Earlier Days of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer

Going back in History, Below follows a list of earlier Days of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer either officially declared (or never actioned), within the USA:

History Around JULY 2nd and July 4th:

  • House Resolution 790 designating July 2, 2016 as the “National Day of Personal Reflection and Repentance”
  • Expressing support for designation of July 2, 2016 as the “National Day of Personal Reflection and Repentance.”
  • Whereas, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the language of the Declaration of Independence, and we now annually celebrate July 4 as Independence Day;
  • Whereas two days earlier on July 2, 1776, Congress voted to dissolve all ties with Great Britain and become an independent Nation;
  • Whereas John Adams said that July 2 “ought to be commemorated as a day of deliverance by solemn act of devotion to God Almighty”;
  • Where this practice of offering “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty” became an oft-repeated precedent across the centuries of our history

Other Dates also declared for Public Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer

President John Adams declared that April 13, 1798 to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, as well as April 25, 1799;

And then from the beginning 1800’s, up until 1918, there were a few times of the Presidents following Pres. John Adams, were calling for a day of Fasting, Humiliation & Prayer:

  • President James Madison declared June 9, 1812, as a day, to be observed by the people of the United States as a day of public Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, as well as July 23, 1813, and November 16, 1814;
  • By 1815, there had been 794 separate calls for days of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer issued by colonial, State and Federal governments;
  • National leaders after that time continued that tradition, including when President John Tyler called for a Day of Fasting and Prayer on May 14, 1841;
  • As did President Zachary Taylor on August 3, 1849;
  • President James Buchanan on January 4, 1861;
  • President Abraham Lincoln on September 26, 1861, April 30, 1863, and August 4, 1864;
  • President Andrew Johnson on May 25, 1865;
  • President Chester A. Arthur on September 26, 1881;
  • President Woodrow Wilson on May 30, 1918;
  • and so forth;

April 30th: 1863 to 1974

Congress itself separately issued eights calls to Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer during the American Revolution and continued the practice across the generations, up to and including the congressional call for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer on April 30, 1974; and

Whereas President Lincoln, in his April 30, 1863, call for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, expressed timeless sentiments that remain applicable to this day, including that “ it is the duty of nations, as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is Lord… 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 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…”; and “…We have failed to respond, personally and collectively, with sacrifice and uncompromised commitment to the unmet needs of our fellowman, both at home and abroad, and as a people, we have become so absorbed with the selfish pursuits of pleasure and profit that we have blinded ourselves to God’s standard of justice and righteousness for this society;
Now, therefore be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives, in following the numerous wholesome and positive examples set forth by previous Congresses and presidents—Supports the designation of a “National Day of Personal Reflection and Repentance”; and Calls upon the people of the Nation to humble ourselves as they see fit before our Creator to repent of our national sins and to acknowledge our final dependence upon Him
. ”   

Resolution 790 was authored by Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado.  It was supported by Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.  It was sent to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform for consideration. This was the first time in forty three years that any resolution seeking national repentance was submitted to Congress. 

Previously in 1973, after the Watergate scandal, then Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon submitted a similar resolution calling for a “National Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting” set for April 30, 1974. It passed unanimously in the Senate by voice vote but then failed either to be introduced or to be passed in the House. 

BUT: No such National Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting took place in 1974. 

The last such Day was in 1918..!!

Therefore, let us not wait on Parliament or Congress or Senate to declare a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.

But instead, let us the people of America, take the initiative and Declare this Coming April 30th, 2022 and from this day forward, to celebrate it every year, as a day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer !!

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