WHAT WAS THE FIRST MOTION IN THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS?

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“Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 2:12b NIV)

The first motion was for prayer.   God is who our forefathers looked to for guidance when they wrote the Declaration of Independence, signed on this day in 1776.  When the First Continental Congress met in September of 1774, the first motion and debate was about prayer.  John Adams, in a letter to his wife described the event:

“When the Congress met, Mr. Cushing made a motion that it should be opened with prayer. It was opposed by Mr. Jay of New York and Mr. Rutledge of South Carolina because we were so divided in religious sentiments — some Episcopalians, some Quakers, some Anabaptists, some Presbyterians, and some Congregationalists — that we could not join in the same act of worship.”

No matter what denomination we are, we all serve the same God.  Our forefathers knew this.  Samuel Adams knew this:

“… [He] could hear a prayer from any gentleman of piety and virtue who was at the same time a friend to his country.”

Prayer is our path to refuge.

Whatever you need rest from today, God is the answer.  He will give you rest.  He will restore your soul.  But you have to turn to Him to receive it.  Prayer is the first step.  Our forefathers believed this so much, their first thing they talked about was prayer.  They decided we needed prayer:

“Accordingly, next morning the Rev. Duche appeared with his Episcopal vestments and read the 35th Psalm. I never saw a greater effect produced upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that psalm to be read on that morning.” Samuel Adams

Prayer founded our nation.  Prayer is how our forefathers took refuge in God.  Prayer does the same for us.  Take time to read the 35th Psalm today.  Think about our forefathers, gathered together, listening to Rev. Duche read the words.  God’s word formed our country.  Our nation’s trajectory was set by the Psalmist words:

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;

    fight against those who fight against me.

Take up shield and armor;

    arise and come to my aid.

 Brandish spear and javelin

    against those who pursue me.

Say to me,

    “I am your salvation.”

Psalm 35:1-3 NIV

God’s words started our nation.  God’s words can save our nation.  When we pray and seek refuge in Him, God will answer.  Our forefathers humbled themselves in prayer.  They sought God’s refuge before they did anything else.  We can learn from them. 

We all serve the same God.  No matter what denomination or church we attend, God is the same.  As Samuel Adams said,  what matters is the person’s heart.  When people who love God pray, we should join them.

Question of the Day:

How can you pray for our country today?

Further Reading:  2 Kings 23:31-25:30 NIV, Acts 22:17-23:10 NIV, Psalm 2 NIV, Proverbs 18:13 NIV

2 Replies to “WHAT WAS THE FIRST MOTION IN THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS?”

  1. Hey, Beth. Thanks for the honest reflection. I came across your blog trying to confirm if the psalm read was 35 or 85, as I’ve found both on the web. I finally found an image of Adams’s actual letter at masshist.org/digitaladams/archive and it was Psalm 35.

    1. Andy,

      Thank you! I appreciate your feedback. I corrected my blog and added a link to the letter for verification. Thanks for helping me. Truly appreciated. Happy Fourth of July to you and yours!

      Beth

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