Abraham Lincoln was a man who knew the importance of humility and gratitude—remembering God. On March 30 of 1863, President Lincoln issues a proclamation calling for a national day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer. These words will be familiar to many of you, but I think they’re words we need to hear again and again—and today, in our nation in particular. He said:
We have been recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.