Ben Franklin


It was during the quarreling and heated debating on June 28 that 81 year old Benjamin Franklin made his famous plea for prayer.  He Said:

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for 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.  To that kind of Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity.  And have we now forgotten that powerful friend?  Or do we imagine that we no longer need [His] assistance?


“I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?

We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that ‘except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.’  I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Bable:  We shall be divided by our little partial, local interests, our projects will be confounded and we ourselves shall become a reproach and a by-word down to future ages.  And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing government by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war, or conquest.

“I, therefore, beg leave to move:


“That hereafter prayers, imploring the assistance of Heaven and it’s blessing on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.”


(Taken from ‘The Making of America” pp. 159-160.  The book was written by W. Cleon Skousen.  He took his quote from: “The Writings of Benjamin Franklin”, 9:600-601 written by: Smyth.)