Dear fellow Americans,
I write to you as the broken and sinful man that I am, redeemed only through the divine mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God. I pray that my personal shortcomings or perhaps my obscure connection to your life will not detract from my sincere message.
At this time in our nation’s history when America seems so hopelessly divided, where should we turn for hope?
Does our government offer hope?
Does our current president inspire hope?
Does our political affiliation or a particular candidate provide hope?
No. Hope comes from God, the creator of all things. It always has.
In 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, 81-year-old Ben Franklin proposed prayer as the way to unify the divided Assembly. The representatives fought for more than a month and seemed destined to fail in drafting the Constitution of the United States.
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Finally, Franklin nobly reasoned and identified a clear obstacle to their success:
...groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of Lights to illuminate our understanding?
Franklin's modest suggestion now vexes today's intellectual elitists, self-loathing Americans, and revisionist historians. Of course, none of them can black out the irrefutable effort of one of the most remarkable Americans of all time. Though formal customs obstructed Franklin's motion during the convention, the representatives ultimately relinquished their pride and rose above their differences in the wake of Franklin’s proposal.
Incredibly, some Americans still believe that the longest ongoing constitution in world history stems from some random cosmic accident that they believe started an intricately complex world. But many of us recognize that this amazing document seems more likely to have been inspired by the divine wisdom of God, which our founding fathers indubiltably pursued. In fact, on April 9, 1789, the first Constitutional Congress (the men who wrote the First Amendment) implemented Franklin's prayer proposal.
With the sagacious wisdom of Ben Franklin in mind, I pray that you see the truth regarding hope and will choose to share this message with our conservative politicians now aspiring to become our next president. Let them hear our voices and our prayers. Let us set aside our own foolish pride and selfish desires. In doing so, we can encourage our leaders to do the same.
Before the stable of talented conservative candidates begin to tear each other down and obsess over one another’s flaws versus addressing their own, let’s encourage them to unite in God.
Perhaps they could hold a 2015 Conservative Prayer Convention to identify the best presidential candidate or the top two among them. Perhaps they could even broker a potential cabinet, essentially electing a dream team of the most qualified patriots.
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Let's encourage them to put America first, not themselves or their own ambitions. Let’s plead with them to humble themselves. Implore them to pray together for God’s guidance. They could decide among themselves who they would support by voting for one of their opponents within their circle. Through prayer and trusting in God, they could surely arrive at a unified consensus.
Franklin’s suggestion would also test each candidate’s character. Certainly, the candidates who stand for America could humble themselves and work together for our nation. Those who prefer to paddle alone would reveal themselves for what they are -- perhaps individuals simply lacking faith or belief in God or bonafide narcissists tarnished by political ambitions.
Which does America need? Moral leaders or political opportunists?
Imagine a coalition with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Mike Pense, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Stephen Forbes, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, and others presenting to us their top two candidates derived from humbly seeking God's guidance. Perhaps Thomas Sowell could even agree to chair the convention, as an honest broker. Talk about hope inspired by God.
All of us can help the motion catch fire. Promote Franklin's modest idea across social media. Contact a candidate. Encourage them to come together in prayer.
In fact, Townhall.com writer Matt Barber offered his own version of a 1787 suggestion last week. He called for a conservative GOP summit and noted that (what I would call) the Franklin-like proposal is out there. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has even given it an "Amen."
If one of our candidates would courageously step forward and push the propasal, what would that tell us about that candidate? What would we learn about the other candidates by their responses? What might poll numbers reflect? Shouldn't we back moral and humble candidates who have the wisdom and confidence to pursue God's guidance?
We are all in this together. Unfortuantely, not every American is paddling with us. Some are obsessed with making America just another miserable socialist nation.
Franklin noted during his speech:
In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the 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. . . . And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend?
Is America not once again facing grave dangers? The birth of our great nation sprang from brave individuals who had an intolerance for immorality and injustice. They were forced to worship a mortal king and compelled to pay taxes without representation.
What immoralities and injustices are we being forced to tolerate today? What are America's values?
Our forefathers chose to unite -- and as Franklin reminds us, they sought and received God's favor. They accomplished the unimaginable in defeating the daunting British empire, and America has gone on to conquer the wickedness of slavery that continues to plague other nations. America's freedom comes from God, providing hope to our allies and stirring rage among our enemies.
As we struggle to find humble and selfless leaders to restore America's most noble values, let us not forget our "powerful Friend." If we will humble ourselves in united prayer, we too can accomplish the unimaginable.
A former Marine Corps officer and a recovering high school English teacher, Lee Culpepper is a Christian, husband, writer, and mentor. Read and share other articles by Lee Culpepper at Townhall.com. Email Lee your feedback or inquiries here or contact Lee on Twitter @drcoolpepper.
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