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.
The melody was one of the most favorite in America. It would be used to support the lyrics of one of the best remembered hymns. Andrew Jackson loved it and so did General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate army. It was the great song: How Firm A Foundation. President Theodore Roosevelt, the hero of San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War (1898), said "it is just about my favorite hymn of all." But earlier, during the Civil War, the hymn was sung by both the North and the South, from one end of the country to another. Few can forget the words:
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said?
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
Fear not I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.