be turned into a song using the melody of the familiar "John Brown’s Body." Mrs. Howe wrote all night long and by dawn the final words had come to her.
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He has loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea;
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
This became known as The Battle Hymn of the Republic.