We’re all familiar with the painting of Washington praying next to his horse in a secluded area near Valley Forge. It was the low point for the war, and the future of the nation yet to be born. Benjamin F. Morris shares the story of that prayer.
One of the most helpful and inspiring scenes of the Revolution was to see this great hero, with the interests of a nation on his soul, retire for prayer unto the God in whom he trusted.
The winter at Valley Forge witnessed the retirement of Washington daily to some secluded glen in the surrounding forest for prayer. Though gloom covered his desponding country and army, yet “a cloud of doubt seldom darkened the serene atmosphere of his hopes. He knew that the cause was just and holy, and his faith and confidence in God, as a defender and helper of right, steady in their ministrations of divine vigor to his soul.”
While the American army was at Valley Forge, Isaac Potts strolled up a creek that ran through his farm, and, walking quietly through the woods, he heard the tones of a solemn voice, and, looking round, saw Washington’s horse tied to a sapling. In a thicket near by was Washington, on his knees, in earnest prayer. Like Moses, Mr. Potts felt he was on holy ground, and retired unobserved. He returned home, and, on entering the room of his wife, burst into tears, and informed her what he had seen and heard, and exclaimed, “If there is any one on earth whom The Lord will hearken to, it is George Washington; and I feel a presentiment that under such a commander there can be no doubt of our eventually establishing our independence, and that God in his providence has will it so.”
“Oh, who shall know the might
Of the words he utter’d there?
The fate of nations there was turn’d
By the fervor of his prayer.
“But wouldst thou know his name
Who wander’d there alone?
Go read enroll’d in Heaven’s archives
The prayer of Washington.”